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The impact of the linguistic hegemony of English on the Islamic values of English text books in Saudi Arabia: evaluating the content of English textbooks of secondary stage (Super Goal­ 6).

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Abstract

This research attempts to identify ways of integrating Islamic values in English textbooks as well as teaching methods at the secondary level. The options being assessed are optimization of instructional materials to reflect Islamic values and well as changes in teacher training to make them more efficient and responsive to Islamic values. Additionally, the research tries to assess the possibility of modifying English books so they serve Islamic objectives. These strategies can enable Muslim students especially Saudi Students to preserve and maintain their Islamic identity and values. Additionally, integrating Islamic values and teachings in textbooks can also help protect Muslim students from experiencing split personality which occurs when Muslim youths learn English using textbooks based off Western values. All-together, Saudi Students will be better placed to learn English while conserving their culture and Islamic values.

 

 

  1. Introduction

The English language has globally acquired an important status, due to the fact that the demand for English as a world language influences its uses in many countries in the world. English is the dominant language of business, arts, education, and culture (Tamtam et al., 2012).That is mean English language is considered as hegemonies language,Antonio Gramsci,Italian thinker, has own conceptualized of ‘hegemony’ ,hegemony occurs as a result of approval and persuasion (Gramsci 1971 as cited in Al-Kahtany, Al Zumor and Faruk, 2016). This domination has three associated steps a) domination without forced; b)domination through legitimation; and c) domination through consensus. n the first step (a),generating consciousness instead of imposing coercion is specific to the ascendancy group over the subordinate group. For the second (b),the subordinate group takes it for granted that the rule of the dominant group is legitimate, equitable, valid, and unquestionable. In the third one (c), the most of subordinate set think that there are combined needs and concerns between them and the dominant set which put them in that position by their selection(Collins 1989; Fontana 1993; Fontana 2001; Gramsci 1971; Gramsci 1985; Gramsci 1995 as cited in Al-Kahtany, Al Zumor and Faruk, 2016).

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English language is considered to be as a “world language”, since users of English are remarkable increasing to around two billion (Crystal, 1985 as cited in BinObaid, 2016). So that , There can be no denying the high status that English language has possessed in which it is difficult to find any country that does not affected by wide spread of that language (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 2002, as cited in O’Neill, 2002 as cited in Asraf,2005). The influence of teaching the language for both native and non-native speakers is attributed to the world-wide spread of English, varieties of English are vary from one place to another around the world and to the natural of the way of communication among people across the world.     These facts require the complete awareness of English status by both teachers or anyone interested in TESOL (BinObaid 2016). The teacher, the textbook and the student are solid of the process of English learning or any other material. The teacher, the textbook and the student are solid of the process of English learning or any other material. If the third part does not have enough desire to get that knowledge, input provided by the textbook and the teacher will failure (BinObaid 2016). the textbook is  considered as one of the most important curriculum components in which teachers and learners can aware of the way that should be followed and the result  after that(BinObaid 2016). “Although the textbook is not the only tool for the teaching and learning process, it is still a significant impact for achieving the language learning objectives. Since teachers find it difficult to develop their own classroom materials, have limited time and lie under external pressure that restricts their ability, it gives more emphasis on the use and utility of the textbook to compensate the loss of authentic materials” {cited in Almazloum and Qeshta (2009:2). Ansary and Babaii ( 2002 )state that “evaluation process covers different fields of the curriculum; mostly the content represented by the textbook”. that is mean textbook evaluation is the most prominent importance during education process. Firestone (2000) asserted that one of the political means for shaping the mental models ofpeople are textbooks,through textbooks, people can think, behave or feel differently regarding different phenomena including gender issues is dictated.(Firestone 2000, cited in Amerian, M., &Esmaili, F, 2015, p.1039). Sheldon (1988), mentioned that textbooks or course-materials considered to be the pulp to any language teaching and learning process, and the objectives of language learning and lesson planning and working schedule for teachers and learners often depend on textbooks(p. 237-246). This led the investigator to ask the following questions: Can English textbooks carry the weight of Islamic values? Should Muslim students use English in order to express their religion? As Kachru’s divided (1985, 1992),Saudi Arabia is considered one of the Expanding Circle countries where English is used as a foreign language. Saudi Arabia devoted great attention to English teaching and training. However, such efforts faced enormous resistance by people in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who think that English is still carrying Judeo-Christian values and Western beliefs(Karmani, 2005a; b; c as cited in Alshammari,2015,366).Therefore, Ratnawati (2005) said that one of the point convergence English and Islam in teaching of English as a second or foreign language.

