English communication skills and employability in the Arabian Gulf

The case of Oman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Globalization, the information explosion, and technological advancement have gone hand in hand with the spread of English and its use as a lingua franca worldwide, a phenomenon that necessitated the teaching of English as a foreign language in many countries around the world, with the Arab nations no exception. In Oman, English has been recognized as a necessary tool for advancement and the acquisition of knowledge and technology (Al-Issa, 2007; Al-Mahrooqi, 2012; Al-Mahrooqi & Tuzlukova, 2010). In addition, given the multilingual nature of the workforce, which includes around 500,000 foreign workers, English has become a necessary medium of communication in Omani workplaces, especially in the private sector. Therefore, English has been taught in public schools since 1970 and in higher education since 1986. Unfortunately, higher education students continue to graduate with very weak oral and written communication skills, thus making them unfit for employment in many types of jobs. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of communicative competence among higher education students. It focuses specifically on how adequately linguistic, pragmatic and communicative skills are taught in higher education institutions' language programs. The sample of the study includes 451 students from a number of Omani higher education institutions who answered a 71-item questionnaire on the issue. Forty of the 451 students were also interviewed to investigate the issue further. The results indicate that students are only moderately prepared in terms of all the skills listed in the questionnaire. This calls for a re-examination and revamping of language programs with the intention of integrating more communication skills into their courses. The researchers recommend that these skills be integrated into content-based courses throughout the different majors' study plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-488
Number of pages16
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2014

Fingerprint

Oman
employability
communication skills
education
student
foreign worker
communicative competence
questionnaire
language
foreign language
private sector
pragmatics
workplace
graduate
Communication skills
Employability
Language
Arabian Gulf
Communication Skills
globalization

Keywords

  • Communication skills
  • Higher education language programs
  • Job market
  • Linguistic skills
  • Pragmatic skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

@article{664e39b0799d492bb5f2782338adc746,
title = "English communication skills and employability in the Arabian Gulf: The case of Oman",
abstract = "Globalization, the information explosion, and technological advancement have gone hand in hand with the spread of English and its use as a lingua franca worldwide, a phenomenon that necessitated the teaching of English as a foreign language in many countries around the world, with the Arab nations no exception. In Oman, English has been recognized as a necessary tool for advancement and the acquisition of knowledge and technology (Al-Issa, 2007; Al-Mahrooqi, 2012; Al-Mahrooqi & Tuzlukova, 2010). In addition, given the multilingual nature of the workforce, which includes around 500,000 foreign workers, English has become a necessary medium of communication in Omani workplaces, especially in the private sector. Therefore, English has been taught in public schools since 1970 and in higher education since 1986. Unfortunately, higher education students continue to graduate with very weak oral and written communication skills, thus making them unfit for employment in many types of jobs. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of communicative competence among higher education students. It focuses specifically on how adequately linguistic, pragmatic and communicative skills are taught in higher education institutions' language programs. The sample of the study includes 451 students from a number of Omani higher education institutions who answered a 71-item questionnaire on the issue. Forty of the 451 students were also interviewed to investigate the issue further. The results indicate that students are only moderately prepared in terms of all the skills listed in the questionnaire. This calls for a re-examination and revamping of language programs with the intention of integrating more communication skills into their courses. The researchers recommend that these skills be integrated into content-based courses throughout the different majors' study plans.",
keywords = "Communication skills, Higher education language programs, Job market, Linguistic skills, Pragmatic skills",
author = "R. Al-Mahrooqi and V. Tuzlukova",
year = "2014",
month = "6",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "473--488",
journal = "Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities",
issn = "0128-7702",
publisher = "Universiti Putra Malaysia",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - English communication skills and employability in the Arabian Gulf

T2 - The case of Oman

AU - Al-Mahrooqi, R.

AU - Tuzlukova, V.

PY - 2014/6/1

Y1 - 2014/6/1

N2 - Globalization, the information explosion, and technological advancement have gone hand in hand with the spread of English and its use as a lingua franca worldwide, a phenomenon that necessitated the teaching of English as a foreign language in many countries around the world, with the Arab nations no exception. In Oman, English has been recognized as a necessary tool for advancement and the acquisition of knowledge and technology (Al-Issa, 2007; Al-Mahrooqi, 2012; Al-Mahrooqi & Tuzlukova, 2010). In addition, given the multilingual nature of the workforce, which includes around 500,000 foreign workers, English has become a necessary medium of communication in Omani workplaces, especially in the private sector. Therefore, English has been taught in public schools since 1970 and in higher education since 1986. Unfortunately, higher education students continue to graduate with very weak oral and written communication skills, thus making them unfit for employment in many types of jobs. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of communicative competence among higher education students. It focuses specifically on how adequately linguistic, pragmatic and communicative skills are taught in higher education institutions' language programs. The sample of the study includes 451 students from a number of Omani higher education institutions who answered a 71-item questionnaire on the issue. Forty of the 451 students were also interviewed to investigate the issue further. The results indicate that students are only moderately prepared in terms of all the skills listed in the questionnaire. This calls for a re-examination and revamping of language programs with the intention of integrating more communication skills into their courses. The researchers recommend that these skills be integrated into content-based courses throughout the different majors' study plans.

AB - Globalization, the information explosion, and technological advancement have gone hand in hand with the spread of English and its use as a lingua franca worldwide, a phenomenon that necessitated the teaching of English as a foreign language in many countries around the world, with the Arab nations no exception. In Oman, English has been recognized as a necessary tool for advancement and the acquisition of knowledge and technology (Al-Issa, 2007; Al-Mahrooqi, 2012; Al-Mahrooqi & Tuzlukova, 2010). In addition, given the multilingual nature of the workforce, which includes around 500,000 foreign workers, English has become a necessary medium of communication in Omani workplaces, especially in the private sector. Therefore, English has been taught in public schools since 1970 and in higher education since 1986. Unfortunately, higher education students continue to graduate with very weak oral and written communication skills, thus making them unfit for employment in many types of jobs. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of communicative competence among higher education students. It focuses specifically on how adequately linguistic, pragmatic and communicative skills are taught in higher education institutions' language programs. The sample of the study includes 451 students from a number of Omani higher education institutions who answered a 71-item questionnaire on the issue. Forty of the 451 students were also interviewed to investigate the issue further. The results indicate that students are only moderately prepared in terms of all the skills listed in the questionnaire. This calls for a re-examination and revamping of language programs with the intention of integrating more communication skills into their courses. The researchers recommend that these skills be integrated into content-based courses throughout the different majors' study plans.

KW - Communication skills

KW - Higher education language programs

KW - Job market

KW - Linguistic skills

KW - Pragmatic skills

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84908879027&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84908879027&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 473

EP - 488

JO - Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities

JF - Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities

SN - 0128-7702

IS - 2

ER -