Date of Graduation

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department

International and Multicultural Education

Program

International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Second Advisor

Betty Taylor

Abstract

This study examines the perception of Arabic teachers on whether an integrated approach is critical for students’ communicative competence in Arabic. Additionally, the study attempts to uncover what might be potential barriers to the integrated-approach program-wide implementation in the field of Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language in higher education institutes in the United States. Although many studies investigated students’ perception of learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) only, few studies focused on teachers’ perceptions of the issue and understanding of what communicative Arabic instruction should entail.

Using a mixed-method study, the researcher conducted the study in two sequential phases: a quantitative phase followed by a qualitative phase. Quantitative data-collection sources used adaptation of the Arabic Teacher Survey. The online survey dataset consisted of a 50-item survey of 60 participants. Although no significant relationships emerged between teachers’ perceptions of the integrated approach and its impact on communicative competence due to size effect, an overall favorable perception of using the integrated approach emerged as the correct way to go about the teaching and learning of Arabic. The MSA ideology, especially among older and more highly educated teachers correlated with participants’ overall favorability of the integrated approach. The qualitative phase consisted of one-on-one phone interviews with seven Arabic teachers to provide a more descriptive analysis of the survey data. Changes in perceptions of teaching both MSA and spoken Arabic are shifting, despite the narrow scope of its implementation. The participants’ credited the delay in wide implementation of an integrated approach to a lack of teaching materials, teachers’ training opportunities, and insufficient of data that supports the implementation of the approach.

This research provided empirical insights to teachers’ perceptions of the integrated approach and its promising future as a common practice in the field. The study concludes by proposing an integrated approach instructional design and recommendations for further research. The aim is to support the importance of teaching both MSA and spoken Arabic as the underpinning of communicative competence in Arabic.