In Saudi Arabia, English is taught as a foreign language in the secondary stage. Nowadays, Saudi Arabia is living a very critical period which triggers a need for a better teaching system that should correlate with the Islamic faith, including English language teaching method and curriculum. Unfortunately, the poor course materials that are selected to teach English in Saudi Arabia influenced the beliefs, behavior and the ideas of some students in the opposite way of our Islamic values, making them become more lenient toward some practices that are incompatible with our Islamic values. This research tries to propose some ways to integrate and incorporate Islamic values in the teaching of English in secondary schools in Saudi Arabia.

However, looking at the Saudi Arabian context, one can notice that the country is in transition socially, economically and politically. Because of this, the role that teaching English plays in Saudi Arabia may be ambiguous for many Saudis or it may be that the learners have a clear idea of why they are studying English but course designers do not. This implies that in order to keep up with the quick rate of changes in Saudi Arabia, evaluations of Saudi textbooks should be a priority for teaching English in schools. It is obvious that in Saudi Arabia, learning English occurs as part of the normal school curriculum. Typically, English is learned either to pass exams as a necessary part of one’s education or for career progression while working for an organization or business with an international focus. Regarding for curricula in Saudi Arabia, there are several research results such as Thinker (2000) and Al-Zuhairi (2008) indicating that the achievement of Saudi students in English is low and one of the most important causes of this is the textbooks taught in intermediate and secondary school.

Education is necessarily a process of inculcating values to equip the learner lead a life – a kind of life that is satisfying to the individual in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. Philosophers, spiritual leaders and educationists of our country, all in various ways, have emphasized the role of education for ‘character development’, ‘bringing out the latent potentialities and inherent qualities’ and developing an ‘integrated personality’ for the well being of the individual and the society at large(Gulati and Pant). Values education refers to pedagogical practice in which young people learn values and morality, and acquire knowledge of this domain about relating to other people, together with the ability and disposition to apply the values and rules intelligently (Aspin, 2000). Values which direct our choices are the most important determinants of individual behaviors. Value seems to be an inner concept that motivates our behaviors. Considering values as a basis for living more qualified lives as a society, values were addressed and also determined by several researchers. For example, Halstead (1996) defined values as leading behaviors, a reference point for making decision or principles, core beliefs, ideals and attitudes playing a role in the evaluation of behaviors. Rokeach and Regan (1980) also defined values as permanent beliefs that determine whether the outcomes of particular behaviors or a situation are individually or socially acceptable or not. Preserving values and diffusing of them in society life is only possible with handing it down from generation to generation. For this reason, transfer of values is one of the most important duties of societies from past to present. Values need to be gained to individuals systematically especially in today’s changing world with scientific and technological developments and at this point schools take the greatest responsibility. Values education which focuses on how values could be gained to students is regarded as one of the most popular and necessary research areas. Values education suggests educational exercises focusing on teaching values and moral rules to young individuals and also make them gain tendency to have values and moral rules to be able to live together with other people (Aspin, 2000; Thornberg, 2008). The need of value education in today’s context cannot be overemphasised. These days we are all surrounded by gross consumerism and an aggressive rush for self fulfilment. Moreover, the social system worldwide is undergoing great transformation. In Indian scenario, for example, we are gradually moving from joint family system to nuclear family system. Also, there is a high degree of stress, especially in the younger generation, owing to fast paced modern day lifestyle. Factors like religious fanaticism, stockpiling of nuclear weapons and terrorist activities are posing grave threats to global peace. There is a proliferation of vast amounts of information because of internet and media, and this may cause negative impacts, mainly in the more impressionable young minds, unless and until they have something robust to anchor upon. It is here that inculcation of values among the students can play a very important role by shielding them from all such influences.

1.Statment of the problem

 

1.2 Purpose of the study

The study aims to discuss three major ideas. First, the Islamic values which are supposed to be added to the course material of English for the secondary stage. Secondly, students’ and teachers’ attitude towards changing English textbooks to be Islamic truly and contained the Islamic values. Finally, the study aims to set suggested deceptions to enrich the content of the curriculum of English for the secondary stage.

