This study examines the perceptions of Saudi Arabian recipients of the King Abdullah
Scholarship studying in the Intensive English Program at the University of Minnesota. It
provides insight about their goals, the challenges they face, and the success they achieve, as well
as their perceptions of the IEP program itself. Using qualitative analysis methods, the results of
individual interviews conducted with the participants were examined in order to learn about
these perceptions as described by the participants themselves. In general, there is remarkably
little research targeting this particular population, and this study takes steps towards filling that
gap. The study finds that the participants’ goals and experiences are diverse in terms of both their
specificity and their chosen fields of study. It also finds that their perceptions of their own
strengths and weaknesses are highly insightful, and that they may run counter to commonly held
beliefs. The successes and challenges discussed by the participants also go far beyond language
to include cultural exchange, living independently, and administrative issues. In addition, the
study finds that the participants have generally positive perceptions of the IEP program, and that
they are adaptive to their environment at the same time that their individual and national
identities are being shaped and continuing to evolve. Finally, the study indicates some
implications for teachers and administrators regarding the explicitness of expectations, the
awareness of the challenges students face, and the development of personal relationships for the
benefit of student learning.
Key words: Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Scholarship Program, IEP
1 online resource (PDF, 65 pages). Submitted April, 2014 as a Plan B paper in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota.
Kronick, Leah Claire.
Saudi Arabian scholarship students in MELP's IEP: Goals, successes, and challenges.
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