International Journal of English Language and Translation Studies (May 2018)

Study of Cultural Challenges Faced by the Arab Learners of English in the United States of America

  • Al Tiyb Al Khaiyali,
  • Nadia A. Nuseir,
  • Rawia Kharruba

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 06, no. 02
pp. 36 – 40


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Learning English poses many challenges to ESL/ EFL learners. These challenges are often attributed to differences in two different languages and the two different teaching and learning environments. However, along with the language teaching and learning related difficulties, ESL/EFL learners from certain communities also face other challenges due to cultural differences. This is quite noticeable in relation to Arab learners travelling to western countries like USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. Arab learners have to face cultural racism and negativity while studying and living in these countries. The negative portrayal of Muslims, particularly of the Arabs, has stereotyped Muslims and Arabs into certain types which further complicate their problems. They face difficulties in expressing their cultural and religious needs and adjusting in completely new and different culture. Being such students in the United States of America and having faced this problem personally, we have attempted to offer an overview of these cultural challenges faced by the Arab learners who travel to the States to pursue their higher educations. It is expected that the findings of the study may help the institutions and teachers in developing a teaching framework which would assist the Arab learners in overcoming their cultural challenges and coping with the same in the western countries like the USA