Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Stacy E. Wahl


Colleges in Saudi Arabia require students to take content classes in English. As the number of English learners in Riyadh continues to grow, it is important to retain quality English as Second Language (ESL) teachers. The problem investigated in this study was the high attrition of female expatriates teaching ESL at an all-female university. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore teacher and administrators' perceptions about the attrition of female expatriate ESL teachers at the university. The conceptual framework was Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory, which focuses on influences that motivate or demotivate employees. The research questions explored why female ESL instructors leave their teaching positions. Data were collected through SKYPE interviews with 4 ESL experienced instructors, 4 ESL novice instructors, and 4 ESL program administrators. The data were analyzed for emerging themes using an open coding process. Three themes emerged from the analysis: poor long-term planning, lack of employee recognition, and lack of leadership professionalism. These findings were used to develop a 3-day professional development workshop for human resource representatives, university administrators, deans, and ESL instructors. The workshop promoted the collaboration of key stakeholders to develop strategies aimed at reducing teacher attrition through improved long-term planning, the implementation of incentives to recognize exemplary professional practice through the development of a faculty council, and interventions and training to improve leadership styles. This study was expected to contribute to positive social change by offering university administrators an opportunity to decrease ESL teacher attrition and increase teacher satisfaction, which, in turn, may positively influence students' achievement of their educational goals.