Problems and Challenges Faced by EFL Students of Saudi Arabia during COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Tawhida Akhter

Keywords: EFL language learning, listening, speaking, reading, writing, COVID-19, online teaching problems


The teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is very interesting but at the same time is considered difficult particularly for those students who have read most of the subjects of their courses in their mother tongue. The four skills viz, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing are necessary for learning a foreign language and an imbalance in any skill can hamper the whole process. All the skills are important but during present pandemic situation listening skill is considered as a problematic skill particularly in a foreign language context where practice opportunities are limited because of the world pandemic COVID-19 that hampered all our teaching and learning process. This study aimed to explore the problems and challenges faced by EFL students because of the limited resources. An online survey method was followed to collect data from a group of Saudi EFL students (n = 100) using the Listening Comprehension Processing Problems Questionnaire. The results indicated that these students experienced moderate to high levels of difficulty in all the skills particularly in ‘Listening’ because of limited resources. The findings are expected to have useful implications for teachers who intend to address these problems of EFL learners. Analysis of the findings revealed that most of the students encountered problems in listening most of the times during online classes sometimes because of physical and sometimes other barriers. Discussion and implications of these findings are presented