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Arabic Cross-dialectal Conversations with Implications for the Teaching of Arabic as a Second Language

Soliman, Rasha Kadry Abdelatti Mohamed (2014) Arabic Cross-dialectal Conversations with Implications for the Teaching of Arabic as a Second Language. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This research is divided into two interlinked parts. The first part reviews literature on the diglossia and variability of the Arabic language and investigates how mutual intelligibility is achieved in informal conversations between speakers of different Arabic dialects. 11 conversations were recorded between speakers of 12 Arabic dialects. Instances of borrowing from Modern Standard Arabic were observed and analysed. The participants were also interviewed after the recorded conversations in order to get more insight into the listening comprehension strategies that they applied to achieve intelligibility. The results show that the native speakers tend to rely mostly on their native dialect in cross-dialectal interaction with a much smaller number of borrowings from Modern Standard Arabic in comparison with previous studies. A number of listening strategies were observed to be used in order to aid intelligibility. These strategies included making use of the context, ignoring non-content words and making use of their linguistic knowledge and the root and pattern system in Arabic as a frame of reference in comprehending unfamiliar cognates. The analysis also showed that dialect familiarity has a major role in aiding comprehension between the native speakers of different Arabic dialects. The second part, first, examines the needs of learning Arabic as a second language in Higher Education, then presents a case study that tests the advanced Arabic learners’ level of cognate recognition in unfamiliar dialects and whether explicit strategy teaching and lexical training can improve their dialectal lexical comprehension. Five final year university students of Arabic with an advanced level in MSA and exposure to a dialect participated in this study. Pre and post-tests of dialectal listening comprehension were administered. The results of a higher score in the post-test confirmed that the explicit strategy training helped the Arabic students to achieve better comprehension of cognates in unfamiliar dialects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Arabic Diglossia Second Language Teaching Dialects cross-dialectal comprehension listening
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Linguistics & Phonetics (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.651233
Depositing User: Dr Rasha Soliman
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 14:38
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9119

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