Research Article

The Impact of Students’ Proficiency in English on Science Courses in a Foundation Year Program


  • Mohammed Siddique Kadwa Language Specialist, Taibah University, Saudi Arabia
  • Hamza Alshenqeeti Associtae Professor, Taibah University, Saudi Arabia


English plays a crucial role in determining a student’s academic success and career path in Saudi Arabia. This is one of the reasons why all Saudi Arabian universities offer mandatory foundation year programs to university entrants. The assumption is that if a student has high proficiency levels in the English language, the student will be able to meet the challenges and demands of other science courses that are taught in the English language in the first-year program as well as the subsequent bachelor's programs. In order to prepare students for academic success, the trend at Saudi Arabian universities is to use US or UK publishers to provide the resources for its curriculum which is based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). This study investigates the relationship between Saudi Arabian university students’ English language levels and their performance in science courses in a foundation year program. Using Oxford University’s Q: Skills Placement Test, quantitative data is used to establish the students’ language levels according to the internationally accepted CEFR scales. The scores were then correlated with students’ overall averages in the science courses.  Data was gathered over a period of five academic years and statistical analyses were conducted using Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient formula and scatter plots. The findings and conclusions have serious implications for curriculum designers at Saudi Arabian universities as well as institutions of higher learning in the Middle East and the Arab world.  

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

3 (11)





How to Cite

Kadwa, M. S. ., & Alshenqeeti, H. . (2020). The Impact of Students’ Proficiency in English on Science Courses in a Foundation Year Program. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 3(11), 55–67.



EFR, English, foundation year program, placement test, proficiency