"Arabic as a Second Language A Study on Student Body"
1 Arabic as a Second Language: A Study of Student Body Characteristics and Major Influences on Choice and Learning Khitam Omar Ruhman Annandale High School Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools Submitted June 2001 Abstract This study is a continuation of my interest in the Arabic language and my experience of being the first Arabic language teacher at the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for the past three years. The two main objectives were (1) to gather data about the Arabic Language Program student body and (2) to identify the major influences on my students’ choice to study Arabic and on the processes they used to learn Arabic. Two types of questionnaires were used to gather data on the Arabic Language Program student body. In addition, school data on grades/enrollment as well as information gathered about the Arabic Language Program in the last three years were also used. Findings suggest that students’ family ties (to parents and grandparents) and ethnic origin were strong motivators in deciding to enroll in this program. Students also responded positively to the guidelines set down by parents regarding homework. Introduction Almost three years ago in September 1998, I was appointed to be first to teach Arabic at a public school in the Washington metropolitan area. Local news channels were interested in this and aired a piece on it the very same night. Of course I was the “star” of the interview and I could not hide my excitement of being the first to teach my beloved language in the public schools of the most powerful nation in the world. This was really a far cry from where I was many years ago when my original country, Palestine, was lost. Fortunately, this great country, the United States, gave me a home and an opportunity to teach my mother tongue to its young people. In reality, my journey as an Arabic teacher started with hesitation the minute I learned that I was chosen for an interview. My hesitation came from what I have been told about the difficulties a teacher in the U.S. faces -- starting from certification requirements through required use of technology and ending with expected low salary. After a series of interviews with the central office staff and then the principal of Annandale High School and the head of its foreign languages department, I became the Arabic teacher at the school and the one responsible for its Arabic Language Program (ALP). The Arab and Moslem communities in Northern Virginia had fought to have Arabic taught at the FCPS. While some non-Arabic speakers may have doubted whether enough students would be interested, I was one of the few who expected that if an ALP is introduced it would be welcomed by the students. The first year Arabic was introduced the number of students who registered for the 2 course was sixty-four. Two classes were opened and I started to teach them on a part-time basis. As many new teachers have experienced, as the course started, I found out that no room was designated for me and that I would have to move between rooms. There was a well-written curriculum from FCPS with set objectives and themes but with no instructional materials and only one reference book published by Georgetown University entitled ALF BAA. The book was at the college level and not designed to serve the objectives nor the themes specified in the FCPS curriculum. The Arabic Language Program student body (ALP-SB) During the initial stages of my study, I surveyed students to find out more about their background. The ALP-SB was found to consist of 9th to 12th graders with an average age of 16 years and slightly more female students than male students. One quarter of the students were A students with the rest being divided evenly between those of moderate and weak students. The girls’ achievement in the Arabic class was much better than the boys. The ALP-SB consisted mainly of Moslems from varied ethnic groups and from the Arab ethnic group with the former being dominant. Enrollment in the Arabic class, by the Arab ethnic group, was found to be relatively low in comparison to their numbers in the school as a whole. Arabic appeared to be a language which is not spoken in all of the Arab American homes surveyed. Instead, English was the dominant first language spoken at the ALP-SB homes and languages such as Urdu, Kurdish and Persian came second while Arabic trailed last. Enrollment in the Arabic class by the Arab ethnic group was found to be relatively low in comparison to their numbers in the school as a whole. Yet this low turnout of Arab American students could not be ascertained from this study since students who had not enrolled in the course were not surveyed. Teaching The students began the class with varying levels of familiarity with Arabic and the Arab culture. Knowledge of Arabic: o Students who know how to read, write and speak the language (Native speakers) o Students who speak broken Arabic only Knowledge of Arab Culture: o Students who know a little bit about the Arab culture and language o Students who do not know much about the Arabs and their culture and language To confront students’ unfamiliarity with the Arab language and culture, I started to teach the class about the Arabic language, its origin, and its relationship with other world languages. Additionally, I steered my students’ interest in the Arabic language and its rich culture by giving them information 3 about the Semitic family of languages to which Arabic belongs. I also elaborated on the differences that exist between Arabic and the other Semitic languages as well as English. The students started to pay attention, as they understood that millions do not only speak Arabic but they have it rooted in their rich culture. It was a challenge for me to cater to the