GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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From a National to an International Policy Reform Shift: A \\\\\\\'Positivist\\\\\\\' Critical Discourse Analysis of the Tatweer Educational Policy in Saudi Arabia
Paper Proposal Text :
There has been limited research that has focused on the role of culture and teaching/ learning identities in EFL, and how these issues impact on EFL policy, curriculum, the use of textbooks and pedagogy (Field, 2000; Guillerme, 2002). Even less research has focussed on these issues in the Gulf context. Some international research has explored the role of culture and geopolitical factors affecting EFL policies (Risager, 2006; Önlan, 2005). Some other studies (several in the Gulf context) have explored global historical and political developments and how they have affected cultures and hence EFL curricula within those cultures (see e.g., Kramsch et al. 1999, Al-Qahatani, 2003; Karmani, 2005; Al-Asmari, 2008, Elyas, 2008a, 2008b). A few studies have explored the enacted curriculum in Gulf countries, and its relationship to the local culture(s) and Discourses (Al-Issa, 2006; Elyas, 2009a, 2009b). This research paper is the first in the KSA context to examine the full range of policy documents to explore how these documents arise out of cultural identities, and in turn may have a range of effects on teacher and learner identities.
This paper briefly explores selected English and general education policy documents (written in Arabic), within the KSA context from a Critical Discourse Analysis perspective, and examines how they have changed pre-and-post 9/11. First one policy document related to education in KSA in general (pre 9/11) is analysed along with an ELT policy document of the same period. Next two general policy documents post 9/11 are explored, followed by one related to ELT policy. Finally, one post 9/11 document related to Higher Education is discussed. The “network of practices” (Meyer, 2001, p.125) within which these documents are situated are first detailed, as well as the “structural order” of the discourse, and some “linguistic analysis” of the choice of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Issues which might be problematic to the learning and teaching identities of the students and teachers interpreting these documents are also highlighted. Finally, the paper conceptualizes a positivist pragmatic orientation towards a socio-constructivist direction of policy for Gulf countries in general.