The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

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




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Edward Sadrai

Third Advisor

Ramon Serrano

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

Saudi Arabian, L2 Motivational Self System, Madkhali, SACM, Motivation, ESL, King Abdullah Scholarship, Social Group, Dornyei theory, ESL context



A huge number of Saudi students come to study at American colleges every year. Most of those students have to work on their English language to become proficient enough to start taking classes in colleges. To do so, they need to study at Intensive English Programs in U.S. This research was oriented to Saudi students at American Intensive English Programs. It aims to examine: the internal motivation of those students that describes by Dörnyei's concept of L2 Motivational Self System, what type of motivation might lead to use English outside classrooms, and what motivate them to learn English language.

In order to investigate that, a piloted questionnaire used in former studies was translated to Arabic language and distributed electronically to them. Collected data from 103 participants was subjected to statistical tests to draw the conclusion. Most results were similar to previous studies and proved the effectiveness of the theory of L2 Motivational Self System. Saudi students have Interest in learning English, which was the motivation led them to learn the language. Also, they showed a degree of maintaining their cultural identity and present it to other cultures, which explains why they are learning English language. Finally, the study is opened for further investigations that researchers might look at it from different angles.



First of all, I am grateful to The Almightily Allah for establishing me to complete this work.

To my family, especially to my great grand mother, grand mother, mother, father, sisters and brothers for their moral and support. I wish to express the deepest appreciation to my committee chair and academic advisor, Dr. James Robinson, who has the attitudes and the substance of a genius. Without his advice and persistent help this thesis would not have been possible. I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. Edward Sadrai and Dr. Ramon Serrano, who helped and encouraged me since the first semester.