The Common Methods Adopted for English Language Teaching in the Gulf Region: State of the Art


  • Adel Ben Mohamed International Maritime College Oman, Oman
  • Harshita Aini Haroon University Malaysia Perlis, Malaysia
  • Sharmini Abdullah University Malaysia Perlis, Malaysia


Teaching a foreign language, particularly English as a second/foreign language, to young- aged learners, has become more popular around the world, especially in the Arabian Gulf region. Moreover, a foreign language teaching has the potential to make significant contributions to the economic as well as the political development of the middle east countries and beyond. This article reviews the literature on English education among young learners in the Gulf region. We begin by reviewing the most critical literature for each gulf country separately to emphasize the importance of the English education socially and politically, highlighting main policy worries. Then, we focus on some empirical studies about teaching and learning the English language, putting them according to their relevance to the aforementioned policy concerns.


Al Alami, S (2014). Promoting Communicative Competence within EFL Contexts: A UAE Case Study. J. Lang. Teach. Res., vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 1245–1255.

Al Asmari, A (2015). Communicative Language Teaching in EFL University Context: Challenges for Teachers. Journal of Language aand Teacing Research. vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 976.

Al-Bulushi, Y(2016). Teaching Short Stories in the Omani Context: The Use of the Reader Response Theory. Literacy Information and computingEducation Journal. Vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 450–455.

Al-Buainain, H et al (2010). Needs of English By Graduates of Qatar University in the Workplace. Int. J. Lang. Soc. Cult., no. 31, pp. 18–27.

Al-Faki, I and Siddiek, A (2013). Techniques Used by Teachers in Correcting Students’ Oral Errors in an Omani Boys School. Journal of Theorical and Practical Languages Studies., vol. 3, no. 10.

Alharbi, H (2015). Improving students’ English speaking proficiency in Saudi public schools. International Journal of Instruction, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 105–116.

Al-Issa, A (2005). The role of English language culture in the Omani language education system/ An ideological perspective,” Lang. Cult. Curric., vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 258–270.

Al-Issa, A (2014) . A Critical Examination of Motivation in the Omani English Language Education System. Journal of Languages and Teaching Research.Vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 406–418.

Al-Issa, A (2015). Making a Case for New Directions in English Language Teaching Research at an Omani University: A Critical Qualitative Content Analysis Report,” Qual. Rep., vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 560–595.

Al-Issa, A and Al-Bulushi, A (2012). English language teaching reform in Sultanate of Oman: The case of theory and practice disparity. Educ. Res. Policy Pract., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 141–176.

Al-kadi, A (2015). Towards Idiomatic Competence of Yemeni EFL Undergraduates. J. Lang. Teach. Res., vol. 6, no. 3, p. 513.

Allaith, Z and Joshi, R (2011). Spelling performance of English consonants among students whose first language is Arabic. Read. Writ., vol. 24, no.9pp. 1089–1110.

Al-Mahrooqi, R (2012). English communication skills: How are they taught at schools and universities in Oman? English Language teaching Journal. vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 124–130.

Al Mawoda, K (2014). Exploring Secondary Teachers ’ Perception towards Teaching Intercultural Competence in English Language Classrooms in Bahrain Submitted by Kawther Rashed Abdulla Al Mawoda ( Student Number : 580035579 ) to the University of Exeter as a thesis for the degree. pp. 1–282.

Al-Musawi, N (2016). Strategic Use of Translation in Learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) among Bahrain University Students,” Compr. Psychol., vol. 3, pp. 10-17.

Al-Nofaie, H (2010). The Attitudes oF Teachers and Students Towards Using Arabic in EFL Classrooms in Saudi Public Schools-A Case Study Introduction Teaching English in the Saudi context. Novitas-ROYAL (Research Youth Lang., vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 64–95.

Alrefaai, R and Khalil,L (2013). Suggested guidelines for using translation in foreign language learning and teaching. Journal of Educcational Research, vol. 4, no. January, pp. 12–20.

Al-Seghayer,K (2014). The Four Most Common Constraints Affecting English Teaching in Saudi Arabia. Int. J. English Linguist., vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 17–26.

