Academic Master

Education, English

The Influence of Media on the English Language Learners’ Identity and its Implications for Language Education in Saudi Arabia

Background of the Study

Saudi youth often lack the education level and do not possess the technical skills required in the private sector. Therefore, the kingdom government has consistently increased investment in vocational training and education, as well as infrastructure development. In order to stimulate the development and diversification of the economy, as well as create new jobs, the government announced plans to create six new economic cities in various regions of the country.

Language is the history of the people, the path of civilization and culture from the sources to our days. Now, many are concerned that by the beginning of the 21st century, we have forgotten how to speak and write normally in English (Al-Nasser1612). Language is the soul of the people. By its nature, it cannot but reflect what is happening to man and around man. The coarsening of the language, its apparent impoverishment, and the decline in the tone of communication all indicate our spiritual and moral degradation. At present, it is impossible not to realize the influence of the media, especially electronic media, on forming a modern way of life and language. In the media, the language norm of the English language changes (Shukri 190–207).

Electronic media at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries have the opportunity to form language norms in all age groups of millions of people. There are three media subsystems: print, radio, and television, which consist of multiple channels that can spread around Saudi Arabia and its regions. Each subsystem fulfills its share of functions in developing the patriotic culture of the population (Al-Nasser1612). Television deserves special attention, which today is for most Arabs’ the main source of both information and entertainment. Due to availability, the audience of television is several times larger than the audience of the Internet. Therefore, the special responsibility lies precisely on television. Unfortunately, our leaders, politicians, artists and others do not realize the full responsibility for their words and speech behavior; they do not understand that many people (and not only young people) see them as role models. And we are daily forced to watch how our language is distorted, distorted, and coarsened. It is on television with the culture of speech that something unthinkable is happening today (Mahboob and Elyas 1). Constantly from the TV screens, we hear many jargon, colloquial, brutal, and even profanity.

Problem Description

In 2005, the late King Abdullah presented a scholarship program that allows residents of Saudi Arabia to study abroad. Within the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) framework, students completed four months of English language training before commencing their studies. The program also included tuition fees, travel, medical insurance, and pocket money. For ten years, the Scholarship Program supported 90% of all students who had received a bachelor’s or master’s degree abroad (Chamberlin-Quinlisk 42–57). Although the Scholarship Program has supported hundreds of thousands of students since its inception, the fall in oil prices has forced the Saudi government to reduce the scale of the program, which has become tangible for both Saudi students and universities in English-speaking countries.

English language as the fundamental basis of Saudi Arabian civilization and culture has been subjected to all sorts of attacks many times in the history of Saudi Arabia. Researchers ridiculed the clogging of the English language with all kinds of other language words (Chamberlin-Quinlisk 42–57). Peter’s reforms brought many foreign words of German origin to the language. The nineteenth century passed under the banner of introducing the English language into the everyday life of the Arab aristocracy. However, all these trends had no serious consequences and had a global impact on English language learners (Shukri 190–207). At present, we are witnessing unprecedented distortion, distortion, and coarsening of the English language in the media, the Internet, and, as a consequence, in the speech of Saudi Arabian citizens. Today, in the period of information and psychological wars, English language learners and their identities are again under threat of destruction and distortion. The state of the language of culture is disturbing English language learners’ identity and its implication for language education in Saudi Arabia today.

Review of the Literature

Media influences not only the population’s literacy but also people’s behavior. Violence, aggression, destruction, the absence of spiritual leaders, obscene expressions at the same time, the mass media are enriching the language, keeping in touch with the events.

The growth of the national self-consciousness of Saudi Arabian citizens fell during the period in Saudi Arabia, which was connected with the declared policy publicity the introduction of democratic procedures. The attainment of independence gave a new impetus to the national self-consciousness of Saudi Arabian citizens (Shukri 190–207). At the same time, this caused a crisis of identity between the English language and the Arabian-speaking population of Saudi Arabia  (Chamberlin-Quinlisk 42–57). This circumstance is quite understandable because Saudi Arabia is not a society, in which identity goes along the line of identifying oneself and society. Ethnicity in such conditions plays an important role, being the main supporting structure of identity as a whole. In a survey, the largest percentage of respondents opted for English language learning (more than 30% of options were taken into account). The prevalence of the town over the underdeveloped areas of Saudi Arabia is also natural in terms of the number of those who chose English language learning- 27% versus 21%, due to the greater tradition of the rural population (Moskovsky and Alrabai 1–10).

The situation is primarily because Saudi Arabia predominantly has an Arab population, which is relatively more traditional and tuned than, for example, the English contingent. This is confirmed by the fact that in the ethnic context Arabs and non-Arab- representatives are more inclined to choose “national belonging “as an important for them (Saqlain and Mahmood 190–207).

In the legislative acts of Saudi Arabia, the language policy is regulated, and the state language is the most important factor in consolidating the people of Saudi Arabia. The share of the adult population, who owns the local language, in the region is more than 46%, following the results of the implementation of the strategic plan of the Office of Language Development share adult population who speaks the state language, is 58% (Shukri 190–207).

 Presentation of the Research Questions

  1. What is the level of media influence on English language learners’ identity and its implications for language education in Saudi Arabia?

 Presentation of the Methodology of the Study

The complexity and importance of the problem considered required an interdisciplinary approach to the study of identity and implications for Language Education in Saudi Arabia, therefore in the dissertation research data will be used. Data will be received by philosophy, history, sociology, political science, culturology, ethnolinguistics, sociolinguistics and ethnopsycholinguistics. The research tasks will be solved through the use of the following methods:

Phenomenological and hermeneutic methods when considering concepts of the world around (the concept of the vital world) and the role of Language Education in Saudi Arabia in mastering vital peace (concept intentionality and intersubjectivity).

A constructivist and discursive approach is used to interpret representation and symbolic mediation of social reality (the theory of social construction of reality), national and ethnic identity (the theory of social constructs), and the actual use of language in a particular social context, namely, the formation of an identity.

Works Cited

Al-Nasser, Ahmed Sulaiman. “Problems of English Language Acquisition in Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory-Cum-Remedial Study.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies, vol. 5, no. 8, 2015, p. 1612, doi:10.17507/tpls.0508.10.

Chamberlin-Quinlisk, Carla. “Critical Media Analysis in Teacher Education: Exploring Language-Learners’ Identity through Mediated Images of a Non-Native Speaker of English.” TESL Canada Journal, vol. 29, no. 2, 2012, pp. 42–57.

Mahboob, Ahmar, and Tariq Elyas. “English in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” World Englishes, vol. 33, no. 1, 2014, pp. 128–42, doi:10.1111/weng.12073.

McCracken, Allison. “Real Men Don’t Sing: Crooning in American Culture (Refiguring American Music).” Duke University Press Books, 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/02/the-family-and-medical-leave-act-at-20-still-necessary-still-not-enough/272605/.

Moskovsky, Christo, and Fakieh Alrabai. “Intrinsic Motivation in Saudi Learners of English as a Foreign Language.” The Open Applied Linguistics Journal, vol. 2, 2009, pp. 1–10, doi:10.2174/1874913500902010001.

Saqlain, Nadeem, and Zahir Mahmood. “English Language Instructors’ Perceptions about Technology-Based Language Learning at Northern Border University in Saudi Arabia.” Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 12, no. 2, 2013, pp. 106–10.

Shukri, Nadia Ahmad. “Secon Language Writing Culture: Issues and Challenges from the Saudi Learners’ Perspective.” Arab World English Journal, vol. 5, no. 3, 2014, pp. 190–207.

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