English language teaching reform in Sultanate of Oman: The case of theory and practice disparity

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Sultanate of Oman is one out of many developing countries around the world which have valued English as a very important international language and a tool for achieving multiple purposes. When His Majesty the Sultan came to power in 1970, the government accepted English as the only official foreign language and allocated huge budgets and resources for its implementation through education. However, almost three decades after this, it was found that students exiting the ELT system in Oman suffer from various inadequacies in their English language proficiency, which has had negative implications for Oman's national development. This has driven the government to attempt to revolutionize English language teaching (ELT) through pursuing a reform plan-Basic Education System (BES). This paper attempts to examine the attitudes of 141 freshmen, who have exited the BES and joined Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in September 2009, about their teachers and the curriculum. The results have shown that there have hardly been any significant changes in the BES reform project, as compared to the previously implemented system-General Education System (GES) mainly due to implementation shortcomings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-176
Number of pages36
JournalEducational Research for Policy and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Basic education system
  • Curriculum
  • English language teaching
  • General education system
  • Reform
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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