Culture in Teaching EFL in Saudi Arabia from Learners’ Perspective

Nasir Uddin


This paper aims to study the attitude of Saudi Arabian undergraduate English students towards the American and British culture by studying their attitude to materials with relevant cultural contents in their textbooks. As strict followers of Islamic principles, the learner might be misunderstood to be reactive to the cultural contents of the nations of completely different culture. However, primary data shows that the learners are more tolerant in their attitude to the English culture than they socially appear to be, but they are keen to learn English as a language with relatively less interest in its cultural aspects.  


Learners’ Attitude, Language and Culture, Textbook Contents.

Full Text:



Aldraehim, M., Edwards, S.L., Watson, J., & Chan, T. (2012). Cultural impact on e-service use in Saudi Arabia: The role of nepotism. International Journal for Infonomics, 5(3/4), 655-662.

Al-Issa, A., (2011). Advancing English language teaching research in Gulf Cooperation Council states universities. MJAL, 3 (2), 60-77. Retrieved from

Al-Qahtani, A. A. (2016). Why do Saudi EFL readers exhibit poor reading abilities?. English Language and Literature Studies, 6 (1), 1-15. doi:

Al samdani, H. A., & Ibnian, S. S. (2015). The relationship between Saudi EFL students’ attitude towards learning English and their academic achievement. International Journal of Education and Social Science, 2(1), 92-102. Retrieved from: content/uploads/2015/01/11.pdf

Al-Zubeiry, H. Y. A. (2012). The socio-psychological orientations of Saudi learners of English as a foreign language.Umm Al-Qura University Journal of Languages & Literature, 8, 13-52. Retrieved from

Alptekin, C. (1993). Target-language culture in EFL materials. ELT Journal, 47(2), 136-143. doi:

Alptekin, C., & Alptekin, M. (1984). The question of culture : EFL teaching in non-English-speaking countries. ELT Journal, 38(1), 14-20. doi:

Bandpay, A. B. (2013). To be or not to be, that is the question: Should culture be taught simultaneously during L2 teaching classes or not?. Journal of Studies in Education, 3(2), 152-168. doi: 10.5296/jse.v3i2.2873

Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989). Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Brown, H. D. (2000). Sociocultural Factors. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, 4th ed. New York: Longman.

Cheng, H., & Dornyei, Z. (2007). The use of motivational strategies in language instruction: The case of EFL teaching in Taiwan. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 153-174.

Frank, J. (2013). Raising cultural awareness in the English language classroom. English Teaching Forum, 4, 2-11.

Gholami, R., Rahman, S. Z. A., & Mustapha, G. (2011). Social context as an indirect trigger in EFL contexts: Issues and solution. English Language Teaching, 5(3), 73-82. doi:10.5539/elt.v5n3p73. Retrieved from

Gu, S. (2014). A cultural history of the Arabic language. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Hofstede, G. (1984). National cultures and corporate cultures. In L.A. Samovar & R.E. Porter (Eds.), Communication Between Cultures. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10, 301-320.

Izadpanah, S. (2011). The review study: The place of culture in English language teaching. US-China Foreign Language, 9(2), 109 – 116.

Khan, I. A. (2011). An analysis of learning barriers: The Saudi Arabian context. International Education Studies, 4(1), 242-247. doi :

Moskovsky, C., &Alrabai, F. (2009). Intrinsic motivation in Saudi learners of English as foreign language. The Open Applied Linguistics Journal, 2, 1-10.

Prodromou, L. (1988). English as cultural action. ELT Journal, 42(2), 73-83. doi:

Prodromou, L. (1992). What culture? Which culture? Cross-cultural factors in language learning. ELT Journal, 46(1), 39-50. doi:

Pulverness, A. (2003). Distinctions & Dichotomies: Culture-free, Culture-bound. Online documents at URL

Purba, H. (2011). The importance of including culture in EFL teaching. Journal of English Teaching, 1(1), 44-56.

Rahman, M. M. & Alhaisoni, E. (2013). Teaching English in Saudi Arabia: Prospects and challenges. Academic Research International 4(1), 112-118.

Rivers, J. D. (2011). Politics without pedagogy: Questioning linguistic exclusion. ELT Journal, 65(2), 103 – 113. doi:

Tanskanen, T. (2012). Film tourism: Study on how films can be used to promote tourism. Retrieved from:

Tijani, K. O. (2011). Culture in English language classrooms: Emirati students’ and UAE teachers’ perceptions. Retrieved from:

Tuclea, C. & Nistoreanu, P. (2011). How film and television programs can promote tourism and increase the competitiveness of tourist destinations. Cactus Tourism Journal, 2(2), 25-30. Retrieved from:

Uddin, N. (2014). L2 motivational selves and learning achievements of Bangladeshi and Saudi Arabian undergraduate English majors: A comparative study (Unpublished M. A. thesis).



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


If you find difficulties in submitting manuscript please forward your doc file to Our support team will assist you in submission process and other technical matters.

In order to get notifications on inbox please add in your email safe list.

Journal of Arts and Humanities (Print) ISSN:2167-9045

Journal of Arts and Humanities (Online) ISSN: 2167-9053

[Journal of Arts and Humanities previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]