Title

AN ANALYTIC STUDY OF THE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY SKILL OF EGYPTIAN COLLEGE STUDENTS LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Date of Completion

January 1986

Keywords

Education, Language and Literature

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study is intended to analyze the language proficiency skill of a sample of Egyptian college students learning English as a foreign language (EFL).^ The focus of the study is to test whether language proficiency is a global factor that can not be broken down into discernible component skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing or it is divisible into separable components that could be recognized and tested in isolation.^ The sample of the study includes the fourth year college students who are at the final year of their B.A. program and who upon graduation will be teachers of EFL in the preparatory and secondary schools in Egypt.^ The tools of the study are: the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) which has three subtests: Listening & Comprehension, Structure & Written Expression and Vocabulary & Reading Comprehension, a Cloze test, and a Dictation test.^ Factor analysis is the statistical technique used for testing the hypothesis. The results did not support the hypothesis and two factors showed up instead of one global factor as the hypothesis states. The results implied that the language proficiency skill of this sample is explained by two factors rather than one. Results showed the TOEFL subtests load on one factor, while the Cloze and Dictation tests load on another factor. Correlation coefficients among the TOEFL subtests are positive and much higher than those between Cloze and Dictation.^ To this researcher's knowledge this is the first study of that type to be conducted in Egypt or in the Arab countries that approaches the issue of proficiency in EFL. Most of the studies if not all were concerned with achievement in specific areas of language rather than proficiency.^ Generalizations are limited to the sample and more research is needed in this area with the introduction of more variables and more reliable tests specially with respect to cloze and dictation which are not widely used in the Egyptian education system whether as teaching or assessment devices. ^