Arab World English Journal: Special Issue1: Application of Global ELT Practices in Saudi Arabia September 2019    Pp. 34-41

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Foreign Culture in English Curriculum in Saudi Arabia: A Teacher’s Voice


Basim Alamri
English Language Institute (ELI)
King Abdulaziz University,
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia




The education system plays crucial roles in the development of nations and societies. Curriculum development is a key component of the education process which involves alignment with the goals and objectives of teaching English as a foreign or second language in a particular context. The present article provides a personal narrative about the experience of developing an English language curriculum in the school-based Saudi Arabian context. The narrative represents a teacher’s voice during a curriculum development process, and also examines the discussion of different voices represented by teachers and decision makers during several workshops held to discuss the integration of cultural aspects into English textbooks. The narrative points out that the majority of teachers and decision makers were reluctant to incorporate foreign culture for several reasons, such as geopolitically sensitive contexts of the foreign culture. Other teachers were afraid of the impact of foreign culture on their own. The narrative calls for better inclusion of appropriate cultural aspects in order to enhance the students’ cultural competence so that they can interact effectively with people of different cultures.
 Keywords: Curriculum development, foreign culture, Saudi Arabia, teacher’s voice, 

Cite as: Alamri, B. (2019). Foreign Culture in English Curriculum in Saudi Arabia: A Teacher’s Voice. Arab World English Journal, Special Issue 1: Application of Global ELT Practices in Saudi Arabia. 34- 41 DOI:


Dr. Basim Alamri is an Assistant Professor in the English Language Institute at King Abdulaziz
University, Saudi Arabia. His research interests revolve around topics related to L2 academic
writing, including genre studies and corpus linguistics, and technology in the classroom.