University of New Mexico

Exploring multilingual and multidialectal strategies in Arabic teaching

A longitudinal qualitative study into Arabic classes at a local high school and the University of New Mexico, exploring multilingual and multidialectal teaching.

This study introduces a research-practice cycle designed to explore, analyze, and create educational materials for implementing multilingual and multidialectal approaches in Arabic language classrooms. These approaches tap into students' diverse linguistic backgrounds and enrich their Arabic skills by incorporating different Arabic varieties.

Integrating these approaches into the classroom can be challenging for both teachers and students. This study adopts a cyclical approach: research into the difficulties and successes of these methods informs the development of instructional materials, while feedback from teachers and students guides and refines subsequent research inquiries.

This study is unique because it examines teaching methods at both high school and university levels, allowing the researcher to track students' progress from secondary school to university.

By partnering with a school in a university setting, the research can be conducted in a controlled environment where teaching materials can be tested in real time. The study will gather data from various sources, including classroom observations, interviews with teachers and students, self-reflections from both students and teachers, and assessments. This comprehensive dataset will be used to develop teaching materials suitable for secondary school settings. These materials will be particularly beneficial for teachers who want to teach using multiple dialects and languages but may not know how to do so effectively.