Teaching Arabic as a second language in Dubai. The influence of technology and innovation

Term Paper, 2020

23 Pages, Grade: A





A Synthesis of Methodologies

Synthesis of Main Empirical Finding and Practical Implications

Gaps in the Literature




Arabic as a second language (ASL) is an upcoming social exploration area in Dubai and the larger UAE (Alfataftah & Jarrar, 2018). However, there is insufficient literature on the subject. Teaching and learning ASL is the subject of increasing controversy. Amara (2017) states that Arabic is the official language in the UAE; however, the majority of the population speaks English because UAE was a British colony until 1971. Given that the UAE is one of the Arab countries, the Arabic language is one of the national curriculum's key subjects apart from Social Studies and Islamic Education. According to AlHagbani, and Khan (2016), over the last few years, there has been the increased significance of teaching the Arabic language for non-Arabic speakers in the UAE with the main objectives being: to develop an awareness of learners about relationships between the Arabic language and Arabic or Islamic culture, enhance awareness of the need for the Arabic language across the world and improve both oral and written communication skills to strengthen the process of obtaining informational literacy level. One divide argued that Arabic was a dying language in the Middle East in the face of the globalized English language, according to Sabbah (2016). Different studies (Cook, 2016; Carroll, Al Kahwaji, & Litz, 2017) indicate that the other controversial divisions argued that the Arabic language was a growing language in the UAE.

Kennetz and Carroll (2018) demystified the concept of Arabic language threat in the UAE and the propagations that Arabic was fading, and the more extraneous debates around the Arabic language has perceived extinction. Kennetz and Carroll (2018) indicated that the UAE population's steady growth had increased linguistic, education, and cultural diversity in the UAE, especially in major cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Despite the growth and the accoladed diversity, the Arabic language is spoken by 10% to 15% of the total population, thus making the residents and scholars among other interested parties wary, often deteriorating the Arabic language trend in the UAE.

However, Bin-Samah et al. (2016) noted that teaching and learning Arabic face innumerable challenges that curtail the Dubai and UAE government's efforts in promoting Arabic literacy. Alkutich (2017) noted that the ASL curriculum presents many challenges, while Belhiah and Elhami (2015) noted competition from English. Kataw (2016) noted limited teaching and learning time, vernacular, and colloquialism. Similarly, Alkahtani (2019), Hadi (2019), Mosa and Kakehi (2015), and Mustaffa, Sharif, Sirri, and Hj-Salam (2019) noted that technology was a significant challenge in teaching and learning ASL.

However, there are dismal learning and teaching outcomes, thus arousing the researcher's interest in the practice's challenges. Salama (2017) noted that the UAE government had reshuffled places, systems, and increased efforts to bolster the Arabic language to enhance businesses, interactions, and innovations. Further, Bernikova and Redkin (2017) added that increased linguistics integration and proliferation increased the need to explore ASL's practice and learning in Dubai. Therefore, based on the background information, this literature review will critically synthesize and analyze sources that have explored the concept related to "What is the role of innovation and technology infusion in teaching ASL?"


The main issue to be examined is the influence of technology and innovation in ASL in Dubai. Faryadi (2007) examined interactive media's role in teaching the Arabic language and discovered that the integration of technology allows instructors to improve their lessons based on achieving effectiveness and creativity in knowledge transfer. Learners are easily persuaded to reason and think critically in the classrooms through interactive media.

Nevertheless, Almekhlafi and Almeqdadi (2010) conducted a study that sought to examine teachers' perceptions of technology integration into the classroom setting and found out that technology-based educational techniques enable teachers to emphasize using the application and metacognitive skills in different academic content areas. Ishtaiwa & Shana (2011) further stated that teaching the Arabic language can be enhanced through the use of an interactive whiteboard that offers teachers opportunities to implement different strategies to enhance the learners' understanding. An interactive whiteboard is beneficial in different ways, including using presentation tools, enabling a teacher to write notes over education video clips, viewing content as a group, providing indefinite storage space, and allowing creative and dynamic web-based integration and replicate older functions of presentation materials. Arrabtah and Nusour (2012) further reveal that technology and innovative techniques can be used in teaching Arabic language grammar, but critical considerations should be given to how the students comprehend the junk of information gathered from different e-learning tools.

