Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Curtis Porter, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David I. Hanauer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.


This study investigated nine Saudi participants' perceptions of expressing the emotion of fear in Arabic and in English. It studied, in depth, potential barriers and opportunities of using poetry to express this emotion. Most participants reported a willingness to express their emotions through poetry writing. This willingness was challenged by the inherited poetry writing rules and by the culturally situated assumptions, such as the notion that poetry writing is an innate gift, poetry writing has rules that should be respected, and the potential difficulties that some students might experience when asked to apply emotional writing. Other challenges that were reported including the lack of English lexical items needed to reflect the participants' emotions in their second language, as well as the lack of previous creative writing activities in language classrooms in both languages. Overall, the findings showed how nine Saudi male English speakers perceived writing poetry as a suggested pedagogical activity in Saudi language classrooms to reposition learners to be the center of the learning/teaching process.