The purpose of this study is to present, implement, and evaluate a combination of instructional methodologies/strategies beyond current practices for teaching Arabic language to military personnel attending the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California. The intent of such instruction is that students (military personnel) will improve their pass rates on the various examinations that test their listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency in Arabic. Furthermore, this must be done in a way that also provides a subjectively improved classroom experience, both in terms of education and enjoyment.
This study will be qualitative in nature, and will consist of interviews conducted at various points throughout a manufactured framework for the Arabic Language instructors teaching Arabic as a second language at the Defense Language Institute (DLI). The study will provide a realistic oral proficiency preparation and practice whether it is for the military purposes or for civilian needs. The primary metric for testing this hypothesis is to determine whether an overall more productive and enjoyable classroom experience is gained through these new methodologies.
This study will determine a wide range of successful instructional methodologies by applying counseling or one-on-one and negotiation instructional methods delivering the Arabic language to American military students in a 24 week course. This has the potential to lead to surpassing or equal results of the (DLI) 61 week course, which mainly focuses on oral proficiency. This will be done while considering the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) scale and topics required in order for learners to excel and reach the advanced basic level or the first native speakers level (level 2) in less time than the current DLI course length or any equivilant civilian course length.
In addition, this study will narrow the gap between the previously introduced methods and findings of learning the Arabic language as a second Language while introducing and describing how to implement and apply a combination of instructional methodologies, considering previous studies that highlighted the instructional difficulties or even difficulties of the language that the majority of the American students face such as fluency, comprehension, vocabulary retention, different pedagogical approach than English language. Needless to mention the nature of curriculum content (FLO) topics, the accelerated process of learning and the technique that students should start to adopt and overcome in order to produce the new language while demonstrating their language skills and ability.
The objective of this research is to identify those methodologies and explore how Arabic could be efficiently and effectively delivered while overcoming those difficulties of an enhanced oral proficiency. The study will disclose how to avoid the challenges that occur during the process of learning the language especially at the oral communication level or the speaking skill and introduce a new key of approaching the Arabic learning in order to improve language acquisition more rapidly. The effectiveness of the new approached method “oral interaction positive corrective modeling” will be measured against the current performance held at the main schools of the DLI. The results of the OPI test conducted for the Ft. Huachuca, AZ (LTD) students will be compared by the OPI test results conducted for a similar group of students taught the language through the same main curriculum however with the pace of the DLI program of the main schools in order to conclude the best performance and achievement.
In general, there are only a few studies that have introduced new applications of instructional methodology for delivering Arabic to American students. In line with the problem statement and reviewing the topics for this step of the dissertation development, there remains “an unprecedented interest in and awareness regarding the importance of developing, and adopting, new methodologies in the teaching of Arabic language (Taha-Thomure, 2008) in general or as the observers stated after 9/11.
The research strategy method of inquiry in this study is a qualitative case study method in which the researcher will explore, investigate, and identify a combined instructional method of approaching the Arabic language as a second language. This will be done through a pilot program conducted over the past three years at Ft. Huachuca, AZ LTD, with three groups of students who completed the program with DLI instructors.
At the beginning of the intervention, interviews will be given to each participant in the new curriculum. These questions will cover issues of quality of education and comfort within a classroom setting. The overall purpose of these questions is to gauge the participants' general feelings toward the issue of second language acquisition and foreign language learning courses - what their expectations are, what they anticipate they will get out of the process, etc.
At the end of the intervention, the participants will be interviewed once more, this time to discern what elements of the process worked for them - what level of comfort they had with the material given the curriculum tested, and how well they feel they learned. Their opinions on the pace and difficulty of the curriculum will also be recorded via interview questions. The results will then be analyzed and discussed, in order to determine whether the research question (this new method of intervention for Arabic DLI courses is a more comfortable and effective curriculum than currently exists) is supported.
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