Chinese Language in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and Recommendations


  •  Hammad Ali Alshammari    

Abstract

This study identifies potential challenges for learners, teachers, and curriculum designers regarding the recent inclusion of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) in the Saudi education system, according to an in-depth review of previous research. This review focused on issues related to CFL learning, pedagogy, and curriculum. Factors were grouped into five categories: 1) CFL learning difficulty, 2) learner motivation and aptitude, 3) learner culture, 4) pedagogical effectiveness, and 5) curriculum design. To gain a deeper understanding, a sample of 25 foreign language learners and 15 curriculum designers was selected randomly from a university in the north of Saudi Arabia to complete a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were employed to highlight the most important issues. The data analysis revealed serious concerns among CFL learners, such as language difficulty, learner motivation and aptitude, and learner culture. CFL pedagogy could also pose a challenge. However, no concerns were found related to CFL curriculum. Implications and recommendations are offered to help incorporate CFL into the Saudi education system and encourage further research.



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