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English Language in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Essay Example

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English Language in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

ARAMCO produces all of the crude oil in Saudi Arabia which massive oil reserves amount to over 25 % of the entire world's proven oil reserves (Cordesman 2003, pp. 465, 467).
An important after-effect of this oil boom was the immediate massive importation of foreign engineers and other technical experts to man ARAMCO's oil depot, structures and offices. The common denominator of all these personnel was the English language. There arose a need to train Saudi employees and on-the-job Saudi technical people to learn and speak the English language in order to communicate with these foreign technical experts. This need to master the English language was heightened when King Faisal decided to utilise the huge oil revenues from the burgeoning Saudi oil industry to modernise Saudi Arabia by launching large-scale infrastructure programs in the fields of education, telecommunications, transportation, housing, health, social welfare, water, electricity and other utilities (Mackey 1987, p.43).
This thereby necessitated importation of more foreign technical experts who had to be conversed and communicated with by the Saudi people in the English language. We also must not forget that annually more than 2 million Muslim people from all over the world converge in a requisite once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage or Hajj mainly to the cities of Mecca and Medina and they too must be interacted with using the English language (Siddiqui 2006, p.70). ...
so must not forget that annually more than 2 million Muslim people from all over the world converge in a requisite once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage or Hajj mainly to the cities of Mecca and Medina and they too must be interacted with using the English language (Siddiqui 2006, p.70). Moreover, such gargantuan oil revenues had been decided also to be used for international operations in subsidiaries and joint ventures in USA, Japan, China, South Korea, Philippines, Greece and elsewhere, all designed for finding outlets for the country's immense crude oil production (Cordesman & Al-Rodhan 2006, p.211). The Saudi oil bonanza had also raised the standard of living and modernised practically all aspect of Saudi society. In the realm of business, Saudi Arabia has suddenly become a commercial hub. It had successfully beckoned several multinational companies to establish business interests in the kingdom. The banking system was energised with the establishment of such banks as Saudi American, Saudi British, Saudi Dutch, Saudi French etc. Businesses like supermarkets, hotels, restaurants sprouted which all required from their personnel working knowledge of English, the world's lingua franca. Even established corporations such as Saudi Airlines, Aramco, Dallah, Samarec etc. require all their personnel to possess a high level of proficiency in English, which is a sine qua non requirement for acceptance in their employment. All are required to undergo further honing of English skills with more training and instruction (Fishman et al, 1996, p.460). The elevation of the standards of living has necessitated the employment of 8.8 million expatriate workers who are employed on jobs that native Saudis cannot fill or are unwilling to fill and of these some 2 million are English ...Show more

Summary

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came into being in 1932 when King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud proclaimed it an independent nation after driving out the Turks in World War 1 and after easing from its hold of Najd, the Shammer forces of Muhammad bin Raschid (Shoult 2006, pp…
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English Language in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia essay example
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