Alignment of 21st century oral English curriculum and communication skills with labor market and higher education in Oman: The stakeholders' perspective

Muzna Al-Hooti*, Thuwaiba Al-Barwani, Abdo Al-Mekhlafi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graduates from Omani schools are currently struggling at higher education institutions (HEIs) and in the labor market, mainly due to their lack of oral English communication skills, a 21st century skill that is in high demand. It is common knowledge that the rate of unemployment has increased and that the number of college students enrolling in English general foundation programs (GFP) is high. This study aimed at examining the perspectives of different stakeholders, such as secondary students, secondary English language teachers, curriculum officers, GFP academics and selected representatives from the business sector. The current study adopted a mixed-method research design to collect and analyze the data. Firstly, questionnaires were distributed to secondary students, teachers and curriculum officers and, then interviews with academics and business/industry officials were conducted. The results revealed that the students and teachers were satisfied with the curriculum, while the curriculum officers, academics and business officials were not. These results suggest that the Ministry of Education (MoE) needs to consider some adaptations to the oral English communication skills taught in the current curriculum to meet the needs of Higher Education (HE) and the labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of English Language and Literature Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • 21 century skills
  • Employability
  • English curriculum
  • Higher education
  • Labor market
  • Oral English communication
  • skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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