Literacy for Globalised Contexts: Lessons from a Business Programme for Arabic Learners
This paper is focused on this literacy in a context where education programmes are replicated or similar to those found in countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Literacy for a globalised context refers to the notions/key concepts facilitated via texts used in learning programmes Via my specific context (the Higher College of Technology, United Arab Emirates), I present a critical analysis of the current dominant, textual influences relied on to facilitate learning. Components of this analysis include an analysis of the direct source(s) of textual data used or indirect texts referred to in course content, including traceable key content items in official syllabi. Additionally, I review the teaching methodologies/pedagogies that are officially encouraged and espoused. Using a conceptual framework – referred to as the Curriculum of Practice (Pillay 1997), an analysis if what is actually done is also presented. A comparison of the actual, espoused and official perspectives reveal several phenomena regarding (a) the value-status of texts used, (b) texts as curricular and (c) relevance of texts to local contexts. This last layer of analysis reveals issues for educators (and learners) to be aware of when using texts, generated for a specific cultural and linguistic group of people. Furthermore, the entire analysis points toward several critical learning issues that lie tension between notions of globalization and what is referred to as internationalization – offered as an alternative framework to guide selection of texts and programme development.
Keywords: Textual Literacy, Globalization, Internationalization, Curriculum of Practice, Local Relevance, Business Education, Arabic Learners, United Arab Emirates
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