module specification

LN7010 - Arabic Linguistics and Cultures (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Arabic Linguistics and Cultures
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
 
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 40%   Oral presentation
Coursework 60%   2000-2500 word Coursework/ essay
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

Arabic Linguistics & Cultures offers a professional and theoretical training in core areas of Arabic linguistics and cultures. It goes on to consider how, or to what extent, the science of linguistics can be applied to the teaching of the Arabic language. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of a range of different areas of Arabic linguistics and to develop critical awareness and gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of Arabic cultures. By examining the core concepts of the Arabic language and cultures, students will be introduced to the different ways knowledge of linguistics and culture as well as critical language awareness can assist Arabic language teachers and their learners.
The module adopts a combined theoretical-practitioner approach to the topics to bring students from a range of professional backgrounds and experiences to a core advanced level that is needed for an MA in Arabic Teaching as a Foreign Language.
The module will be taught in Arabic and assessed in Arabic or English.

Module aims

This module aims to enrich students’ understanding and knowledge of concepts and areas in language, linguistics and culture and to familiarise them with how this knowledge and critical awareness contributes to and/or is used in Arabic language teaching. By exploring the relationship between theory and practice and highlighting the importance of teachers’ role in enhancing teaching and learning, the module aims to broaden students’ horizons to the crucial role of teachers’ knowledge of language and culture in language classroom and to provide them with an opportunity to become autonomous in expanding their knowledge of Arabic linguistics and cultures when it is needed. The module aims to:

  1. Introduce and discuss technical terminology and apparatus of Arabic linguistics and to demonstrate how language awareness and knowledge of Arabic linguistics can help Arabic teachers in their language teaching
  2. Develop students’ critical cultural and language awareness, deepen their knowledge of different areas of Arabic linguistics and cultures, and expand their disciplinary understanding 
  3. Provide students with opportunities to develop critical understanding of how linguistics guide language teaching techniques and strategies
  4. Demonstrate how complex insights from current debates in Arabic linguistics and cultures can be used as classroom applications and implications

Syllabus

This module introduces the students to Arabic linguistics and cultures and the roles these have in Arabic language teaching. It looks at the concept and issues such as critical language awareness, language typology, phonetics, syntax, lexicon, pragmatics, variation of  and diversity in Arab cultures, and the relationships and interactions of the Arabic language and culture.

Learning and teaching

The module uses a combination of face to face lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive tasks and formal students’ presentations. A range of individual, pair and group activities are used while students are engaged with the lecture topics and seminar tasks.
The lectures all include elements of blended learning, are interactive in nature and students are encouraged to contribute to the discussions. The seminars are student-centred incorporating their reading, teaching and learning experiences or their presentations.
Use of technology is an inherent characteristic of this module. Active use of Weblearn for lectures, seminars, readings, seminar tasks, important links to resources, and discussion board is practiced. Working with online resources and website are central to the purpose of the module.
Learning occurs in dependent, guided and independent modes as students receive guidance and advice both face-to-face and via emails and/or weblearn.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Describe and analyse the Arabic language in terms of its principal components - e.g. phonology, morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics.
  2. Relate these core areas of theoretical linguistics to the applied field of Arabic language teaching.
  3. Apply their language and cultural knowledge and awareness to identify and comment upon language problems students might encounter in classroom
  4. demonstrate an enhanced understanding of theoretical and disciplinary debates in Arabic linguistics, Arab cultures and language teaching
  5. demonstrate critical understanding of Arab cultures and its variations.

Assessment strategy

There are two assessed components in this module, a 10-minute individual presentation and a 2000-2500 word coursework/essay. The presentation component encourages students to choose one area of Arabic linguistics or culture to deepen their knowledge in this area by reading on the topic, and to develop skills in evaluating and analysing the problems Arabic teachers might experience in their teaching with regard to this particular area of Arabic linguistics/cultures. Drawing on their learning and teaching experiences, they are expected to provide examples of how this knowledge and skill will help Arabic language teachers to teach more effectively.

The second component constitutes 3 options the students can choose from. This assignment aims to provide the students with an opportunity (1) to explore an area of Arabic linguistics (or culture) and language teaching to engage with the disciplinary debates in this area, (2) to provide a technical description, comparison and contrast for a language with which they are familiar with that of Arabic, or (3) a piece of discourse analysis analysing a conversation between two/more native-speakers of Arabic.

Bibliography

Abbott, David. (1998) Culture and identity. London: Hodder & Stoughton
Al-Omari, Jehad. (2008) Understanding the Arab Culture. Oxford: How to Book Ltd (In Arabic and in English)
Badawi, Elsaid. et al. (2004) Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar. London: Routledge (In Arabic and in English) 
Barakat, Halim. (1993) The Arab World: Society, Culture and State. Berkeley: University of California  Press (In Arabic and in English)
Crystal, David. (1999) The Cambridge encyclopaedia of language. Cambridge: CUP
Culler, Jonathan. (1997) Literary theory: A very short introduction. Oxford: OUP
Dawisha, Adeed. (2003) Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (In Arabic and in English)
Fernea, Elizabeth. (1985) Women and the Family in the Middle East: New Voices of Change. Austin:  University of Texas Press
Geertz, Clifford. (1993) The Interpretation of cultures. London: Fontana
Hall, Stuart (ed.). (1997) Representation, cultural representations and signifying practices. London: Sage  in association with the Open University
Hall, Stuart and Paul du Gay. (1996) Questions of Cultural Identity. London: Sage
Hofstede, Geert. (2001) Culture’s consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations. London: Sage (Second ed.)
Kramsch, Claire. (1998) Language and Culture. Oxford: OUP
Lewis, Richard D. (2000) When cultures collide. London: Nicholas Brealey 
Manea, Elham. (2011) The Arab State: Women's Rights. London: Routledge
McGregor, William. B. (2009) Linguistics: An Introduction. NY: Continuum
Mernissi, Fatima.  (1987) Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in a Modern Muslim Society. London:  Al Saqi Books (In Arabic and in English)
Ryding, Karin. C. (2014) Arabic: A Linguistics Introduction. Cambridge: CUP
Taylor, Paul. (1997) Investigating culture and identity. London: Collins Educational
Tillion, Germaine. (1983) The Republic of Cousins. London: Al Saqi Books
Wahbais, Kassem M. and Zeinab Taha (2006) The Handbook of Arabic Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century. New Jersey: Laurence Elrbaum associates 
Yasir, Suleiman. (2003) The Arabic Language and National Identity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University  Press (In Arabic and in English)
Yule, George. (2014): The Study of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Fifth ed.)