The Impact of English as an International Language (EIL) upon Arabic in Saudi Arabia

| December 28, 2008
The Impact of English as an International Language (EIL) upon Arabic in Saudi Arabia

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Reima Al Jarf
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Bio Data
Reima Al-Jarf is a professor at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she has taught courses in EFL, ESP, linguistics, and translation to graduate and undergraduate students. She has four books and 66 articles published in refereed international and national journals. She has given 100 presentations and attended about 150 conferences in 25 countries (USA, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Iran, Ukraine, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Cyprus, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia). She is a member of 22 professional organizations and serves on international and national committees.

The study investigated college students views of the status of English and Arabic in Saudi Arabia in the 21st century, and their attitudes towards using English and Arabic as a medium of instruction at the university level. Findings showed that 96% of the participants consider English a superior language, being an international language, and the language of science and technology, research, electronic databases and technical terminology. Eighty two percent believe that Arabic is more appropriate for teaching religion, history, Arabic literature and education majors, whereas English is more appropriate for teaching medicine, pharmacy, engineering, science, nursing, and computer science. They gave many educational, technological, social and labor market reasons for favoring the English language. The study concluded that Arabic is facing a serious threat from the dominance of English language in higher education, because of the lack of language planning and linguistic policies that protect, develop and promote the Arabic language, because of the slow Arabicization processes in the Arab world, and inadequacy of technical material translated and published in Arabic.

See page 193-210

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 10 Issue 4