diverse needs of students in only one course. The year did not pass without challenges. I encouraged the students to speak the standard language and not the Egyptian, Lebanese, or Palestinian dialect. Some students were in hurry to learn how to speak—they wanted to “talk to their grandfathers and grandmothers who just came for a visit.” Others wanted to be masters in writing since they thought that “they know how to speak.” Since the first year has passed, I recollect that the Arabic class seemed much different than any other class in the school. I can say that the classroom was transformed into an Arabic club and interest in learning was high. The learning process was of interest to the students as they were the true participants in its activities. Students were willing to come to me and ask me about things they did not understand in the school, especially those that did not agree with their tradition and culture. I felt that I became a bridge for the newcomers that would help in the process of transfer from culture to culture. I felt that I was wanted not just to help the students but also to help spread the Arabic language in the process. Methods A survey was conducted using two types of questionnaires completed by the whole ALP-SB at Annandale high school. The questionnaires were completed by the students in confidence and consisted of nearly 50 questions. Complete copies of the questionnaires are included in Appendix A. The results of the survey were tabulated in spreadsheets, categorized, and percentages of responses to each question were calculated. Appropriate tables and figures were prepared for further analysis of the results. The percentage of “no answer” was zero for nearly two thirds of the questions and less than 3% for the others, thus it was ignored and distributed by weight into the other categories of responses. It is important, however, to point out that “no answer” responses were 11% for specifying gender and 29% for giving the GPA. Fortunately, responses for these two questions were corrected from the school records on the ALP-SB. As expected, most of the students who did not respond to the GPA question have a GPA of less than 2. There were two categories of questions—direct and multiple-choice. Direct questions were asked in order to characterize the ALP-SB (i.e. age, gender, grade, GPA, ethnic origin, and languages spoken at home and taken at school). Multiple-choice questions in the survey targeted the major influences on students’ choice to take Arabic in school and then on the process of learning the language. In general, the levels of the students’ agreement/disagreement were mostly strong (Appendix B, Table B-1). Additionally, students who responded with “not sure” accounted for less than 15% in 54% of the questions, 15-20% in 33% of the questions, and finally 20-39% in 13% of the questions. For all 4 questions, “not sure” responses did not exceed 31%. This indicates that the students took the survey seriously and raises the confidence in results and its representation of students’ opinions. Findings The results of the study are presented in two categories, namely as summaries of responses to direct questions for the first category and to multiplechoice questions for the second category. Raw data for both categories are included for reference in Appendix B. In designing the questionnaires, questions were asked to identify the major influences on the choice of learning Arabic and on the process of learning the language after it is chosen. However, the questions were distributed randomly in the questionnaires. For this reason in the summary table (Appendix C, Table 2), students’ responses which cover these factors are re-grouped into: Questions related to factors influencing the choice for learning Arabic Questions related to factors influencing the learning Process Student Body Characteristics Age, Gender, and Grade. The results of direct questions indicate that the range of the students’ age in the ALP student body (ALP-SB) is between 14 and 18 years with an average of 16 years. Gender distribution indicates a near 50:50 split in the number of males and females with the number of females slightly higher than the males (Figure 1). Figure 1 also indicates that the majority of the ALP-SB is 9th and 10th graders (29% and 27% with a total of 56%) while the minority is 11th and 12th graders (24% and 20% with a total of 44%). Figure 1. The distribution found in gender and grade within the ALP student Body. 60% 40% 20% 0% Males Females 9th Graders 10th Graders 11th Graders 12th Graders 5 Achievement in School and in the Arabic Class. More than ¼ of the ALPSB are A to B+ students with a GPA higher than 3.5/4.0; nearly 30% are B to C+ students; and 40% are C and below C students (Figure 2). Figure 2. The distribution found in GPA within the ALP student body. 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% B+ to A (3.5-4.0) C+ to B (2.5-3.4) C & Below C (Below 2.4) In comparison, the distribution of grades in the Arabic language class is 29%, 27% and 44% for the stated first, second and third categories respectively. However, when the girls’ achievement is considered, the distribution for the same categories is 43%, 28% and 30% respectively1. Data indicates two results: first, that top students are doing very well in both the school and in the Arabic language class while average and below average students are less achievers in the Arabic language class compared to their overall achievement in the school; and secondly, girls are doing much better than boys in the Arabic language class. The Students’ Ethnic Origin. The survey indicates clearly that most of the ALP-SB belongs to ethnic groups other than white Europeans. On the average, only 7% of the ethnic origin indicators (students’ fathers, mothers, grandfathers/grandmothers “father’s and mother’s sides”) were born in the USA or Europe while 93% is either white/middle Easterners or from other ethnic origins. Other ethnic origins include East Asians, Kurds, Persians, and black Africans; all of whom are Moslems (Figure 3). 