The Discourse of Global English and its Representation in the Saudi Context: A Postmodernist Critical Perspective



Drawing on a postmodern critical inquiry, this chapter attempts to relate aspects of English language education to broader sociopolitical issues in Saudi Arabia. It examines the global spread of English and its role in shaping English language education policy and practice in public education and reports on findings obtained from a group of Saudi English language teaching (ELT) teachers and students. A qualitative approach has been adopted, in which two methods of data collection are used: documentary analysis and semistructured interviews.The study carries a moral and ethical dimension as it aims to empower the participants, both students and teachers, and to open up the practice of English language education to new possibilities. Through problematizing practices, the study seeks to prompt participants to rethink basic notions about the phenomenon of global English by “estranging” the familiar.

The study is best seen as part of the current debate over the hegemony of global English vis-à-vis postcolonial relationships and domination. It should be noted here that the intention in carrying out the present research was not to undermine the role that English language can play in furthering the potential of Saudi students to effectively contribute to the social growth of their nation. Rather, the aim was to initiate a debate about issues that have been taken for granted by calling into question any attempt to establish the dominance of English over Arabic, and consequently, contributing to the marginalization of the latter.


Global English Domination Medium of instruction Politics of English Saudi context 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TabukTabukSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.University of ExeterDevonUK

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