Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type

Dissertation (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Applied Linguistics

Committee Chair

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Lyn Wright Fogle

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot


Most research in the ESP/EAP field has concentrated on discourse analysis, learners’ needs analysis, and program descriptions, whereas very few studies have investigated teachers in ESP/EAP contexts. Thus, this study explores teaching EAP in a Preparatory Year Program (PYP) at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. The PYP is a two-semester program offered at most Saudi universities to facilitate students’ transition from the Arabic-medium instruction in high school to the English-medium instruction in college. This study is designed to explore and examine three elements: instructors’ self-reported knowledge of teaching EAP, teaching practices and beliefs, and perceptions toward the pedagogical environment of the PYP. Participants’ perceptions were elicited by offering them the chance to identify the obstacles to teaching EAP in the PYP and to provide suggestions to improve the program. Using a triangulation mixed-methods approach, the data were collected concurrently employing two instruments: questionnaire and semi-structured interview. Both instruments include the same concepts: knowledge of teaching EAP/ESP, teaching practices and beliefs, and perceptions of the PYP pedagogical environment. To reveal more valid and thorough findings, the datasets drawn from both instruments were analyzed separately and then combined. Out of 94 English instructors in the PYP at Qassim University, 45 instructors participated in the questionnaire. The semi-structured interviews were conducted with six of these participants to gain deeper information that complemented the data from the questionnaire. The results revealed that although the instructors claimed having of knowledge of EAP/ESP and its teaching practices, their knowledge was limited and derived mostly from experience rather than professional development or training. Reported application of EAP teaching practices in the PYP was limited because instructors did not completely reflect the practices reported in ESP/EAP literature (e.g., CFTEAP, CLT). While the participants generally held positive attitudes toward the program, they were not satisfied with the program administration. In addition to the administration, assessment system, heterogeneity in classrooms, and low-proficiency students were the main obstacles facing the instructors. The participants provided a number of suggestions that were mostly related to the program administration, assessment, syllabus, and instructors’ professional development.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.