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Title:A Study of Factors Influencing Readers' Comprehension of Cultural Content Embedded in Arabic Literature
Author(s):Abu-Ulbah, Walid Mahmoud
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Secondary
Abstract:The purpose of the study was to identify and analyze the impact of specific factors (variables) on the reading of literature as a means of communicating cultural insights in the context of foreign language programs of instruction.
The relationship between language and culture was established through the examination of language and culture theories. The role of literature study in the context of the cultural approach to foreign language instruction was thus explored.
The empirical part of the study involved two groups of American students who were given a short story to read. The story was translated from Arabic into English. The two groups were match in terms of age, sex, and field of study. The only controllable difference between them was the fact that one group studied Arabic and the other did not. Fourteen key variables were identified and a three part questionnaire was developed to measure the influence of these variables on the students' comprehension of literature.
The collected data were presented in statistical form as well as a detailed description of each subject's responses. Even though no clear cut pattern has emerged from the sample studied, certain conclusions can be drawn: (1) The study of foreign language, coupled with the study of foreign literature, enhances comprehension and cultural awareness. (2) Socioeconomic background and its consequent activities influence literature study. (3) Good reading ability and experience in literaure reading have a positive influence on reading foreign literature. (4) Cultural chauvinism can have a negative influence on comprehension and awareness of foreign cultures. (5) Age (maturity) has a positive influence on literature reading. As a result of the study specific recommendations were given: (1) There is a need to develop special materials of instruction designed to aid foreign language instructors to implement the goal of improving cultural comprehension through reading of literature. (2) There is a need for graded foreign language readers to serve primarily as reading experience as well as a tool for formal language study. (3) There is a need to include the study of "response to literature" for the teachers of foreign language. (4) There is a need to replicate the present study using much larger samples and a streamlined questionnaire.
Issue Date:1983
Description:198 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8324495
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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