Developing Hypertext Reading Materials for the Teaching of Arabic

Developing Hypertext Reading Materials for the Teaching of Arabic

Robert Ariew (University of Arizona, Tucson, USA) and Jeremy Palmer (University of Arizona, Tucson, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-166-7.ch004
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Abstract

Enrollments in Arabic language programs are rapidly growing throughout the United States. Until recently, Arabic has received minimal attention in educational institutions. This chapter describes the textbook materials and software resources in the field of Arabic language teaching and learning. As Arabic programs and teachers rush to implement new teaching materials, modernize and improve curricula, attention is paid to enhancing the role of technology in teaching Arabic. This chapter presents a review of issues related to teaching and learning Arabic, software applications that may assist Arabic learners and an innovative example of hypertext software that may be used to facilitate reading proficiency in Arabic.
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Background

Teaching Arabic in the United States Enrollments

The teaching of Arabic in the United States is in an exciting period of change. The change stems from several different areas, including enrollment patterns, pedagogical innovation as well as in the availability of new materials. The most important transformation is the mushrooming of interest in Arabic language and culture. Arabic has historically been viewed as an exotic language outside mainstream foreign language learning and teaching. All of this changed, however, after the terrible events of September 2001. Al-Batal (2007) describes the post-9/11era as a “sputnik” moment for Arabic, meaning that interest and increase in Arabic enrollments is comparable to the similar development of perceived foreign language relevance – particularly for Russian – after the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957. Recently, there has been a steep rise in enrollments, quadrupling the number of students enrolled in Arabic language courses.

In her article on foreign language enrollments in United States institutions, Elizabeth B. Welles (2004) chronicles the beginning of the increase: “Enrollments in Arabic were relatively stable during the 1980s; however, since 1995 they have shown rapid growth, particularly between 1998 and 2002, almost doubling (from 5,505 to 10,584)” (Welles, 2004). As shown in the data, Arabic takes its place as the 12th most often taught language. Its percentage increase between 1998 and 2002 was 92.3%. However, the increase does not stop there. In a more recent report on enrollments in US institutions of higher education, Furman, N., Goldberg, D., & Lusin, N. (2007) show that Arabic continued its expansion between 2002 and 2006, gaining 126.5% in enrollments. Arabic almost doubled its enrollments from 1998 to 2002 and more than doubled its figures again in 2006, bringing the number of students in Arabic to 23,974. Furman et al. also state “Not only have enrollments in Arabic expanded two-fold, but the number of institutions of higher learning offering Arabic has also nearly doubled; we received reports from 466 programs in 2006 against 264 in 2002” (Furman et al., 2007). Arabic is now the 10th most taught language in the US, right after Russian.

