An approach to evaluating the pedagogical value of concordances in Arabic foreign language classrooms: Perspectives from the users
The use of electronic corpora in recent years has been widely spreading among language educators, yet they are still at their initial stages of exploring key issues relating to this approach. One way to integrate corpora in language courses is through concordances, which Baker, Hardie, and McEnery (2006) define as “a list of all the occurrences of a particular search term in a corpus, presented within the context in which they occur, usually a few words to the left and right of search term” (p.42). Despite opposing and supporting arguments on the adaptation, there is a lack of evaluative research examining sufficiency and compliancy of learning through corpus-based activities, especially from intermediate students’ perspectives. In this respect, the study is divided into two parts. The first part is divided into two segments which on the one hand intends to introduce Arabic foreign language (AFL) learners to corpus analysis using arabiCorpus concordancer -this is expected to raise their awareness of how the language functions as well as enhance their spirit of inquiry- while on the other hand, the study also uses a quantitative-oriented approach to measure the effect of utilizing arabiCorpus concordancer on students’ usage and retention of Arabic discourse connectives (ADCs)in comparison to conventional learning techniques. In order to achieve successful results for this study, a repeated-measures design is utilized to collect numeric data using pre and post-writings analysis. The results of these analyses are given via a non-parametric Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test. The second part of the study aims at inspecting AFL learners’ perceptions and attitudes toward learning through arabiCorpus concordancer, throughout a qualitative-oriented approach that uses two instruments, a focus group and a Likert scale questionnaire. The results of the present study revealed that in a first instance both teaching techniques were successful, yet on another note the concordance surpassed the conventional in both usage and retention, on the short term. Furthermore, on the long term the usage and retention of both conventional and concordance techniques were similar. It was observed that the concordance technique had slightly excelled at that point. Finally, participants’ reported that they would continue to use arabiCorpus concordances, yet under certain restrictions.
Applied Linguistics Department
MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Library of Congress Subject Heading 1
Arabic language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.
Library of Congress Subject Heading 2
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(2015).An approach to evaluating the pedagogical value of concordances in Arabic foreign language classrooms: Perspectives from the users [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Hashad, Ola. An approach to evaluating the pedagogical value of concordances in Arabic foreign language classrooms: Perspectives from the users. 2015. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.