Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Joseph Jones

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the use of vocabulary learning strategies reported by Saudi university students in the US. It also explored how the use of vocabulary learning strategies varied based on gender in this population. An explanatory mixed-methods design was used to provide an in-depth understanding of strategies employed. In the quantitative phase, data were collected using self-reported questionnaires, while semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect the qualitative data. A total of 123 students participated, eight of whom were interviewed. The quantitative results showed participants used various vocabulary learning strategies. The most common were guessing the meaning from context, using a bilingual/monolingual dictionary, learning new words from English sentences, studying the sound and spelling of new words, connecting new words with synonyms and antonyms, using verbal and written repetition, and learning new words from English media. The analysis found no significant differences between or within vocabulary learning strategy groups based on gender. The qualitative results revealed participants perceived guessing the meaning from context and dictionary use to be very helpful when learning new English vocabulary. In addition, they believed a monolingual dictionary was a valuable strategy to learn other aspects of vocabulary knowledge as well as improve their writing and reading ability. All participants agreed their reading fluency and vocabulary knowledge had improved in the US due to several activities in English as a second language (ESL) centers or during their studies. Extensive reading in ESL centers was reported as the most effective way to improve their reading fluency and vocabulary.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest