Language Policy and Power in Out-of-Classroom EFL Contexts: The Case of English Departments in Saudi Arabian Higher Education Institutions

  •  Mohammad Almoaily    


Most of the research on language policies in educational institutions has hitherto focused on the creation, interpretation, or appropriation of language policies that govern language use in the classroom. Language policies, however, can be instantiated or implemented in out-of-classroom settings. Hence, the current study examines the impact of language policies, in terms of both beliefs and practices, as mechanisms of power in communication between staff members in official meetings taking place at higher education institutions in Saudi Arabia. An online survey taken by 208 members, in addition to semi-structured interviews with eight department chairpersons, revealed that the implementation of monolingual English language policies can minimize the proportion of engagement of staff members, who are less competent in English, in department council meetings, committee meetings, and other official meetings. The data also suggested that the majority of participants in the study believe that multilingual language policies (allowing the use of both Arabic and English) should be avoided in order to not exclude non-Arabic speaking staff members from participation in official dialogue. The study concludes with implications for language policy creation and implementation for out-of-classroom English use in EFL educational institutions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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