Academic journal article Education

Teaching Arabic for Speakers of Other Languages from the Perspective of Instructors and Students

Academic journal article Education

Teaching Arabic for Speakers of Other Languages from the Perspective of Instructors and Students

Article excerpt

Introduction

Teaching Arabic has spread in different parts of the world. Since the textbook is an important element in the processes of teaching and learning, several books have been written in the field of teaching Arabic for speakers of other languages. Another important process has been going along with writing textbooks; namely, developing them. Evaluation studies are the most important stage of development because they reveal the validity of the most important element of the process of teaching; the book.

The definition of evaluation varies according to the different views of different researchers. Evaluation is "deciding the status quo and comparing it to a group of criteria." (Shatnawi, 1995, P.4). Shalabi (1984, P.9), on the other hand, defines it as "all the organizing processes that integrate with the various elements of curriculum and defining the roots of these organizing processes, revealing their points of strength and weakness in order to improve the curriculum in the light of predefined education goals." Papham (1993, P.7) defines educational evaluation as "the systematic appraisal of the quality of teaching and learning." Edwards (1991, P.10), on the other hand, argues that evaluation seeks to "describe and explain experiences of students and teachers and to make judgments" and interpret their effectiveness. Rossi, Lipsey and Freeman (2004, P.13) define evaluation as "the systematic application of social research procedures for assessing the conceptualization, design, implementation, and utility of ... program".

The International Institute for Teaching Arabic for Speakers of Other Languages (II-TASOL) is doing its best to write books for the different levels of its students. Among these books is the third level book. This textbook is taught for beginners. The researchers chose this book because it has not been evaluated before. They took into consideration the notes provided by the instructors who have taught the book as well as the students who form the main axis in the process of teaching.

This paper aimed at discussing the principles behind writing this book at the University of Jordan, revealing its points of strength and weakness. It also aimed at providing the criteria that should be taken into consideration to improve this book.

Statement of the Problem

The instructors and students gave several positive and negative observations about this book. Because the book is the main source in the process of teaching especially for speakers of other languages, it became crystal clear that these observations are very important in identifying the points of strength and weakness of this book. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the third level book for teaching Arabic for speakers of other languages at (II-TASOL) at the University of Jordan from the perspective of instructors and students.

Questions of the Study

This study attempted to answer the following questions:

1. To what extent did the book use the criteria of educational books from the perspective of instructors and students at (II-TASOL)?

2. Were there statistically significant differences between instructors and students at (= 0.50) when evaluating the book used for teaching Arabic for speakers of other languages in the third level at (II-TASOL)?

3. What are the recommendations that may help improve the book to achieve its goals?

Significance of the Study

It is well-known that the book is very important in the process of teaching. "Despite what has been said about the importance of new technology in education, the educational book keeps its unique position in the process of teaching. No matter what the type, material or content of the teaching process is, it depends largely on the educational book." (Al-Naqa, 1985, P. 25). Learners of a second language depend greatly on the textbook since it is the main source to make the teaching and learning processes successful. …

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