1 Data from the Arabic class records for the same students who participated in the survey. 6 Figure 3. The distribution found in ethnic origin within the ALP student body. 60% Place of Birth for the Students (In Red) Place of Birth for Parents and their Parents (In Blue) 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% US Arabia Others US Arabia Others In contrast, nearly 43% of the students themselves were born in the USA, 17% in Arab countries, and 39% in other countries (Figure 3). The list of other countries includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran, and Ethiopia. Students of Arab ethnic origin constitute nearly 7% of the whole school student body (Annandale high school registration records for the year 2000-2001). The results of this survey were used to calculate the percent of students who registered for the Arabic language class from the whole population of the Arab ethnic in the whole school. The result of the calculation was not expected to be as low as 20%. This is because the program was established mainly for this ethnic group. In fact, the results of this survey indicate that although the program was established for Arab Americans, other ethnic groups are using it. These groups include East Asians, Kurds, Persians, and black Africans. As nearly all of the students in these ethnic groups are Moslems, it is safe to say that the program is welcomed and supported by many ethnic groups other than the Arabs. Many reasons can be suggested for this observation. First, that Moslems have the desire to learn Arabic because it is the language of their holy book, the “Qu’ran”. Secondly, the relatively low interest in learning the Arabic language by ethnic Arab students can be attributed to the following misconceptions/reasons: (a) Most ethnic Arab students speak broken Arabic but think that they do not need to learn it in a formal way at school; 7 (b) Some ethnic Arab students take the relatively easy Fairfax County Public Schools’ Arabic test and get two credit hours. Then they think that they know the language and do not need to take it at school; (c) Arabic is not available at the Middle school in any of the FCPS and students prefer to continue taking the foreign language they started to take at the Middle school such as Spanish and French; and (d) The ALP at Annandale high school is not publicized enough. Languages Spoken at Home and Taken at School. The ALP-SB has, at least, two languages spoken at home, namely English and another language (Figure 4). Foreign languages listed by the students as being spoken at their homes include English, Arabic, Urdu, Kurdish and Persian. Figure 4. The distribution found in languages spoken at home and learned at school. 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% English (Spoken) Arabic (Spoken) Others (Spoken) Others (Learned) The survey also indicates that English dominates the languages spoken at home as nearly 80% of the students stated that it is spoken at their homes. Other languages come second with nearly 60% while Arabic is spoken at nearly 20% of the homes surveyed (Figure 4). As shown before, students of Arab origin constitute over 30% of the ALP-SB (Figure 3), however, Arabic appears to be spoken only at 20% of the homes of the ALP-SB (Figure 4). This means that Arabic is not spoken in nearly of the homes of the Arab ethnic group. None use of Arabic at these homes may have contributed to the observed low registration in the Arabic language class by this ethnic group. The ALP-SB appears to have interest in other languages as nearly 20% of the students stated that they are taking another foreign language course (Figure 4). Other language courses taken included Spanish, French, and Latin. 8 Major Influences on the Choice of the Arabic Language and on its Learning Factors influencing the choice of the Arabic language by students. Survey results indicate that a high percentage of students (65-87%) responded with agreement to the statements that they “will teach their children ancestors’ language” and that they “think that Arabic is a connection to culture” (Figure 5). Figure 5. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to the choice of learning Arabic (questions number 31, 08 and 15). Factors Influencing the Choice of Arabic Agree Disagree Not sure 80% % of Students 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 31 Q 08 Q 15 Q 31: Will teach my children ancestors' language. Q 08: Arabic is connection to culture. Q15: Arabic is very hard to learn. In this, the students have conveyed a strong message that their choice of learning Arabic is influenced by their strong attachment to both ethnic origin and culture. This conclusion is confirmed by previous results on the distribution of the ethnic origin of the students who are taking Arabic. Although the Arab ethnic group is a significant part of the ALP-SB, the distribution indicates dominance by Moslems of various origins (Figure 3). The percentage distribution of students responding to the question of whether “Arabic is very hard to learn” is split into 41% agreement, 33% disagreement and 23% not sure. This observation suggests that the difficulty of learning the Arabic language plays a little role, if any, on the students’ decision to learn the language. 9 Other factors which appear to influence the students’ choice of learning the Arabic language are evident in the percentage distribution of student responses to statements such as, “I know Arabic, thus, I don’t want to learn it” and “I will speak only English to my children”. In this case, 77-87% of the students are in disagreement with these statements (Figure 6). Figure 6. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to the choice of learning Arabic (questions number 01, 10 and 09). Factors Influencing the Choice of Arabic 100% 80% Agree Disagree Not sure % of students 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 01 Q 10 Q 01: I do not want to study arabic because I know it. Q 10: Will speak only English to my children. The results indicate the need for learning the Arabic language which may be related to the following: (a) No previous knowledge of the language. (b) Desire to learn a language other than English. Factors Influencing the Learning Process Ethnic origin and culture. Students’ feelings about ethnic origin and culture are evident in their overwhelming agreement (92-95%) with statements such as: “Like parents’ ethnic origin;” “Proud of origin;” “Proud of original culture and heritage;” and “Will hold my original culture and heritage and pass it to my children”. It is also evident from their strong agreement (62-75%) with statements such as: “Don’t want to be more Americanized;” “Respect foreigners;” and “Feel of belonging to an ethnic group” (Figure 7). 10 Figure 7. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to their ethnic origin. Factors Related to Ethnic Origin Agree Disagree Not sure 80% % of Students 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 07, 28, 12 &13 Q 14 Q 29 & 02 Q 07-13: Proud of origin, culture, Heritage and will pass to children. Q 14: Does not want to become more Americanized. Q 29 & 02: Respect foreigners and feel of belonging to an ethnic group. The results indicate clearly the strong attachment of the ALP-SB to origin and culture. In the past few decades, US government policies have recognized the known diversity of its population and encouraged the human desire to belong to its original culture and ethnic group. Appropriation of government and private funds for cultural diversity can be seen in government and private organizations’ budgets. The ALP is one example of such appropriation. Additionally, religion appears to be increasingly recognized, at least in part, in budgeting for social and economic programs. The establishment of the office of Faith at the White House is only one example of many. In this article, the effect of the observed attachment to culture can be considered as the strong base for the ALP. Sustainability of the ALP program and its continuation into the future can be guaranteed with a base of large and diverse Moslems’ ethnic groups in addition to its main target group, the Arab Americans. It shall be recognized, however, that the support of diverse groups does not in any way cancel the required publicity for the program. Today, accessibility to information plays a pivotal role in the success or failure of any program regardless of the number, strength, and the hard work of its supporters. 11 Parents. The students were asked many questions about parents. Some were information type questions while others were about personal feelings. For the first type of questions, the students described their parents to be as follows: (a) Nearly 60% are college graduates and have good command of the English language. 56% of the students stated that they “Like the way their parents speak English,” 59% stated they “Feel that other people understand their parents when they speak,” and 84% are in disagreement with the statement that “They order for their parents at restaurants.” It is to be noted, however, that parents appear to have some problems in speaking English (13%) and that some people may not understand them (23%). The relatively high percentage of “not sure” answers may also be taken to indicate the presence of such problems (17-31%) (Table 2). (b) Children’s education was one of the main reasons for the parents to immigrate to the US. 48% of the students affirmed this statement by responding: “My parents came to the US to educate me and my siblings” (Table 2). At least this is what the students feel and/or hear about this issue. It is interesting to note that education for the parents themselves was not high on their agenda when they decided to immigrate to the US since 66% of the students responded by not agreeing with the statement “My parents came to the US to attend school” (Table 2). Both results indicate that most parents probably came to the US after finishing school and that work, rather than education, was the main reason for immigrating to the US. For the second type of questions, the students revealed their personal feelings with regard to their parents. The students were asked if they “Are proud of their parents” and if they “Feel embarrassed around them”. The results are summarized in Figure 8. Figure 8. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to their parents. Parents Influence 100% Agree Disagree Not sure % of Students 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 11 & 20 Q 16 Q 23 Q 11 & 20:Proud of Parents and do not feel embarressed of them. Q 16:Like to follow my parents' footsteps. 12 The majority of the students (88%) are proud of their parents with only 47% wanting to follow their footsteps (Figure 8). When the students were asked if they would “Feel nervous when their parents try to help them in school assignments” only 27% said that they “Would welcome the help and not be nervous” but 52% said that they “Would be nervous and would not welcome the help” (Figure 8). Grandparents. In contrast to the students’ admittance of nervousness around their parents, 66% of them said that they “Feel relaxed with their grandparents” (Figure 8, question 23 compared to figure 9, question 22). Figure 9. