International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online)

Grammar Accuracy, Language Threshold Level, and Degree of Bilingualism in the Saudi EFL Learner’s Interlanguage
Jamel Chaaraoui

As Second language learning (SL) process begins, a new linguistic system called interlanguage, starts to shape up in the learner’s perception, and bilingualism starts to exist. More exposure to the target language (TL) leads to better knowledge of its grammatical system, less dependence on the mother tongue (L1), more symmetrical interlanguage, and more balanced bilingualism. To ascertain how those sizes interact in the SL learning process, the present cross-sectional study aims at investigating the English grammar global accuracy of the Saudi foundation students at the English Language Institute, King Abdul Aziz University. Grammar accuracy displays the degree of L2 competence, amount of bilingualism, and the level of language threshold in Cummins’ (1976) terms. The videotaped oral presentation tests of 50 students’, science-oriented and arts-oriented were transcribed, segmented in AS-Units, and their grammar errors were identified, described, and analysed in number, percentage, and frequency. The test consisted of two modes of speech: monologue prepared by the students, and a dialogue as an elaboration on the topics already prepared and exposed. The findings have revealed that Saudi EFL learner’s language is grammatically not very accurate and strongly influenced by L1 norms, revealing serious lack of awareness of both lexical and morphological grammar features in both L1 and L2, low L2 threshold level, and a meagre level of bilingualism.

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