Error Treatment in Teaching English to EFL Adult Learners: A Study in Current English Language Teaching Practices in Native/Non-Native Divide Context in Saudi Arabia

Muhammad Sabboor Hussain Raja, Khaled Basher Albasher, Aisha Farid


The purpose of this article is to investigate EFL teachers’ (native and non-native) practices regarding error treatment in teaching English to adult learners in Saudi Arabia. It determines the advantages of current teaching practices in native/non-native divide paradigm, and finds out what care and cautions need to be taken while correcting the errors committed by EFL learners to obtain the desired results. Data were collected by the administering a five-point Likert-scale survey to 50 EFL teachers, 25 natives and 25 non-natives. T-tests for the independence or association between the attributes were run using SPSS version 14. Both qualitative and quantitative research tools were administered to get the relevant data. The qualitative tool of interviews was used and ten teachers (five natives and five non-natives) were interviewed to serve the research purpose. The qualitative and quantitative data was included to complement each other and validate the research at the same time. The results confirmed that all the EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether they were natives or non-natives, were generally more severe about errors by students. The results of the study also revealed that although teachers believed that students were prone to commit errors, they asserted that students’ written errors must be immediately corrected and comments must be given. However, they were in favor of not only peer feedback but also believed that grammatical errors in oral communication should not always be corrected. The results of the t-test revealed that there were no statistically significant differences in the approach to grammar errors between the native and non-native EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia. This paper intends to pave the way to create self-awareness among EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia to analyze their teaching practices while addressing the learners’ errors and bring an improvement in this regard.


error treatment; native-non-native divide; adult learners; EFL context

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