The implications of implementing a 'flexible' syllabus for ESL policy in the Sultanate of Oman

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The education system in general and ELT in particular are rigidly controlled in the Sultanate of Oman, which gives teachers little room to supplement the mandated textbook. This article, hence, discusses ideologies about the 'flexible' ELT syllabus and the role of the teacher's professionalism in the syllabus implementation process. One of the powerful 'ideologies' that govern ELT in the Sultanate of Oman is thus the 'neocolonial/communicative'. Another powerful ideology is the 'professional', which is exclusively concerned with the teacher's professionalism. These two ideologies complement each other and are present in the various statements made by different agents involved in the Omani ELT system, the pertinent literature and the Philosophy and Guidelines for the Omani English Language School Curriculum (Nunan et al. 1987), herewith referred to as the National English Language Policy/ Plan (NELP). However, these seem to conflict with the 'colonialist/culturalist' ideologies incorporated in the content of the materials produced locally by the Ministry of Education-Our World through English (OWTE) and its suggested means of implementation. This is considered to negatively impact 'Omanization'. This research paper, therefore, critically examines and discusses this state of ideological conflict via triangulating data from semi-structured interviews conducted with different agents involved in the implementation of ELT in Oman, pertinent literature and policy texts and NELP. Such examination and discussion have their implications for second language policy implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-215
Number of pages17
JournalRELC Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • ELT
  • Flexible
  • Ideologies
  • NELP
  • OWTE
  • Syllabus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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