Al-Sohbani, Y (2013). An Exploration of English Language Teaching Pedagogy in Secondary Yemeni Education: A Case Study. Int. J. English Lang. …, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 40–55, 2013.

Alwadi, H (2013). Bahraini Teachers’ Perceptions of Teaching Differences with Native English Speaker Teachers of English. Int. J. Biling. Multiling. Teach. English, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 9–20.

Baleghizadeh, S (2010). The Effect of Keyword and Word List Methods on Immediate Vocabulary Retention of EFL Learners III . The Word List Method.

Bataineh, R. et al (2011). Communicative Language Teaching in the Yemeni EFL Classroom: Embraced or Merely Lip-serviced. J. Lang. Teach. Res., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 859–866.

Ellili-Cherif, M et al (2012). All that glitters is not gold: Challenges of teacher and school leader licensure licensing system in Qatar. International. Journal of Education development. Vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 471–481.

Elyas, T and Picard, M. Saudi Arabian educational history: Impacts on English language teaching. Journal of Education, Business and Social. Contemporary Middle East Issues, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 136–145.

Farooq, M (2015) . Creating a communicative language teaching environment for improving students’ communicative competence at EFL/EAP University level. International Education Studies.Vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 179–191.

Gilakjani, A.P and Ahmadi, M.R ( 2011). A Study of Factors Affecting EFL Learners’ English Listening Comprehension and the Strategies for Improvement. Journal of Lanuage Teaching Responsibilities, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 119–128.

Habeeb, K (2014). Teachers’ perceptions toward implementing English as a foreign language at kindergarten: What can we learn from the case of Kuwaiti kindergarten teachers? Diss. Abstr. Int. Sect. A Humanit. Soc. Sci., vol. 74, no. 11.

Hamouda, A (2013). An Investigation of Listening Comprehension Problems Encountered by Saudi Students in the EL Listening,” International Journal. Academic Research. Progress. Educ. Dev., vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 113–155.

Hayes, A (2017). Deconstructing the ‘magnetic’ properties of neoliberal politics of education in Bahrain. ResearchGate Journal . pp 23-28.

Ibrahim,H et al (2013). Perceived Views of Language Teachers on the Use of Needs Analysis in ESP Materials Writing. English Language Teaching Journal. vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 11–19.

Javid, C , Farooq, M and Gulzar, M (2012). Saudi English-Major Undergraduates and English Teachers’ Perceptions Regarding Effective ELT in the KSA: A Comparative Study. European Journal of Science, vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 55–70.

Lee, M (2014). Will Communicative Language Teaching Work ? Teachers’ Perceptions Toward the New Educational Reform in South Korea Akankah Pengajaran Bahasa Komunikatif Berhasil ? Persepsi-Persepsi Guru Terhadap. Indones. J. Appl. Linguist., vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1–17.

Liton, H (2012). Developing EFLTeaching and Learning Practices in Saudi Colleges: a Review. International Journal. J. Instr. July, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1694–609.

Mclean, A (2011). Particularity , Practicality and Possibility : An Investigation Into The Awareness And Use Of Communicative Language Teaching Methodology In A College Of Higher Education In Oman. Research Gate Journal . pp125-137.

Moeller, A.J and Catalano,T (2015). Foreign Language Teaching and Learning. Int. Encycl. Soc. Behav. Sci. Second Ed., no. 2, pp. 327–332.

Moody, J ( 2009). A Neglected Aspect of ELT in the Arabian Gulf: Who Is Communicating in English. Research Gate Journal. pp. 99–119.

O’Loughlin, K and Arkoudis, S(2009) . Investigating IELTS exit score gains in higher education, vol. 10, pp 37-47.

Richards, J and Rodgers, T (2010). Communicative Language Teaching. Research Gate Journal.pp25-30.

Rogier, D (2010). The effects of english-medium instruction on language proficiency of students enrolled in higher education in the uae. Thesis Dr. PQDT - UK Irel., vol. U621250, p. 1.

Savignon, S. ( 2007). Beyond communicative language teaching: What’s ahead?. Journal. Pragmat., vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 207–220.

Shah, S, Hussain, M and Nasseef, O (2013). Factors Impacting EFL Teaching: An Exploratory Study in the Saudi Arabian Context. Arab World English Journal, vol. 4, no. 3.