Date of Award

6-2018

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Ettien Koffi

Third Advisor

Sharon Cogdill

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

L2, Social Network, SNA, Input Hypothesis.

Abstract

The number of Saudi international students pursuing higher education in the United States has risen significantly over the past decade. Research indicates that people’s social networks are an important source of language input. In this study, our main focus was the language input that Saudi students receive while studying in the United States. This study analyzed the social networks of 20 Saudi students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at four Midwestern universities.

The aim of this analysis was to understand the choices that Saudi learners of English establish beyond the regular classroom, to explain and even predict the development of learners’ oral communication skills. The sample included 76 people across the 20 social networks, only 19 of whom were native speakers of English. The Saudi students in this study spent an average of 672 hours in weekly interactions with friends within their social networks. The interaction time was divided as follows: 150 hours spent talking to native speakers of English, 101 hours with non-native speakers of English, and 421 hours with Arabic speakers. The analysis of the social networks highlighted Saudi students’ interactional forms. Research findings are discussed based on the Social Network Analysis and on Krashens’s i+1 Input Hypothesis.

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