Huda Yahya Khoja

Huda Yahya Khoja


I would like to examine the effect of supplementing reading texts with an L1 translation glossary for L2 collocations for Saudi foundation-year students. The study will aim to enhance Saudi learners’ ability to acquire and understand L2 collocations within a reading text using L1 glossaries. A mixed methods approach will be used to answer the following research questions:

  1.  Does L1 translation glossary of collocations help in learning and recognizing collocations more sufficiently? 
  2.  Compared to L2 based-context only, does the L1 translation reflect a better understanding and use of collocations to learners?
  3.  Would the translated glossary help students to comprehend L2 reading texts more fully?
  4.  Are L2 collocations with L1 cognates learnt better than those with no cognates?


Joining the European Languages Department at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to pursue my Bachelor degree in English was a radical shift in my life. I finished high school with a percentage of 98% specializing in Science. Due to my family's medical background, I was expected to attend medical school but my keen interest in English propelled me elsewhere.

My first work experience was a summer job when I was a college senior; I joined a local English newspaper, the Saudi Gazette, as a free-lance reporter. However, since I always wanted to become an English teacher, I applied as a teaching assistant in the English Language Institute (ELI) at KAU in 2008. By that time, I had already started my Master's Degree in English Literature. Additionally, in 2011, I joined TESOL Arabia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Association of Language Teachers (KSAALT). I attended a number of conferences in Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh.  After receiving my MA degree with honors, I was promoted to a lecturer. I have taught different levels of students and a variety of ESL books. Besides teaching, my duties include managing exam procedures and grading, a sensitive and crucial part at the ELI.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I would like to contribute to ELI's (the place I work for) development by using it for my fieldwork and applying new methodologies of language teaching to its students. I am sure the ELI will be a fruitful source for data collection, then an encouraging environment for application.

I am looking forward to focusing on vocabulary teaching and learning. This is why I am applying to the PhD in Education Program at the University of Leeds (Language Teaching Department). I believe that an exposure to another university than that from which I earned my BA and MA would elevate my academic performance in the ELI. University of Leeds is well-known for its up-to-date programs, research practice, and staff members.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

There have been some studies that explored L1 translation in teaching foreign language vocabulary. However, I haven't come across any with that specifically uses L1 translation glossary for collocations within a reading text. Such a gap grew my interest of in pursuing this study. Also, to my knowledge, Arabic contributions within the field of teaching vocabulary through reading, especially Saudi ones, are rare. Thus, by answering the proposed research questions I aim to provide a Saudi contribution to foreign language teaching methodology that is of collocation teaching through L1 translation in L2 reading

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

My plans are to apply this method of teaching in the place I work, and share the outcomes of this research in local and global magazines, seminars and conferences. Also, gaps or further questions which might appear after completing my research will encourage to carry on exploring and researching.