1.3 Significance of the Study

The current study attempts to come up with new proposals to included Islamic values in Secondary English textbooks. Moreover, this study attempts to come up with new solutions to enhance Saudi EFL students’ Islamic values. This study will highlight the role of the English language curriculum in the educational process, which seeks to promote Islamic values among students. The findings of this study will redound to the benefit of English language teaching in any EFL environment, considering that enhancing learning English must be related to the Islamic faith, thoughts, and conduct of the learners will lead to make grown up Muslim youth have the ability to encounter their future. Thus, schools that apply the English language teaching in a proper Islamic frame, their students will be able to know more concepts and values about Islamic religion easily. Moreover, such a study would be significantly beneficial to the Ministry of Education as the latter may adopt some of the study’s concepts and make some necessary amendments to the English curriculum at this stage. In addition, course designers and planners will be steered on what should be emphasized by teachers in the school curriculum to improve Islamic values and concepts through English Language Teaching. This study will also help other researchers to uncover the effects of Islamic values and concepts on students conduct of any given situation and also help them to study the related phenomena.

1.4  Research questions

The problem of the study is determined by the following main research question:

  • To what degree do English textbooks appreciate and reflect Islamic values and to what extent can these books be enriched with Islam values?

This question is divided by the following sub-questions:

  1. What Islamic values should be promoted in Secondary school English textbooks?
  2. To what extent are these values integrated in the English textbooks for high school students?
  3. To what extent do students and teachers accept the prospect of changing English textbooks to reflect Islamic values?
  4. Review of Related Literature

 

References

 

Arabic References

Hendam, Y & Abdel Hamid, J.1985. Curriculum established, planned and evaluated.Cairo. Arab Renaissance Dar

Mustafa, A.1980.Educational and Islamic values.Beirut: Dar Taiba, First Edition

Tahtawi,S.1417.Educational values in the Quranic stories .Cairo. Alfikri Dar.

English References

Amerian, M., &Esmaili, F. (2015). A brief overview of critical discourse analysis in relation to gender studies in English language textbooks. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 6(5), 1033-1043.‏

Elyas, T. (2008). The attitude and the impact of the American English as a global language within the Saudi education system. Novitas-Royal, 2(1), 28-48.

Firestone, C. (2000). Gender and Textbooks in the Pacific Rim: Similarities amidst diversity (No. 18). Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego.‏

Gak, D. M. (2011). Textbook–An Important Element in The Teaching Process. Diperolehdariepub. ff. uns. ac. rs pada tanggal, 12.

Kachru, B. B. (1985). Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: The English language in the outer circle. In: R. Quirk and H. G. Widdowson (Eds.)

English in the world: Teaching and learning the language and literatures

(pp. 11-30). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Karim, S., &Haq, N. (2014). Culture of language learning: A comparative study of English language textbooks used in Pakistan. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 10(2), 157-168.

Karmani, S. (2005c). Petro-linguistics: The emerging nexus between oil, English, and Islam.Language Identity and Education, 4(1).87-102102

Khan, S.N. (2014). Qualitative research method: Grounded theory. International Journal of Business and Management, 9(11), 224.

Mahboob, A. (2009). English as an Islamic language: A case study of Pakistani English. World Englishes, 28(2), 175-189.

Mosleh, E., &Firwana, S. S. (2015). Value-based Content Analysis of ‘English for Palestine’8 th Grade Course Book and Suggested Value Enrichment Material. Unpublished master thesis. Islamic University, Gaza.

Rashid, R. S. A. A., & Ibrahim, E. H. E. (2018). English Language Textbooks and Portrayal of Culture: A content analysis. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 150, p. 05076). EDP Sciences.

Ratnawati, M. A. (2005). English and Islam: A clash of civilizations?

Sajid,M.(2015). Ideology in Text Books. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies,03-06.

Shafi, Mohammad. (1983). Teaching of English as a foreign language: The Islamic approach. Muslim Educational Quarterly. 1(1).

Shah, S. K., Tariq, W., & Bilal, M. Ideology in English Textbooks: A Case Study of Matric Level Books in Punjab.

Sheldon. Evaluating ELT Textbooks and Materials. ELT Journal, 42 (4), (1988) 237-246.

Tamtam, A. C., Gallagher, F., Olabi, A. G., Naher, S., (2012). “A Comparative Study of the Implementation of EMI in Europe, Asia and Africa.” Prcedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, pp. 1417 – 1425.

Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R., &DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Wilson, K. G. (2009). Mindfulness for two: An acceptance and commitment therapy approach to mindfulness in psychotherapy. New Harbinger Publications.

Al-Kahtany, A. H., Faruk, S. M. G., & Al Zumor, A. W. Q. (2015). English as the medium of instruction in Saudi higher education: necessity or hegemony?. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 7(1), 49-58.

BinObaid, R. (2016). An Evaluation of the Second Intermediate Saudi English Language Textbook from the Teachers’ Point of View. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(2), 231-248.

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