How Parents Promote English and Arabic Language Proficiency in Elementary School Children in Saudi Arabia

Elementary school children, Saudi children, learning English, learning Arabic, family support

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August 30, 2022

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In Saudi Arabia, English is taught starting from kindergarten at National Public and Private Schools. At International schools, English is the medium of instruction. This study aims to explore how parents promote children’s language development, their evaluation of their children’s proficiency level, which language the children use in communicating with family members and on WhatsApp. Surveys with parents revealed that English is stronger and preferred by children in International Schools and many children in Private Schools. More parents worry about their children’s proficiency level in English than Arabic and promote English more than Arabic. Watching English cartoons and movies, using English educational and entertainment apps/programs, playing English games, and enrolling the children in English courses during holidays are common home-based activities. To promote Arabic, some parents hire a tutor. Others encourage their children to read Arabic stories and watch Arabic cartoons. Results and recommendations are given in detail.