English Language Instruction in EFL Contexts
Employability, English Proficiency and Communicative Ability in the Arabian Gulf
Abstract: The English language’s dominant role in a number of domains around the world, including business, education, international communications, and technology, is readily witnessed across the societies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The centrality of English to the education systems and private enterprises of the Arab Gulf is associated with a situation in which proficiency and communicative competence in the language is one of the key determiners of an individual’s employability. However, despite the importance of English as lingua franca and/or unofficial second language across much of the region, evidence suggests that many Arab Gulf graduates lack the kind of proficiency in the language that allows them to join the workforce as effective and valued members. This paper, therefore, acknowledges the central role English plays in the nations of the region, before examining the necessity of developing learners’ communicative competence in English in order to improve their chances of gaining employment upon graduation. Important challenges to improving English language proficiency in particular and employability in general are identified, before a number of steps to help address these issues are offered.
Keywords: communicative skills, English, employability, Oman
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