6 pages/≈1650 words
The Need for English Language in the Saudi Arabia Education System (Thesis Proposal Sample)
A Modern Approach to Curriculum Development: The Need for English Language in the Saudi Arabia Education System
Name of Student
Globalization poses many challenges to societies that are still steeped in their traditional worldviews. This is because the modern world requires individuals who understand other cultures to enable them function effectively in a globalized social, educational, and economic environment. One way of overcoming the challenges of globalization is developing an education system that produces globally conscious individuals. To achieve this goal, a universal language is necessary to allow effective cross-cultural interaction and communication. This essay discusses the challenges that face Saudi Arabia with regards to the medium of instruction in the education system. The paper highlights the two conflicting views regarding the integration of English language into the curriculum. It provides the arguments advanced by the traditional theorists who argue that the local language is sufficient to meet the country’s needs, and the modern theorists who support a universally recognized language as a means of equipping learners with relevant skills to function in a global environment. Finally, it emphasizes the necessity of adopting the modern approach as a way of developing a curriculum that will meet the needs of individuals who will be required to function in a multicultural environment.
One of the most visible impacts of globalization is the breaking down of the socio-economic and cultural barriers that hindered interaction of different cultures from interacting with each other. Language is one of the key drivers of this process because it bridges the linguistic gap between people from different racial and cultural backgrounds. A universal language not only offers a medium for cross-cultural communication, but also provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, technologies, and cultural transformation as well as for facilitating international trade. Consequently, any society that fails to learn a universally recognized language risks isolation from the rest of the world. On this front, the English language has emerged as a global language that is used in many countries around the world. The international significance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a leading oil exporter necessitates the need for a universal language that she can use to do business with other nations. However, Saudi Arabia is one of the countries whose acquisition of the language has lagged behind other countries. For a long time, her education curriculum has relied on the Arabic language, and it is not until recently that English was introduced it the curriculum. Regardless, the issue of whether or not Saudi Arabia should acquire English as a second language has generated a lot of controversy among Saudi scholars. Whereas some argue that the kingdom’s native language (Arabic) is sufficient for her social, cultural, educational, and economic needs, others contend that acquiring a second language (English) is necessary. They posit that English will not only help the country integrate easily in the global environment, but also facilitate the adoption of technology, which has become the major driver of educational and economic activities. This section of the research discusses the different views held by the opponents and proponents for the integration of English language into the Saudi Arabian education curriculum. In the end, this essay asserts the need to adopt a theoretical framework that will guide the acquisition of a universal language without eroding the country’s culture, social values and beliefs, or compromise people’s aspirations.
The Traditional and Modern Perspectives
In every society, education plays an important role in social and economic transformation; it equips learners with the necessary social and intellectual skills that enable them to be self reliant and effective members of the society. It opens learners to opportunities to better their lives and serve their community effectively. Language plays a central role in the dissemination of this knowledge. Towards this end, critics English argue that the local language is better equipped to serve the needs of a society (Marjanovic, Kranjc, & Fekonja, 2000, p.40). They subscribe to the traditional model which lays emphasis on vocational training, which equips learners with skills the guarantee self-reliance. Consequently, learners are not provided with sufficient ESL skills that will enable them fit in a global and dynamic environment. These theorists contend that the local language is the best medium of school instruction because
Theorists, who are allied to the traditional view that the native language are educated individuals requires restriction to their own society to be of any functional value (Ratcliff, 1992, p.31). In justifying their position, they observe that a curriculum that focuses (entirely) on the local values tend to empower the community because those who graduate from institutions of higher learning focus on helping their own people. Secondly, they contend that grass root level empowerment is necessary to drive social development. Accordingly, inculcating learners in their culture using their native language empowers them with the knowledge relevant to local needs. Integration with other societies, should the need arise, should not be forced but left to progress gradually as time and circumstances may dictate. Thirdly, they argue that a good curriculum should focus on preparing learners to serve their own people, as opposed to producing learners who will desert their society. The traditional theorists are informed by the logic that societies that have their elite within reach handle their problems in an efficient manner because they (the elite) are highly influential.
On the other hand, the modern theorists believe that an effective curriculum should be guided by an international perspective. This will equip learners with relevant knowledge that will enable them adapt to global changes and embrace diversity as a way addressing local and global challenges (Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design, 2010, p.76). The modern theorist argues that the world is a unit and, therefore, all people should work together to ensure integration in social, political, and economic spheres. To achieve this goal, it is of paramount importance to develop a curriculum that will help learners fit in a global setting from their early years of life. Children educated in such a curriculum will grow with an attitude that makes them fit in cross-cultural environments and solve problems effectively. Considering that each society plays a role in the collective advancement of the world, it is necessary for all societies to be active participants in global activities. The acquisition of a common language makes this role possible by producing learners who can interact and work with people from different parts of the world (Wilson, 2003, p. 76). Emphasis on a local language, in contrast, hinders this kind of association because of lack of a common code of communication.
The modern theorists aim to eliminate the barriers of cross-cultural communication by proposing a curriculum that places emphasis on the learning of at least one international language. Effective cross-cultural communication is particularly necessary to promote intercultural understanding as a means of facilitating coexistence, tolerance, and international cooperation. As such, a god curriculum should embrace ...
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