Linguistic Behaviours Of English Language Use In Saudi Arabic-English Folks From The Perspectives Of 2030 Saudi Vision

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Eissa. Al Khotaba & Fahad Alzahrani


This study aimed at examining the linguistic behaviors of language use in Saudi Arabic families from the perspective of the 2030 Saudi vision. It attempted to analyze the declared family language uses of Arabic-English bilingual families residing in major cities in Saudi Arabia, as well as how a group of family exterior and interior social factors related to the discrepancies in these performances. The theoretical framework of the study is based on Spolsky's (2004) dimensions of social factors. 500 respondents participated in this study, mainly Arabic-English bilingual families comprising two parents, in which one of the parents is an L1 Arabic speaker, and the other one is an L1 English speaker, considering the same for their children. The researcher(s) used a questionnaire survey to collect data from the participants analyzed by adopting non-parametric statistics. The questionnaire was based on De Houwer’s (1999) five-point semantic differential language use scale. Despite the preference for the English language from parents, their children are more likely to show the tendency to use Arabic when mixing with other family members, which can be considered as a signal of the effect of a broader social and linguistic behavior on language use at home. Results of the study showed that many social internal and external social factors related to the discrepancies in emerging language use amongst Saudi-Arabic families, main viz., parental profession, the traveling background of the parents, family spousal status, parents’ participation in family-child English interaction groups, and whether one of the parents was the L1 user. Other factors relate to the family's academic background revealed no significant correlation with stated language use in these families. This study recommends that Saudi family raise their children in a bilingual setting where Arabic and English be scaled in society and the effects of this globally which is the goal of vision 2030 in the region. The research also represents the multifaceted, setting-sensitive case that is experienced when trying to realize family language strategies more clearly.

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