Arif Ahmed Mohammed H. Al-Ahdal, Salmeen Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Awaid


Technological dependence, interconnectivity of nations, interlinked economies, and interdependent politics across countries in the global village have given a new definition to communication. With one sure though slow thrust, peoples across borders are moving towards what can be seen as one unifying characteristic for the human race: One language to communicate, and the natural choice is English. True, it is Mandarin and not English that is spoken by the largest number of people, but true also is the fact that this is more a matter of natural circumstance than choice. The second most popular language is Spanish but then, it is the English and not Spanish speaking people who are in a position to influence economies, develop trade and move the commerce. In other words, proficiency in English can be directly linked to socio-economic prosperity. In the KSA too, as in the other members of the so-called Developing Bloc of nations, there is a growing consciousness to the fact that to realise the dream of Vision 2030 and to establish a petro-money free economy, the country has to abandon its insular character and adopt a more open-door attitude. One significant factor in the success of this approach will, of course, be the ability of the people to communicate with the world. Hence the need of the hour: Proficiency in English. Globally, researchers have postulated on the effects of English learning on the ‘development’ of limited groups and even individuals. As a corollary to this observation, the role of effective communication and negotiation cannot be overstated in any circumstance that involves people. In fact, ability to ‘communicate in English’ appears to be the catch phrase in academic, political, economic, and even social situations.  However, such endeavours are notably missing in the Saudi Arabian context, given the older policies of keeping ‘outside’ influence at a minimal to preserve the purity of the local culture. The current study presents a catalogue and review of the previous studies linking socio-economic development to English with the aim to establish why and how the country stands to benefit in the long run by empowering the general public with English language.   



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24200/mjll.vol7iss1pp1-7


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