Sunday, December 09, 2007

English in Oman

Gulf News reports on Oman's efforts to strengthen English education:
"Oman is making strong efforts to teach English as the second language to the younger generation but a senior Ministry of Education official feels that there is also a need to create a suitable environment at home so that the language can be easily adopted by pupils.

"'We definitely need to change the mindset, especially at homes,' Aisha Bint Ahmad Suweidan Al Blushi, Deputy Director-General, Education, Ministry of Education, said at a press conference yesterday.

"She said the ministry was making every effort in that direction. 'We conduct English language sessions for parents, especially women, with the stress on reading sessions,' she added...

"Realising the need to educate young Omanis in English language, the ministry has started teaching English language from Grade I instead of Grade IV since 1998."

If I'm reading this right, the ministry is hoping to get parents to read in English to their children almost as soon as they start school. Foreign language education that deep will quickly alter the linguistic and cultural picture of Oman, as it has in other Gulf states.



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