English language teaching in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Past, present and beyond

Brendan MITCHELL, Abdulrahman ALFURAIH

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


2014 realized the introduction of a comprehensive English language teaching curriculum, the English Language Curriculum for Elementary, Intermediate and Secondary Schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Grades 4 – 12, 2014 – 2020. This research paper seeks to provide an inclusive timeline of the development (English language) education from the time King AbdulAziz Ibn Saud united the Arabian Peninsula and created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The chronology of English language curriculum reforms and education development provide evidence of a country seeking to define itself. Oil wealth drastically altered the Kingdom’s fortunes and provided it with choices, development and opportunities. Recently, Tatweer Company for Educational Services in partnership with the Ministry of Education has provided customized English language textbooks and supplementary material complemented by a range of professional development programs. However, as recent research suggests there is more than needs to be done to support the continual improvement in the learning and teaching of English as the Kingdom continues to move into the developed world with less reliance on oil and a focus on becoming a knowledge based society. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program and Vision 2030 support and provide the blueprint for this goal to be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalMediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Education development
  • English language
  • reform
  • teaching initiatives


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