Teaching English as Discourse in Sultan Qaboos University

Khalid Mohammed Al Balushi


In this paper, I argue that English could be of more relevance to the Arabian Gulf if we conceptualize it as an educational forum for familiarizing students with socio-linguistic conventions relating to a wide variety of text types and for sharpening their critical awareness of the political implications of the uses of English. Making my case against the backdrop of a particular local context in the Gulf: the current BA programme in the English Department, College of Arts and Social Science in Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman, I maintain that the programme is predicated upon conceiving of English as a field (or rather fields) of knowledge, as academic disciplines of English literature, linguistics and translation, each with its own sets of concepts and frames of reference. As such, the programme both falls short of being fully theoretically coherent and fails to take into account the recent educational developments in Oman as well as the career anxieties of students. Drawing upon the theoretical construct of discourse, I propose an outline of an alternative BA programme that revolves around the uses of English and their political implications.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v7.n1.18