Transformation in English Language Education in the UAE

  • Melanie Taylor GobertEmail author


This chapter explores the need for English as a Second Language in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), what benchmark tests reveal about the level of English amongst Emirati students, the history and development of English language provision in K–12 and in Foundation programs in higher education in the UAE, and the growth of private schools with international curricula in English. The UAE has recently unified the K–12 Ministry of Education (MoE) with the previous Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR), which was responsible for higher education provided by both private and public tertiary educational institutions. The Ministry of Education began major K–12 educational reforms in 2008 because students coming from K–12 public education to higher education institutions were inadequately prepared for tertiary studies in the medium of English. This resulted in large amounts of funding for tertiary education being spent on Foundation preparatory programs. The MoE has recently developed a new school model, the Emirates School Model (ESM), to address this issue. In the ESM, scientific subjects and English are taught through the medium of English from licensed native English-speaking teachers while subjects such as Arabic and Islamic studies are taught in Arabic.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Higher Colleges of TechnologyAbu DhabiUAE

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