Cultural Changes in Saudi Textbooks: Patterns and Perspectives

Faruk Syed Md Golam


This paper investigates the cultural patterns in which English was contextualized in Saudi English textbooks published during the last 33 years and explains the continuity or discontinuity of the pattern by Saudi Arabia’s progress through Wallerstein’s (2006) modern world system.  In order to put the changes in perspective, Saudi socio-economic and political developments during the state’s movement from periphery towards the core through semi-periphery zones of the world system is discussed. The paper concludes that in the books published between 1982 and 1997 a pattern based on national culture was maintained, and almost the same pattern was followed in the books of the period between 1998 and 2012. The trend of pattern maintenance is still there in the books published recently in 2013 but there is a paradigm shift in terms of cultural elements—the national culture is almost replaced with the Western culture.


Saudi Arabia, English textbooks, culture, world system, state, switchboard.

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