Decolonising Arabic language teaching: a case study

Columbu, A. 2022. Decolonising Arabic language teaching: a case study. Language Cultures Mediation. 8 (2), pp. 101-118. https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2021-002-colu

TitleDecolonising Arabic language teaching: a case study
TypeJournal article
AuthorsColumbu, A.
Abstract

Since the early 2000s Arabic has become an increasingly popular language at academic level across Europe and North America, with high numbers of students enrolling on a variety of programmes offering Modern Standard Arabic – as well as local varieties of Arabic, commonly known as ‘āmmiyya – as the target language (Dickins and Watson 2006, 108; Ryding 2006, 13; Mohamed 2021b, 59). The increasingly high demand for this language has resulted in unprecedented progress in the variety of learning materials available for both teachers and learners. Such developments have largely taken place in the United States, where most textbooks such as the Al-Kitaab series are designed and printed. This paper employs decolonisation and post-colonial theory to look at the ideological implications of the political agendas implicit in popular and widely adopted textbooks and their proposed content for teaching Arabic as a foreign language. Relevant examples from the Al-Kitaab series – one of the most successful and widely adopted textbooks at university level in the UK – show the role of Arabic language teaching materials in perpetuating patterns of European and North American cultural hegemony, making the case for rethinking Arabic language teaching at academic level.

KeywordsArabic
decoloniality
neoliberalism
orientalism
teaching
JournalLanguage Cultures Mediation
Journal citation8 (2), pp. 101-118
ISSN2284-1881
2421-0293
Year2022
PublisherLED Edizioni Universitarie
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2021-002-colu
Publication dates
Published09 Feb 2022

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