An Inquiry into the Intentions of the English Language Curriculum in Saudi Arabia

Brendan MITCHELL, Brian LEWTHWAITE, Margaret Anne CARTER

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The research described and reported on in this article focuses on an analysis of the current English language curriculum in Saudi Arabia and the documents and underlying influences on its construction. The investigation involved a document analysis in order to identify associated curriculum orientations (Eisner, 1985) to determine what Saudi Arabia is seeking to achieve in the current English language curriculum. The analysis revealed that the current curriculum is clearly defined with attention to alignment between national education goals and economic development whilst ensuring that educational practices are consistent with Islamic beliefs. In brief, as evidenced in the documents, the analysis reveals that the imperative of education in Saudi Arabia is to establish a ‘Saudized’ knowledge-based economy; and English language acquisition is seen to be a means by which this imperative is to be fostered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
JournalWorld Studies in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • English language
  • Saudi Arabia
  • curriculum
  • document analysis
  • orientations
  • reform


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