On the other hand, Engin (2014) persists on the need to extend the flipped classroom model and suggest that student-created digital video can foster the skills while teaching the second language. Although, Abedalla (2015) propagated that students' perceptions regarding the use of mobile applications technology can affect the process of teaching as some may not concentrate on what the instructor is providing but instead focus on other activities such as social media. Al Musawi et al. (2016) disagree with the previous discoveries by indicating that Arabic language teachers can utilize traditional and technology-based interventions to teach ASL. Gharawi and Bidin (2016) further argue that computer-assisted language teaching techniques facilitate students' ability to gain more experience.

Kennetz and Carroll's (2018) discoveries disagreed with the notions that English competed with Arabic and caused the language has perceived fading or extinction. Contrary to the notions above, Kennetz and Carroll (2018) found that Arabic and English exist harmoniously, but most learners enrolled preferred English to increase their prospects in the global economy where English is the primary medium of communication. Likewise, Kennetz and Carroll's (2018) findings disapproved of Sabbah's (2015) assertions in the examination of whether Arabic was a fading language. Further, Muro (2019) explored the media's rhetorical scrutiny of Arabic and English struggle. Muro (2019) depicted that most indigenous dialects are on the verge of extinction, thus making cultural heritage stakeholders document fading language. Muro (2019) further added that although Arabic in the UAE was not a fading language as earlier propagated by some researcher such as Al Oraimi (2017), Cook (2016), and Hopkyns (2017), the decreasing trend and influence of the immigrants and western world in most gulf countries warranted scientific scrutiny.

Some of the most cited authors and researchers in teaching and learning the Arabic language can be found in the literature regarding Arabic diglossia, triglossia, technology in Arabic, vocabulary aspects of Arabic, and perceptions of learners, teachers, and Arabic policymaking. Such researchers included Ryding (2013), Wekke (2015), Palmer (2007), Bin-Tahir, Saidah, Mufidah, and Bugis (2018), Ferrari (2018), Alkutich (2017), and Ahmad (2018). The elucidations above were informed by scrutinizing the most cited scholarly sources on major scholar archives such as Google Scholar and Google Books. However salient trend was that most researchers explored a variety of sources to enrich their explorations. Notably, there are innumerable authors (Alhaqbani & Riazi, 2012); Alfaifi, Atwell & Hedaya, 2014; Alasraj & Alharbi, 2014) cited in scientific research examinations of teaching and learning of ASL and related concepts; however, their works cannot be explained exhaustively in this review.

Synthesis of Key Concepts and Theoretical Concepts

The key concepts to be considered include technology integration and its impact on teaching, the factors that influence innovation and technology diffusion in foreign language teaching, and new techniques to teaching ASL such as learning video-clips, listening to CD-players, chatting and email messaging programs, electronic dictionaries, presentation software, computer-assisted language learning programs, and language learning web sites. The researchers who made significant attempts to explain these concepts are as follows; Joshi (2012) assessed the innovative techniques to engage learners and suggested transforming the teaching programs across the UAE. Similarly, Dajani (2015) insists on stimulating creativity in teaching the Arabic language and using interactive tools to improve learners' skills.

On the other hand, Palfreyman and Karaki (2017) inspected Arabic and English concepts as the main languages of pedagogic instruction in the UAE education acumen. Almekhlafi and Almeqdadi (2010) assessed teachers' perceptions regarding technology integration and how it can be an effective strategy in teaching SL. Aburezeq and Ishtaiwa (2013) focus on the social media networks' primary WhatsApp and its impact on interaction in Arabic language teaching, while Alasraj and Alharbi (2014) examined the effectiveness of computer-aided technologies in teaching ASL. Similarly, Wahdah (2018) assessed the learning strategy concepts of Arabic and relating issues, while Baus and Costa (2016) evaluated second language processing issues and concepts.

