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Bridging the Gap between Education and Employment

English Language Instruction in EFL Contexts

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Edited By Rahma Al-Mahrooqi and Christopher Denman

Graduate employability is often put forth as a marker of the success of a given institution or education system. High rates of school and university graduates in jobs offer a number of potential advantages for a country, including encouraging social mobility, increasing citizen participation and social stability, and making national economies more productive. The importance of achieving these and many other associated outcomes has recently received greater attention in many developing nations; this is especially the case in those countries where English assumes an important role as a mediator of educational and economic success. A number of authors claim that the gap between education, training and employment can be closed through the development of academic and employment skills such as motivation, time management, literacy and communication competence. This book explores the ways in which communication and literacy skills can be developed through English language instruction in EFL settings to help bring together the aims and outcomes of education and employment.
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Employability, English Proficiency and Communicative Ability in the Arabian Gulf

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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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