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PHD Linguistics, Saudi Arabia

I am a 27-year-old man from Saudi Arabia. Since I was a child, I have been studying English and working to constantly perfect my linguistic abilities in this area. I wish to continue to fully devote myself to helping my people progress in their mastery of English and I look forward to a lifetime of research concerning the special or peculiar challenges faced by TESOL in the KSA. UXXX is my first choice for graduate school because of the excellence of your program and the resources of the surrounding area.

I served as a Teaching Assistant in the English Department in the College of Languages and Translation at my university for 2.5 years, gaining invaluable experience. I taught freshmen college students the basics of English: grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening. I began the Master’s Degree Program in Linguistics at XXXX State University in 2009, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the many courses that I have taken, deepening my understanding of historical linguistics, English syntax, lexicology, and word formation, phonetics and phonology, research methods, language acquisition, and TESOL.

I have also worked as a Teaching Assistant here in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics here at XSU. In this position, I also had the opportunity to work with professors of linguistics from several different countries, helping them with their research and the development of teaching materials. I conducted interviews, distributed questionnaires, recorded teaching sessions, and collected and analyzed data, particularly with respect to the outcomes of teaching methods and responses to experiments. These professional experiences deepened my understanding of language and made me eager to pursue my graduate study in the United States of America.

I especially enjoyed teaching ESL 103A throughout the Fall of 2010. This experience deepened my understanding of language teaching and vastly broadened my pedagogic foundations. Most recently, I have earned my TESL/TEFL Certificate, also from XXXX State University. I am pleased to report that I have a scholarship to pursue the PHD and I am convinced that your program represents the best fit for someone with my background and research interests.

The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to contribute to the development of a better understanding of the process of language acquisition by Arab speakers. I have traveled all over the United States and I have learned to much better detect the subtleties of accent and pronunciation among native speakers of the same language. My interest in the field of linguistics was shaped by my love for language learning and my dedication to multiculturalism. I am fascinated by the similarities and differences found between first and second language acquisition, on the one hand, and students struggling with a new language, on the other. I am especially fascinated by the phonological problems that second language learners face when they come to learn a new language. Problems like stress and intonation are rarely addressed in the context of learning English in Saudi Arabia, presenting a challenge to the learners of English in the mean of comprehensibility. Through my experience of teaching English to college students in Saudi Arabia, I have found that the phonological problems that students have are at the top of the list of linguistic issues for learners in the KSA. Moreover, a lot of students graduate with degrees in English yet can barely understand a native speaker of English or make themselves understood to one. Thus, I would like to do research in the field of second language acquisition with regard to phonological and discourse issues. Through this research, I hope to address difficult problems and work towards finding solutions through the development of methods that can make learning English less stressful, and more natural, facilitating the development of intonation for Arabic speakers of English as a second language.

My long term professional plans as a PHD in English are primarily back in Saudi Arabia. I hope to contribute to the advancement of curriculum development in TESOL and also to promote the study of linguistics in my country. I look forward to doing research into a number of misconceptions about language and language learning in the Saudi Arabian context. It is hoped that this in turn will help to lay a theoretical foundation for the practical improvement of the current conditions of language learning in Saudi Arabia, helping us to better understand ourselves as well as the world around us.

I want very much to study towards the doctorate at UXXX because of your appreciation for diversity and the generally high and intellectually stimulating atmosphere both on and off campus. I am especially fascinated by the research of Professor XXXX in the field of language acquisition and most excited about studying under a wide range of your distinguished faculty members.

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