Moreover, Gharawi and Bidin (2016) and Batainah, Din, and Al Mashakbh (2018) scrutinized computer-aided and hybrid ASL learning aspects and teaching and learning issues ASL, respectively. Likewise, O'Sullivan (2017), Zakaria, Atan and Robe'ah-Yusuf (2019) and Jwaifell, Abu-Omar and Al-Tarawneh (2018) focused on the professional development of trainer aspects of ASL pedagogy based on innovative and technology-based interventions while Carroll et al. (2017), Shendy (2019), Alfaisal and Aljanada (2019) and Saiegh-Haddad and Ghawi-Dakwar (2017) technology integration or diffusion barriers. Similarly, Haron, Ahmed, Mamat, Ahmad, and Rawash (2016) and Kennetz and Carroll (2018) examined multimedia software's efficacy in teaching ASL based on computer-assisted programs.

Alkutich (2017) also investigated the efficacy of the innovation infusion in solving curriculum delivery constraints in ASL teaching, focusing on the UAE institutions.

A review of the key theoretical frameworks used in the sources depicted varied assumptions and theoretical postulations regarding ASL's teaching and learning. Different studies use various theoretical frameworks to achieve the objectives of the research. Several studies (Imenda, 2014; Haron et al., 2016; Taha, 2019; Carroll et al., 2017; Harrison, 2018; Alkutich, 2017; Cook, 2016; O'Neill, 2017; Ahmad, 2018) used the interpretivism theoretical models. Interpretivism involves a fundamental research approach in sociology that integrates human interest in the study. Interpretivist paradigm reveals that, in all the research process, the researcher's values are inherent because conflicting interpretations are negotiated. Dialogue helps to negotiate truth, and the interpretations are based on a particular moment. In the interpretivist model, qualitative methods are used, and the approach relies heavily on a naturalistic method, including analysis of the existing text, interviewing, and observation. Reality is socially constructed, taking into account relationships with other people, social settings, and culture.

Other studies (Belhiah and Elhami, 2015; Belhiah and Elhami, 2015; Mustaffa, Sharif, Sirri, and Hj-Salam, 2019; Bakry and Alsamadani, 2015; Salameh, 2018; Palfreyman and Karaki, 2017; Kennetz and Carroll, 2018) used the positivism research paradigm. Positivism is a research philosophy that focuses on factual knowledge obtained from observation or measurement, which is considered trustworthy. The researcher is limited to objective collection of data and interpretation. This theoretical belief is used to describe a study of the society based on scientific evidence, including statistics and experiments revealing the true nature of how society operates. The positivist approach's main principles include: human senses should be used to observe research empirically; the goal of inquiry is to discover, predict, and explain the logic of inquiry is identical. The philosophical assumption is that natural phenomena, their relations, and properties determine positive knowledge.

Al-Mohsen (2016) employed pragmatical theoretical underpinnings and frameworks in line with the mixed methods approaches and concepts utilized to inspect teachers' perceptions in teaching ASL using interrogated approaches. Pragmatism is described as the research paradigm that underpins the majority of the mix-method studies and is based on the idea that the research questions can be answered most effectively through the best methods. Thus, pragmatism is a problem-oriented philosophy that pays attention to the individual decision-maker.

The salient similarity in all the sources reviewed in this study revealed that each study used s theoretical framework that harmonized with the study's methodological underpinnings. Therefore, its methodology aspects and frameworks informed the type of theoretical framework adopted in the study. Notably, most researchers use positivism in line with quantitative methods or interpretivist frameworks in line with quantitative frameworks.


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Teaching Arabic as a second language in Dubai. The influence of technology and innovation
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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teaching, arabic, dubai
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Mohamed Moghazy (Author), 2020, Teaching Arabic as a second language in Dubai. The influence of technology and innovation, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/974737


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