Pilot project dedicated to the definition of contents and methods for an instructional development centered on the teaching of spoken arabic (españolproyecto piloto dedicado a la definición de los contenidos y métodos para una progresión didáctica centrada en la enseñanza del árabe hablado)

  1. Lombezzi, Letizia
Supervised by:
  1. Jorge Aguadé Bofill Director

Defence university: Universidad de Cádiz

Fecha de defensa: 13 February 2018

  1. Antonella Ghersetti Chair
  2. Francesco De Angelis Secretary
  3. Mercedes Aragón Huerta Committee member
  4. Joaquín Bustamante Costa Committee member
  1. Filología

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 536013 DIALNET


Backgroud and the state of the art This research focuses on the development of content and teaching strategies that encourage the acquisition of Spoken Arabic. Because of the focus on a speech-oriented approach, interaction, listening, and comprehension are identified as key skills, as well as basics for building a command of Arabic in non-native speakers. Neglecting all the above considerations, the majority of Arabic teachers introduce early on the study of the classical variant (or standard or formal), starting from elementary levels. They likely without notice commit a procedural and pragmatic mistake. Ryding claimed that Arabic studies have been giving preference to a 'reverse privileging' in the variety of Arabic to teach. Priority has been given to the standard variant, which is used for the secondary functions of the language. We rather need to accord a privileged place to Spoken Arabic, for it is useful in familiar primary functions. Many scholars like Wahba, Younes, Palmer, and Chouairi have stated that teaching MSA does a disservice to students, in the sense it that does not equip them with basic tools for a minimal communicative competence. As a consequence, the instructors who refuse to adapt their practice to this new orientation , explicitly reject the achievement of pragmatic competence goals and do not abide by the requirements posed by the European Council, for example, in term of ?performance? and ?know how?. Alosh invited to help students in achieving ?minimum performance standards?. This ?minimum? can be reached through precise planning, setting in advance a specific sequence to cover all the required aspects for skill development. Grammar is not addressed directly, but constitutes organizational criteria for the linguistic elements to be learned. Instructional development and design (IDD) in general must give priority to training and exposure to the language at stake, which is constituted by a number of informal Arabics. Like native speakers, nonnatives too should begin to interact in a daily register, avoiding recurrence to the standard register (MSA). Then, with conversation and interaction becoming less concrete, they may experiment with the formal language, at a later stage. This project takes into account the data collected in 2016 from a survey of students? opinion, as already mentioned. It emerged that instruction in Arabic begs a total renovation in the field. The profile of a student of Arabic corresponds to a person that in the near future will be employed in linguistic mediation with migrants, interpretation at city hospitals, or in tourism and leisure related sectors. Not one of the cited environments suggests that standard Arabic would be the more suitable variety used in interaction. In practice, the Arabic we come in contact with is the language found in informal specific micro-settings, and I am referring to the chances of practicing it in Europe or Western countries. Job description: methodology and results Conceptually, the thesis is divided into two sections, one for theory and one for practice. The analysis starts with some fundamentals related to Arabic language and teaching (1), including the most prominent arguments (2) both for pro and against standard Arabic and spoken Arabic. The teaching of Arabic, specifically, is analyzed both in terms of needs (3), and teaching strategies and content (4). As a further proof of the my action-oriented approach, two chapters are dedicated to the gathering of information from students (5) about the teaching/learning of Arabic, and the presentation of some relevant findings (6). This data was obtained in 2016, by submitting a questionnaire to learners enrolled in four public universities (Sapienza, Cadiz, Florence, Leipzig) of three different countries. Here ends the section dedicated to theory. The second part is dedicated to teaching practice, and contains concrete proposals to be implemented during class activity, such as the definition of precise teaching techniques (7). These are separately detailed for the development of the various skills such as pronunciation, writing and reading, listening and understanding, conversation and interaction. With the aim of creating a feasible and credible proposal, I summarized in ?Teaching Observations? the most relevant didactic practices I observed in Texas (8) and Beirut (9). I included those observation in my thesis as an additional reference for further explanation of the orientation of my project. Finally, chapter 10 provides a detailed sequence for teaching and its contents, intended as requirements to meet for an effective instruction centered on spoken Arabic. It consists of four Syllabi corresponding to four urban variants of Arabic (Lebanese, Omani, Moroccan, Egyptian), each made of several modules (about 35). These modules, which also result from research in the field, exemplify both the contents and the mechanisms to be adopted in class in order to facilitate the so-called activation and fixation steps of the learning process. My primary concern was to create an instrument that could guide teacher activity, without binding their creativity too much. I preferred for this reason a schematic drafting, still subject to enrichment with additional materials on a case-by-case basis. The Syllabi are to be considered an essential guide, subject to re-negotiation after having received and evaluated a first feedback from the class. There is not a perfect receipt for an instructional design and development, yet taking practice as a reference and observing different teaching practices provides great insight both at the planning and implementation level. This thesis ends with a concrete proposal for teaching: the four Syllabi. They represent the tangible conclusion of my investigation, moreso than any other discourse. The syllabi provide a precise instructional sequence and include the contents and linguistic structures to be addressed during class time, together with a selection of drills that trigger the activation and fixation of the target content. The methodology consists of many techniques: from the flipped-classroom to task-based learning; on one side; the trifold partition of every lesson into preparation-activation-fixation as well as the fish&feed method on the other. According to the structure of my dissertation, divided into two parts, the results are also separated into theory and practice. On the theoretical level, I attempt to get out of ambiguity, taking a strong position in favor of the teaching of Spoken Arabic, as a priority. I provided many arguments and opinions to support this claim and to explain why spoken Arabic plays a crucial role since the first steps of teaching. On the practical level, I elaborated the mentioned syllabi, one for each urban variant considered, to serve as a guide for the teacher. My greatest aspiration remains to refine the techniques, methods, and contents for the teaching of Arabic, both with further research and occasions for discussion.