Every year, thousands of people from all over the world travel to Saudi Arabia to teach English. As well, yearly, thousands of Saudi students receive a large portion of their English education from these expatriate teachers. Despite the millions of dollars spent on this educational process, the linguistic impact suffers greatly from a lack of understanding between teacher and student, often caused by undiscussed misconceptions. This paper is written in an effort to open a dialogue about the problems of motivation in the Saudi college and university prep-year programs. It analyzes student motivation using three different research techniques, and posits solutions to increase student performance at both the institutional and classroom level. In particular this paper asks the question of how much effect a foreign teacher can have on any one student given the vast differences that can exist between them. It seeks to situate the effect of a teacher on a student’s life amongst the effect of other factors that come into play including friends, family, educational background, socioeconomic class and religion.