The Impact of Using Multimedia on Saudi

Chapter 1



Using multimedia has become very important in facilitating learning among students in various disciplines. In teaching English as a second language, this technique has been found to be very effective. This technique gas a number of potential benefits both the learners and teachers. Multimedia reduces the burden of transferring information from teachers to learners and improves listening skills in students. This section gives an introduction to the study; The Impact of Using Multimedia on Saudi Students Learning the English Language. It outlines potential benefits of multimedia in learning English as a second language.


Research has shown that we understand approximately half of what we hear and can recall only a quarter of what we had heard after a period of two months. This is unfortunate given that we spend 70% of our day in verbal communication of which 45% is spent on listening (Rush, 2002). Listening and reading are among the most important skills in learning the English language as a second language. Al-Hammadi (2011) notes that listening forms the basis for understanding English language as well as the development of other language skills. Essentially, listening is more important than other language skills and it must be put into consideration by teachers to guarantee students a better chance of performance. However, culturing listening habits in students might be cumbersome if teachers are to instill the same through conventional modes of teaching alone. This study focuses on developing good listening skills among students by employing multimedia in teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Saudi Arabia.


Understanding that listening and use of multimedia play a crucial role in teaching and learning the English language will improve the performance of students. It is important to teach students how to listen. In listening classes, teachers normally give students practice in listening but fall short of teaching them listening. Although the practice is important, studies have indicated that it is not enough to ensure that students will acquire enough knowledge in languages. In order to improve students capacity to learn, listening should be reinforced by teaching. However, the latter aspect is yet to be embraced in classroom practice. Using multimedia in teaching would basically break to students the skill of listening into micro-skill components and therefore enable them understand how to listen to English.

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Notably, poor performance in English as a second language is also caused by ineffective listening. Poor listening habits is one of the major causes of ineffective listening among students. Mostly, students acquire poor listening habits through their daily casual conversations during which the art of critical and comprehensive listening is little appreciated. A number of students believe that effective listening is inherited rather than acquired which makes it rather challenging for them to improve on their listening skills. However, students should understand that they can improve their listening skills by practicing good listening habits; it a culture that can be acquired. This study will be beneficial to students as it will enable them to understand that effective listening can be acquired mainly through constant effort.

This study enables students to understand how best one can make use of multimedia. For instance, the internet has an incredibly rich collection of authentic videos as well as audio materials, which are freely available to language teachers and students. However, even individuals who have advanced knowledge on the use of digital technology for other purposes may lack the ability to exploit these resources effectively for learning English as a foreign language. This study demonstrates how effectively students can make use of these web resources to improve learning of ESL in Saudi Arabia (Alshwiah, 2010). The crucial role played by multimedia in facilitating learning of English as second language necessitates this study.

Narrative Hook

Although the use of multimedia has been found to be effective in teaching and learning of ESL, most students in Saudi Arabia have not been given the opportunity to interact with this learning process in order to better their performance. Consequently, most students in Saudi Arabia cannot communicate well in English even after graduation, partly due to the fact that some students fail to practice ESL in a classroom or their teachers normally fail to teach or help them as they should. Most students find it hard to put in the required effort in order to become an effective listener.

In order to perform well in ESL, students must be able to spend more time in practicing listening skills. In addition there is a need of adopting multimedia to reinforce learning of this language in Saudi Arabia learning institutions. This study is particularly important as it is geared towards enabling the teachers to understand that in teaching English as a second language, there is a greater urgency to look beyond traditional ways of teaching using print media. It will help the teachers to reconsider the modes used in preparing students in order to produce students who can suit careers that demand active participation in addition to use of new literacy in this digital age. The study will basically put into consideration the fact that a modern classroom is a Smart classroom which is comprised of video conferencing facilities, data projectors, Wi-Fi connectivity, sound systems, as well as video and data projectors among others.

Potential Benefits

Using multimedia has potential benefits to students and teachers as it reduces the burden of transferring information from teachers to learners (Alshwiah, 2010). In the past, prior to technological advancement, communication between individuals who were far apart was a great challenge. This explains why they missed the greater opportunity, which we have today, to exchange knowledge among them. However, the current trend of increasing in the use of technology, multimedia is increasingly becoming important in teaching. This explains why its use must be embraced in teaching ESL in Saudi Arabia. Basically, technology has made things much easier and has increased students ability to learn and understand languages as well as other disciplines.

Technology has actually proved to be one of the most effective techniques of issuing instructions to students. It has become an essential element in the process of teaching and learning English as a second language. This due to the fact that multimedia makes learning more interesting, enjoyable and useful to students. Using multimedia is important as it can enable students learn more English and its culture. Integration of multimedia in teaching, as well as the learning process of English as a second language in classes, makes learning the language a more active rather than passive process.


Generally, multimedia plays a very crucial role in learning English as a second language (ESL) in Saudi Arabia.

Fatima (2011) defines multimedia as the computer-delivered combination of range of communication elements including sound, texts, photographs, graphics, pictures as well as animation and moving video.

Learning of language is considered as the development of communication skills which makes use of the above mentioned communication elements. Notably, each communication element has its unique role with regards to the messages they relay as well as the responses they evoke in learners. Multimedia is therefore the computer-based delivery of audio, written, video, graphics, written text as well as integration of these elements to produce communication software.

Research Questions

This research investigates the importance of listening skills among student who undertake English as a second language in Saudi Arabia. It gives particular attention to the impact that multimedia have on Saudi students who learn English as a second language. In addition, the paper investigates the challenges that students are likely to meet while learning English as a second language.

Introduction to Following Chapters

The subsequent sections of this study include the literature review, the methodology, appendices and the bibliography section. The literature review gives detailed discussion on the three main techniques for developing listening skills. The techniques discussed include cooperative learning, community learning, as well as online learning techniques. These three techniques employ multimedia in order to improve the students ability to learn ESL. The literature section describes techniques and outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. The methodology section basically outlines the mode of collecting data in order to investigate strategies of teaching listening by using multimedia. Questionnaires will largely be used in data collection during the study and software will then be used to compare data from different samples in order to draw necessary conclusions on the topic of study. Data will be collected from selected schools in Saudi Arabia as this is the main area of focus in this study.

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