Formal education is relatively new in the Sultanate of Oman. The first nationwide public education system did not come into existence until 1970, and the first university opened its doors in 1986. During this time, English has continued to play a central role in the sultanate’s schools, colleges, and universities. The language, which is taught as a subject in government schools and used as a dominant medium of instruction across many tertiary-level institutions, enjoys high levels of official support. This is due to the belief that English will remain the preeminent language of science, scholarship, and international business for the foreseeable future. Perhaps now more than ever, English education in Oman is at a critical juncture with the country seeking to better integrate into the international community by taking advantage of the access to global markets and academic and professional mobility that globalization allows while, at the same time, striving to maintain its culturally distinct identity. Within this context, a variety of perspectives and approaches highlighting the state of the art of English education in Oman and some of the most important challenges, opportunities, and potential ways forward are explored.
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