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An investigation of issues associated with teaching and learning Arabic for U.S. students

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Title: An investigation of issues associated with teaching and learning Arabic for U.S. students
Author(s): Zouhir, Abderrahmane
Director of Research: Dressman, Mark A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Dressman, Mark A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad; Davidson, Frederick G.; DeNicolo, Christina P.
Department / Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline: Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Arabic as a Foreign Language Arabic in U.S. Universities Arabic Diglossia Arabic Instruction Challenges History of Arabic in USA Arabic Pedagogy
Abstract: Arabic is gaining ground in U.S. Universities and new Arabic programs have been established. American Students’ registration in Arabic classes has increased rapidly in recent years. Through my participation for several years as a teaching assistant in the university where this research is conducted and lecturer of Arabic in other American institutions, I have noticed that American students face major difficulties in learning Arabic as a foreign language. There are striking conceptual and structural dissimilarities between Arabic and English. Arabic presents certain types of phonological, morphological and syntactical difficulties to the English-speaking students. Not enough research has explored the factors influencing learning Arabic and the teaching materials used in class. To this end, this study investigates the challenges that American students face in learning Arabic and explores the factors influencing learning Arabic in reading and writing. The data of this study was collected in a Midwestern university. A teacher and six American students learning Arabic were interviewed and observed in class to see the difficulties they face in learning Arabic and the factors that impact their learning. Students’ tests and homework were assessed. The study critically assesses the teaching and learning of Arabic, and provides some recommendations that are peculiar to the study setting as well as to the general field of teaching Arabic as a foreign language in the United States. Findings suggest that extra curricular activities should be promoted in teaching and learning Arabic in U.S. universities.
Issue Date: 2011-01-21
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18518
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Abderrahmane Zouhir
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-01-21
2013-01-22
Date Deposited: 2010-12
 

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