The English of Saudi university graduates is very poor. Since the labor market in the Kingdom largely depends on foreign manpower, English has necessarily become the language of business. Anyone who does not master English will be in a weak position when competing for a job. His or her chances for progressing in terms of career will be severely compromised.
Faced by this situation, some Saudi universities that could not improve their preparatory year for teaching English have thought of a more radical step to confront the problem: To make English the medium of instruction for specializations that are in huge demand in the labor market. If this proposal is implemented, we could face a cultural catastrophe. This proposal is not the solution to the problem for the following reasons:
• Such a drive shows a lack of understanding of the real problems undermining our education system. The question is not only the weakness in comprehending English but complete deterioration of all other subjects. The fact that students do not know good English is only a symptom, not the core problem. Therefore, solutions to the problem should be deeper and more comprehensive than just making English the medium of instruction for courses in humanities. Whoever believes this to be the correct remedy will be like the one who tries to treat chronic diseases using painkillers.
• Technical colleges where subjects such as engineering and computer science are taught have not ensured that their students have a good grasp of... [continues]
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