Unaddressed Journeys: Saudi Western-trained Scholars’ (Re)engagement with Their Local English Language Teaching

Keywords: local knowledge, re-engagement, higher education, language, classroom pedagogies.


Western-trained scholars often come back to their countries of origin with a new set of knowledge, epistemologies, ideologies, language and classroom pedagogical practices. Upon their return and reentering academics at home, they often have to re-engage with the dominant local knowledge shaping English language policy, research, teaching and learning. This process needs more scholarly attention, particularly in language issues in comparative education. Through semi-structured interviews, this qualitative case study paper explores the ways in which two Western-trained Saudi professors re-engage with the English teaching and learning of their university in Saudi Arabia. It argues that the oscillation between (i) a strong desire for belonging to the global knowledge economy and becoming globally competitive, and (ii) a tension of preserving local knowledge and thoughts have led Western-trained Saudi professors to enter into multiple cross-roads, including self-negotiation, self-consciousness, and ambivalent positions throughout their classroom pedagogical practices. The paper concludes with some pedagogical implications and recommendation for further research.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Maryumah H. Alenazi, Northern Border University, College of Education and Arts, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Associate professor in English Language Teaching Northern Border University, College of Education and Arts, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Abdel-Moneim, M. (2016). A political economy of Arab education: Policies and comparative Perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 9780367870508

Akena, F. (2012). Critical analysis of the production of Western knowledge and its implications for indigenous knowledge and decolonization. Journal of Black Studies, 43(6), 599–619.

Barnawi, O. (2018). Neoliberalism and English language education policies in the Arabian Gulf region. London: Routledge.

Barnawi, O. (2020). TESOL and the cult of speed in the age of neoliberal mobility. London: Routledge.

Barnawi, O. & Ahmed, A. (2020). TESOL teacher education in a transnational world: Turning challenges into prospects. London: Routledge

Barnawi, O. (2021). EMI-cum-acceleration policy in the contemporary transnational HE market: Experiences of Saudi engineering students. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 44(2), 208–228.

Braine, G. (2010). Nonnative speaker English teachers: Research, pedagogy, and professional growth. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415876322

Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove Press.

Grosfoguel, R. (2016). What is Racism? Journal of World-Systems Research, 22(1), 9-15.

González, A. (2013). Islamic feminism in Kuwait: The politics and paradoxes. New York: Palgrave.

Handy, C. (1993). Understanding Organizations. London: Penguin. ISBN 0140156038 - 9780140156034

Mahboob, A., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2016). Using local languages in English language classrooms. In Willy A. Renandya and Handoyo P. Widodo (Eds.), English language teaching today: Building a closer link between theory and practice (pp. 25-39). New York: Springe.

Marginson, S. (2010). Global comparisons and the university knowledge economy. In Portnoi, V. D. Rust and S. S. Bagley (eds.) Higher Education, Policy, and the Global Competition Phenomenon, (29–41). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Marginson, S., & Naidoo, R. (Eds.). (2011). Handbook on globalization and higher education. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

National Commission for Academic Accreditation & Assessment (2009). National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (File PDF) Retrieved from https://www.mu.edu.sa/sites/default/files/National%20Qualifications%20Framework%20for%20HE%20in%20KSA.pdf

Pace, J. & Hemmings, A. (2007). Understanding authority in classrooms: A review of theory, ideology, and research. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 4-27.

Phan, L.H. (2017). Transnational education crossing ‘Asia’ and ‘the West’: Adjusted desire,
transformativemediocrity and neo-colonial disguise. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 9781138604605

Rizvi, F., & Lingard, R. (2010). Globalizing Education Policy. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415416276

Selvi, A. F. (2014). Myths and misconceptions about nonnative English speakers in the TESOL (NNEST) movement. TESOL Journal, 5(3), 573-611.

Shahjahan, R. & Morgan, C. (2016). Global competition, coloniality, and the geopolitics of knowledge in higher education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37(1), 92-109.

Teegavarapu, S. & Summers, J. (2008). Case study method for design research. Proceedings of IDETC/DTM 2008 ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference August 3-6, 2008. New York city, New York, USA.

Wane, N., Kempf, A. & Simmons, M. (2011). The Politics of Cultural Knowledge. Springer.

Weiler, H. (2011). Knowledge and power: The new politics of higher education. Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, XXV(3), 205-222.

Wilkins, S. (2016). Establishing international branch campuses: A framework for assessing opportunities and risks. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 38(2), 167-182.
How to Cite
Alenazi, M. H. (2022). Unaddressed Journeys: Saudi Western-trained Scholars’ (Re)engagement with Their Local English Language Teaching. Amazonia Investiga, 11(52), 298-308. https://doi.org/10.34069/AI/2022.52.04.32
Bookmark and Share