With the study of Arabic poised to continue its strong increase in the years ahead, it is interesting to observe that the data also shows that enrollments are concentrated in lower-level courses. There is a strong differential in enrollments between lower-level and upper-level courses. For every eight enrollments in first and second year Arabic courses, there is only one enrollment in advanced Arabic (Furman et al., 2007). If this trend continues, it will have an impact on the type of teaching and materials required in the future.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Chao-Han Liu
Chapter 1
Lorna Uden, Nian-Shing Chen, Chun-Wang Wei, Jui-Chu Fan
The implementation of Online Synchronous Learning (OSL) poses many challenges to existing instruction technology theory because of the complexity of... Sample PDF
Online Synchronous English Learning from Activity Theory Perspectives
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Chapter 2
Eva Lindgren, Kirk P.H. Sullivan, Mats Deutschmann, Anders Steinvall
In a case study a University class undertook a translation from Swedish to English in a keystroke logging environment and then replayed their... Sample PDF
Supporting Learner Reflection in the Language Translation Class
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Chapter 3
Katsunori Kotani, Takehiko Yoshimi, Takeshi Kutsumi, Ichiko Sata, Hitoshi Isahara
In this chapter, the authors examined reading evaluation methods for foreign language learners based on learners’ reading processes. The goal of... Sample PDF
A Reading Evaluation Method for English as a Foreign Language Learners Based on Reading Performances
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Chapter 4
Robert Ariew, Jeremy Palmer
Enrollments in Arabic language programs are rapidly growing throughout the United States. Until recently, Arabic has received minimal attention in... Sample PDF
Developing Hypertext Reading Materials for the Teaching of Arabic
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Chapter 5
Bolanle A. Olaniran
This chapter explores computer-mediated communication (CMC) and information communication technology (ICT) use in language learning. More... Sample PDF
Culture and Language Learning in Computer-Enhanced or Assisted Language Learning
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Chapter 6
Indi Marie Williams, Heather N. Warren, Bolanle A. Olaniran
Within a globalized society, foreign language acquisition is essential to promote intercultural global communication. For many, the use of... Sample PDF
Achieving Cultural Acquiescence Through Foreign Language E-Learning
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Chapter 7
Eleonora Pantano, Assunta Tavernise
This chapter aims at illustrating how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could be used to exploit and disseminate Cultural Heritage... Sample PDF
Learning Cultural Heritage Through Information and Communication Technologies: A Case Study
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Chapter 8
Wei-Peng Lien, Rita Kuo, Maiga Chang
This project aimed to construct a Blended Learning model with a lecture-review Web site, which would support students’ self-learning at home or in... Sample PDF
Using Blended Learning to Teach Foreign Brides Chinese
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Chapter 9
Terence Murphy
One central task faced by those interested in the corpus analysis of second language writing is how to measure ESL textual sophistication. While... Sample PDF
Exploring the Concept of Emergent Coherence in a Corpus of Korean EFL Texts
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Chapter 10
Giuseppe Conti, Raffaele De Amicis, Gabrio Girardi, Michele Andreolli, Stefano Piffer
In the past years the adoption of computer graphics to improve learning experience has seen a rising success. The wide availability of dedicated... Sample PDF
The Role of Interactive Computer Graphics to Augment the Learning Experience of Cultural Heritage Within Museums and Expositions
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Chapter 11
Yue Ming, Zhenjiang Miao
This chapter was inspired by the work of the designers of a Mandarin language e-learning as they attempted to find the best solution to deal with... Sample PDF
A Mandarin E-Learning System in Pervasive Environment
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Chapter 12
Jiyou Jia
Computer Simulation in Educational Communication (CSIEC), is not only an intelligent Web-based human-computer dialogue system with natural language... Sample PDF
An Intelligent Web-Based Human-Computer Interaction System with Natural Language CSIEC and its Integration into English Instruction
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Chapter 13
Hamdi Erkunt
Can a traditional college course be enhanced with online collaborative learning, with similar attributes to knowledge work in the modern world? Can... Sample PDF
Developing Electronic Portfolios in a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Environment
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Chapter 14
Min Kang
The goal of this chapter is to explain several experiments carried out by our research group to explore whether synthetic speech can be currently... Sample PDF
Synthetic Speech in Computer-Enhanced Foreign Language Learning
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Chapter 15
Niki Lambropoulos, Martha Christopoulou, Kosmas Vlachos
This chapter presents culture-based language-learning objects (CLLOs) in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), supported by user-centered... Sample PDF
Culture-Based Language Learning Objects: A CALL Approach for a Ubiquitous World
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Chapter 16
Nektaria Palaiologou
Nowadays, it is a common ascertainment that information and communication technologies (ICTs) and networked learning are not easy to access for many... Sample PDF
Intercultural Dimensions in the Information Society: Reflections on Designing and Developing Culturally Oriented Learning
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Chapter 17
Karen L. Murphy, Yakut Gazi, Lauren Cifuentes
This chapter addresses the question, “How can we overcome potential cultural discontinuities in online collaborative project-based learning... Sample PDF
Intercultural Collaborative Project-Based Learning in Online Environments
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Chapter 18
Diane Boehm, Lilianna Aniola-Jedrzejek
This chapter presents seven principles of good practice for conducting virtual international collaborations with students. The authors have... Sample PDF
Seven Principles of Good Practice for Virtual International Collaboration
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Chapter 19
Rita Zaltsman
The present chapter assesses the key questions of communication barriers in distance learning virtual communities. To examine their cultural... Sample PDF
Communication Barriers and Conflicts in Cross-Cultural E-Learning
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About the Contributors