Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 60051
A Review of the Literature on Arabic Language Teacher Education Issues in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Wesal Maash

Abstract:

Teaching Arabic to native Arabic speakers is challenging, but this fact is not surprising due to Arabic’s diglossic nature. Its spread as a mother tongue language to over 22 countries has resulted in many regionally spoken dialects and has caused disparities between classical Arabic (the Qur’an language), modern standard Arabic (MSA; the language of news and contemporary literature), and spoken dialects. In the education systems of the Arab world, all Arabic textbooks and tests are written in MSA; however, teaching the Arabic language is far more complicated. Using local dialects when teaching Arabic can vary from community to community and from one Arab country to another. Although Arabic has a significant position in Arab countries, the realities of Arabic learning outcomes in these countries are not satisfactory and reflect a significant educational concern. Research has highlighted factors that contribute to this weakness, such as the Arabic language curriculum, teaching methods and strategies and social and cultural impacts. However, since teachers are considered the cornerstone of the educational process, most criticisms were directed towards ALTs (Arabic Language Teacher) and their training and preparation. This paper attempts to create knowledge and understanding regarding the main issues in ALT education through a literature review that investigates the status of ALTs and the main dilemmas they face in the Arab world. Studies assessing ALTs raised several concerns regarding ALT preparation programs. Therefore, this paper will provide a review of the Arab world literature, which investigated the statue and main weaknesses of ALT education, with a main focus on the Saudi context.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Language Teaching, Arabic language, first language

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