Journal article
Teaching with Relevance: Saudi Students’ Perceptions of a Foundation Course in Communication Skills


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Publication Details
Author list: Deraney, Philline M.
Publisher: International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Publication year: 2021
Journal: International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Journal acronym: IJLTER
Volume number: 20
Issue number: 2
Start page: 197
End page: 217
Number of pages: 21
ISSN: 1694-2493
Web of Science ID:
PubMed ID:
Scopus ID:
eISSN: 1694-2116
Languages: English-United States


Abstract. This study explores undergraduate students' perceptions of a 

foundation-year communication skills course at a large public university 

in Saudi Arabia from the aspects of perceived course effectiveness and 

relevance using a cross-sectional survey research design. The survey 

yielded scaled and short-answer responses, which were then analyzed 

using statistical and thematic analyses. The results revealed that first-year undergraduate students (n=209) in this study perceive communication skills as important for their future career and in major 

areas of their lives, and consider being a ’good’ communicator as part of 

their cultural and religious heritage. Participants further define 

communication skills as predominantly an oral, information transfer that 

builds relationships with others from interpersonal and intercultural 

aspects. The findings also revealed disagreement and uncertainty about 

the communication course focus and requirement, relevance of course 

assignments and materials, and language of instruction. 

Recommendations for teaching communication skills with relevance in 

this context include explicit, focused communication instruction, student-centered practical activities with cultural relevance, and, moving 

forward, coursework that integrates the communication discipline with 

the needs of the students’ academic fields. Future research in this area 

could enhance teaching communication skills in the Saudi context and 

lead to more relevant instruction that could positively impact students in 

their professional lives.


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Last updated on 2021-16-10 at 19:41