Unpacking the Core Teaching and Learning Practices of Arabic at a Major U.S. University: Critical Assessment, Innovation, and Collaboration
Wayne State University
There is no doubt that Arabic is gaining ground in U.S. universities. However, U.S. students face major difficulties in learning Arabic as a foreign language. They are surprised to find a challenging curriculum that does not meet their needs and expectations. Many students are losing their enthusiasm for Arabic quickly and few of them are continuing their studies beyond the intermediate level. As such, the focus of any study should now shift to the retention and advancement of students learning Arabic. To this end, this study attempts to place Arabic within the fold of other foreign languages as they are taught in the Western world. This study will be useful not only to students but to teachers and program coordinators as well.
The data of this study was collected at a major U.S. university. A teacher and six students learning Arabic participated in this study. Questionnaires, interviews, observation, and think-aloud protocols were used as data collection methods. 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.
ISBN 9783862886777. LINCOM Studies in Second Language Teaching 26. 151pp. 2015.