The Urgent Necessity for Learning and Using English as an International Dialect of Communication in the Arab School System and Universities: A Sociolinguistic Study

Faizah S. AlHammadi


Today, English has been carried around the world and has grown in use until it has become the second most widely spoken language of the world after Chinese and the first language in international use. Interestingly, while English is predominantly used by more people than any other language, its mother tongue speakers make up only “quarter” or a fifth of the total. This paper argues the need for an international variety of English to be taught in schools and universities in the Arab world. The international variety is defined as English that is understood by multilingual audience. It is a kind of English that is comprehensible outside the Arab world. The writer discusses the problem posed in adopting such a variety. The writer argues that what determines the use of English in Arab schools and universities should be the job, the hobby, or the field of study of students. English should be looked upon as a means of communicating and understanding each other in fields that require the uses of a language other than Arabic. The writer argues that the goal of teaching an international variety should not be acculturation so as to preserve the cultural identity of Arab speakers of English.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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