Title

Arabic as a Heritage Language: Parental views about Maintain and Enhancing their Children’s Arabic Language

Titles of the Individual Presentations in a Panel

Amani Gashan, M. Ed Ebrahim Bamanger, M. Ed

Subject Area

Arabic and Islamic Studies

Abstract

Parents in the United States may have concerns about their children’s loss of their heritage language and tendency to be flaunted in the dominant language, English. Due to the limited studies that have been done about Arabic as a heritage language, this study sought to explore Arabic parents’ perspectives about their intentions and the strategies they may use to preserve their heritage language.

A qualitative case study was designed, implementing a qualitative questionnaire as a data collection method and the thematic analysis as an approach to analyze the gathered data. The participants were two Arab female students who are pursuing their graduate studies in the United States and who have children in a school-age.

The study concluded that Arabic parents view their heritage Arabic and dominant English language as equally important. The study reported some strategies to maintain Arabic such as enrolling the children in a Sunday school that teaches Arabic and not allowing using English to speak with the children at home. However, these efforts seem not adequate in helping children equally use the languages.

Among the recommendations of the current study is the need for parents to create alternatives that can ensure that their children are able to acquire Arabic and maintain its use. Besides, schools may plan to integrate some cultural programs that give some credit to the children’ heritage languages. Moreover, the study suggests exploring the beliefs of parents who have various education levels as they may have different perspectives regarding the heritage language.

Brief Bio Note

Amani Gashan is doing her Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, with a minor in Arabic Linguistics and Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University-Bloomington. Ms. Gashan is also an Arabic conversation instructor at the Arabic Flagship program, Indiana University-Bloomington. Her research interests focus on Arabic teaching and learning.

Ebrahim Bamanger is doing his Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, with a minor in Arabic Linguistics at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is also a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at King Saud University. He is an Arabic conversation instructor at the Arabic Flagship program, Indiana University-Bloomington.

Keywords

Arabic language, heritage language, dominant language, intention, strategy.

Location

Afternoon Session 1 (PARB 227)

Presentation Year

April 2019

Start Date

4-11-2019 2:15 PM

Embargo

11-12-2018

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Apr 11th, 2:15 PM

Arabic as a Heritage Language: Parental views about Maintain and Enhancing their Children’s Arabic Language

Afternoon Session 1 (PARB 227)

Parents in the United States may have concerns about their children’s loss of their heritage language and tendency to be flaunted in the dominant language, English. Due to the limited studies that have been done about Arabic as a heritage language, this study sought to explore Arabic parents’ perspectives about their intentions and the strategies they may use to preserve their heritage language.

A qualitative case study was designed, implementing a qualitative questionnaire as a data collection method and the thematic analysis as an approach to analyze the gathered data. The participants were two Arab female students who are pursuing their graduate studies in the United States and who have children in a school-age.

The study concluded that Arabic parents view their heritage Arabic and dominant English language as equally important. The study reported some strategies to maintain Arabic such as enrolling the children in a Sunday school that teaches Arabic and not allowing using English to speak with the children at home. However, these efforts seem not adequate in helping children equally use the languages.

Among the recommendations of the current study is the need for parents to create alternatives that can ensure that their children are able to acquire Arabic and maintain its use. Besides, schools may plan to integrate some cultural programs that give some credit to the children’ heritage languages. Moreover, the study suggests exploring the beliefs of parents who have various education levels as they may have different perspectives regarding the heritage language.