Issues of Language, Culture, and Identity
Edited By Ahmad Al-Issa and Laila S. Dahan
Silvia Pessoa and Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar - 6 The Impact of English-medium Higher Education: The Case of Qatar -153
Silvia Pessoa and Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar 6 The Impact of English-medium Higher Education: The Case of Qatar Abstract While the spread of English has led to the increasing development of world bilin- gualism and all its benefits, in recent years the colonial heritage of English as the language of western cultural domination has come under scrutiny alongside the rise of globalization. Qatar is no exception to these tensions, particularly as it has invited and encouraged the promotion of English-medium education in order to participate in the era of globalization. While the spread of English in Qatar is in tandem with its modernization and rapid development, some fear that progress is in contradiction with Muslim culture and that the spread of English may cause Arabic language loss. Despite this reality, there has been little documented research on youth attitudes towards English in Qatar because it is generally assumed that the young embrace all signs of modernity without any reservations. This chapter reports on a pilot study examining undergraduate students’ perspectives on the impact of English-medium education on Arab and Muslim culture, language, and identity through a survey, self- assessments of language abilities, focus groups, and personal interviews. Fifty students from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Qatar University were surveyed and a sample participated in a focus group or an individual interview. The findings indi- cate that while academic and professional uses of Arabic may be lost in the future, students understand the complexity of their reality embracing their bilingualism and cultural...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.