Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Family Language Policy, Language Practice, Motivation, and Planning among Israeli Arab Students in Wingate Institute's Preparatory Program

Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Family Language Policy, Language Practice, Motivation, and Planning among Israeli Arab Students in Wingate Institute's Preparatory Program

Article excerpt

Abstract

Family language policy (FLP) and language use in different domains and relationships was investigated in thirteen Israeli-Arab students enrolled in an institution of higher education in Israel. Participants came from Arabic FLPs, communities, and schools. The study was completed through semi-structured interviews. Our research objectives were to investigate the FLP of the sample and a possible presence of differences in the ideologies concerning their parent-led FLP and their future family's FLP, among other things. Our findings point to a possible change in ideologies toward the instrumentally oriented FLP which incorporates Hebrew language to a greater degree. Further investigations should focus on effects of generational FLP change on identity and related psychological factors.

Keywords: family language policy; bilingualism; second language acquisition; language ideology; language in higher education

1. Introduction

Most Israeli-Arabs live in Arabic speaking communities in Israel. Israeli-Arab children attend schools in Arabic in those communities and learn Hebrew as a second language. As there are currently no colleges or universities in Israel with Arabic as the language of instruction, Israeli-Arabs who attend or plan on attending colleges or universities in Israel are required to have a high level of Hebrew language knowledge. Furthermore, in many university programs, a high level of proficiency in English is expected, if not required, and this would be the third language learned by the Israeli-Arab students. In light of these facts, we are interested in investigating the bottom up or family language policy experiences and practices of Israeli-Arab students who are enrolled in an institution of higher learning in Israel. We want to investigate a potential generational shiftin attitudes and perceptions of these students toward Hebrew language knowledge as compared to the FLP as led by their parents within the home they grew up in. We believe that explorations into the FLP of the families of these students and the students' emerging and future FLPs will provide important information on the experiences of the Israeli-Arabs who attend institutions of higher learning in Israel, or those who may want to pursue tertiary education in the future. It is intended to provide a glimpse into and stimulate interest in uncovering the language-related experiences not readily apparent but which may indicate changes occurring in segments of this community.

1.1 Specialized Preparatory Program

The Zinman College at the Wingate Institute is an institution that trains academicians in the field of physical education, and is a leader in Israel on the subject of physical education. It has set as a goal accessibility of higher education for young people from all over the country who are interested in the fields of physical education and sport.

This specialized preparatory program was established in 2005. It provides its graduates with a diploma, approved by the Council of Higher Education that can be used in lieu of a matriculation certificate for acceptance to Wingate's undergraduate program. This specialized program is the only one of its kind in Israel; no other academic institution has a specialized program in the field of physical education and sport. A significant number of the students in the program come from a low socio-economic background (residents of the periphery, minorities, new immigrants from the former USSR, Ethiopians, etc.), a third of whom have learning disabilities. The students are funded by the State of Israel.

Program Goals

(1) Strengthening the college and increasing the number of students who study there

(2) Preparing students for college level studies

(3) Training sports instructors for the periphery, youth villages, etc.

(4) Giving opportunities to youths, mostly army veterans, to acquire an academic education in a specialized field

(5) Raising awareness in the fields of physical activity and promoting health

(6) Leadership development

2. …

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