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. In order to study this accurately and have valid results, the research design itself must be justifiable and airtight, with clear reason and purpose behind its execution.
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. The perceived ability of the students will also be compared to their individual test scores to determine the relationship between perceived ability and actual proficiency.
There are varying constructs and variables that will be examined in the interview phase of the study. Before and after the intervention, the students will be interviewed on the following subjects: Comfort (how much at ease the student felt, at what level they would estimate their nervousness or reticence to perform activities), Efficacy (how much they felt the intervention helped them in both speaking and learning Arabic SLA), and Confidence (how the intervention made them feel in terms of readiness and preparation for fluent Arabic language speaking). The comments for these groups will be organized and studied in depth in order to find similarities and consensuses in thinking and expression. The hope is that, since quantitative and/or objective data is not being collected or assessed, we can get a reasonably accurate portrayal of how well the new DLI intervention is received by students - both as a means to make them better, more confident Arabic learners and to make the learning of Arabic an easier, more pleasant experience for them.
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 equivalent civilian course length. 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. While a quantitative study would provide empirical data regarding the proficiency of Arabic language learners, qualitative study through interviews would indicate the students' comfort with the material, thus indicating their potential proficiency in a non-classroom environment.