MESA Banner
Language, Linguistics, and Pedagogy

Session VIII-20, 2022 Annual Meeting

On Saturday, December 3 at 11:00 am

Panel Description
  • Some current research that has investigated the diglossia phenomena in the Arabic language--a phenomenon in which two spoken forms are used by one community, indicates that traditional Arabic grammarians had some biases when they crafted the Arabic grammar books. Sibawah, a Basran Arabic grammarian philologist, is an example of such biases (1), wo had standardized Arabic grammar based on a particular variety while neglecting other spoken verities(2). Such a bias has created an idealized and standard language which is not compatible with Arabic spoken varieties during Sibawah’s time . In this paper, I discuss one Arabic sound--glottal sound, that was standardized by either adding it to Arabic lexicon or by tensing some lexical items that have a light glottal sound. For instance, some lexical items such as (fās, dīb, mūmın) were standardized with a glottal sound as (fāʾs, dīʾb, muʾmın). Some Arabic philologists have considered this sound a standard form since it was an easy process of marking the written forms with some diacritics (3), i.e. vocalic materials. This paper attempts to answer the following questions: (1) To what extent can we, linguists, consider these sound changes provided by some traditional philologists a mistake or misjudgment? (2) To what extent can we reconstruct the addition of the glottal sound to consider the original sounds as the standard? In this paper, I analyze the glottal sound change by comparing some data extracted from four Arabic grammar documents authored by Sibawih, Ibn Jinni, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Madaʾ(4)The conclusion is that old Arab communities during 8th A.D or even before it were uttering the glottal sound when there are ambiguities with other lexical items. This result leads me to another future research work which is to what extent we can collapse this glottal sound in some Arabic curricula since it is a troublesome issue for Arabic native learners. Reference: 1 Ar.Radd Ala Annuhat, Ibn Madaā al-Qurtubi 2 Al Etqān Fī Ūlūm Al.Qurān, Al.Sūyūtī 3 Al.Kitāb, Sibawīh, and Al.Nahu Al.Jadeed, Abdulmutaāli Al.Saēdī 4 Al.Kitāb, Sibawīh. Al.Khasāys, Ibn Jinni. Al.Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldoun. Ar.Radd Ala Annuhat, Ibn Madaā al-Qurtubi
  • Studies using social learning platforms have received much attention in recent years. This chapter investigates learners’ perceptions of the effectiveness of a digital tool called Perusall in improving the reading comprehension of students of Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) during COVID-19. It will also examine if the Perusall app strengthens students’ understanding of Arabic reading strategies. For instance, whether the tool helps students recognize words’ meanings using the Arabic derivation system, schemata, the student's own knowledge background, or a combination of these strategies. Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) was utilized to explore how AFL students used Perusall to further their learning effectively. Data were collected using a qualitative approach from 10 AFL students by conducting semi-structured interviews. The results show that the intermediate AFL learners were able to apply AFL reading strategies to derive word meaning and create a digital community where students learned together, collaboratively, via Perusall. Activity theory Arabic as a foreign language Technology-enhanced reading Peer feedback Reading strategies
  • The need for multilingual information access has been addressed in many forms for several years. The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCST) Non-English Access Committee indicated that research in the area of assigning subject headings in the language of the script will enable the user to find materials in the library more efficiently. It also indicated that Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) does not sufficiently represent the culture of the Arabic and Islamic world. Several examples of the deficiency of LCSH coverage in these areas illustrate the need to develop an Arabic open-source controlled vocabulary that can be used when assigning subject headings for Arabic materials. This presentation aims to address three issues: • The LCSH and its coverage of Arabic subjects • Enhance the discoverability of Arabic material by adding the Arabic subject headings • The development of the open access Arabic thesaurus based on the linked-data approach; there will be a demo to the thesaurus
  • Arabic heritage learners’ second dialect acquisition is a topic that has been scarcely addressed in the existing literature on the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language. The present study investigates the motivations and attitudes of Arabic heritage language learners (HLLs) towards studying a second Arabic dialect. A questionnaire was administered to collect learners’ motivations, perceptions and attitudes in two US universities that adopt an integrated approach to teaching Arabic as a foreign language. The study addresses the following questions. What are heritage learners’ attitudes and levels of motivation towards studying a second Arabic dialect? What are the pedagogical implications and recommendations for instruction? The collected data was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, participants’ responses were analyzed using the Likert package in the statistical programming language R. Qualitatively, participants’ responses to open-ended questions were analyzed through categories that emerged from shared themes that were later coded to correspond to the main areas covered in the questionnaire. The results of the analysis showed that Arabic HLLs were motivated to study their heritage dialect while they tended to have less favorable attitudes towards and less interest in learning a second Arabic dialect. The pedagogical implications and recommendations of this research can be relevant to institutions similar to where the study was conducted. This study allows the voices of Arabic HLLs to reach teachers, pedagogists and language coordinators and guide them in their continuous research for appropriate and effective teaching practices for Arabic heritage learners.