The evolving digitization of teaching and learning in higher education institutions requires students to be digitally literate (Miller 2015). Despite the echoes of being “digital natives” (Prensky 2001), many EFL students experience difficulties when locating, retrieving, evaluating, and synthesizing digital information at their disposal, especially when the information is in English. To this end, this study is conducted to scrutinize the relationship between EFL students’ second language (L2) digital literacy skills and strategies (DLSs) self-efficacy and their English proficiency level. A total of 93 Saudi students majoring in English at Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University were surveyed for their English proficiency level and their abilities to use three major domains of digital literacy skills. The data were analyzed statistically using descriptive measures and ANOVA. The results revealed a significant positive correlation between English proficiency and L2 DLSs. Students with intermediate and upper-intermediate English levels displayed low efficacy in their abilities to navigate, evaluate, and synthesize online information compared to advanced English users. The study concluded that students with higher English proficiency are more responsive to digital literacy skills and can perform well in digitally enhanced environments than basic English users. Pedagogical implications and areas for future research are discussed.
Nuha Abdullah Alsmari
Digital literacy, English proficiency, L2 digital literacy skills, Saudi EFL learners, self-efficacy