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to their grandparents Grandparents Influence 100% 80% Agree Disagree Not sure % of Students 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 22 Q 24 Q 21 Q 22: Feel relaxed with my grandparents. Q 24: Grandparents' expectations are important. Q 21: Grandparents help me with Arabic at home. Furthermore, the data indicates that 51% of the students “Feel that grandparents’ expectations of them are important.” Although a strong attachment is apparent between the students and their grandparents, the students did not obtain their grandparents’ help in the Arabic language homework. The latter observation may be related to the possibility that grandparents are not physically present at the students’ homes, either living in another home, another state, or abroad. Peers. Figure 10 summarizes the results of questions related to peers’ influence. Contrary to general belief, the results indicate that most of the students appear to have more respect of their parents’ opinion than that of their peers. The reasons could be related to culture and religion. In Islam and Arab culture, to respect one’s parents is a sacred virtue. 13 Figure 10. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to their peers. Peers Infuence 80% Agree Disagree Not sure % of Students 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 06 Q 03 Q 06: Parents' judgment is over peers'. Q 03: Friends are studying with me at school. Students’ responses to the second question on peers (Q 03) indicate that about half of the students are long time friends at the school. It may be that most of them are long time residents of the community around the school and have completed middle or even elementary school together. Respect of parents and availability of long time friends are, in my opinion, the right combination for a productive learning environment. In the Arabic class, these two factors played a major role in class management and in obtaining parents’ help when needed. Availability of off-school time. Between 62 and 66% of the students indicated that they “respect weekend nights’ curfew” and that they “go home early weekday nights” (Figure 11). 14 Figure 11. Distribution of percentage of students responding to questions related to time availability for homework assignments. Avialability of Time for Learning 80% Agree Disagree Not sure % of Students 60% 40% 20% 0% Q 05 Q 04 Q 05 Respect weekend nights' curfew. Q 04 Go home early weekday nights. Q 30 Don't Have a job after school. Q 30 Furthermore, 60% of the students affirmed that they “do not have part time jobs.” All of the results stated above, indicate that the majority of the students have no problem in finding off-school time for completing the homework assignments. Homework assignments are important for the process of learning a foreign language because of the short time available during regular class. Recommendations I started this study in order to obtain real data about the Arabic Language Program Student Body (ALP-SB) at my school. Additionally, I wanted to confirm, modify and/or identify the major influences on my students’ Arabic language learning process. The study suggested Ethnic origin and culture to be the dominant factors influencing the students’ choice of the Arabic language. Difficulty/easiness of the language itself were found to play no role in the students’ decision to enroll/not enroll in the Arabic language class. Additional factors that appeared to affect the students’ decision of enrollment included nonexistence of previous knowledge of the language and the desire to learn it as a connection to ethnic origin and original culture. Ethnic origin/culture, parents’/grandparents’ influence, and availability of offschool time were found to be factors of positive influence on learning. Negative 15 peers influence appeared to be minimal in its effect on learning among this unique student group. The strong attachment of the ALP-SB to ethnic origin and culture was found to be a base that could provide strength, sustainability and continuity for the ALP into the future. All of this was possible due to the fact that the Arabic language was, and continued to be, the center for Arabic culture in addition to being the language of the holy book of Islam. Furthermore, the study indicated a strong attachment and admiration of the ALP-SB to their parents and more so to their grandparents. In fact, most of the students affirmed their respect to parents’ opinion than that of their peers. The majority of ALP-SB would respect guidelines set forth by their parents which would result in availability of off-school time for completing homework assignments. Second and third generation Arabs are more willing to learn Arabic than first generation Arabs. The desire to learn Arabic comes from the influence of grandfathers and grandmothers and not from fathers or mothers. Religion rather than Arabic ethnic origin plays a higher role in the desire to learn the language. This comes from the fact that Arabic is the language of the Islamic holy book, the “Qu’ran”. The future of the Arabic language program at FCPS is very good and the interest in it will continue to grow. To look into the future of the Arabic Language Program (ALP) at Annandale high school and give specific recommendations, for its improvement and sustainability, to the school, the FCPS system, and to the Moslem and Arab community…..In many aspects, the ALP-SB appeared to be conducive to a creation of a productive learning environment for the Arabic language. It would be up to the Arabic teacher, the school, and the FCPS system as well as the stakeholder communities to build upon the characteristics of these fine young people in order to obtain the desired success of the ALP. The results of this study suggest that the following recommendations are appropriate: (1) For the FCPS system: ALP should be made available at middle schools in the same area where ALP is offered. The current policy of accepting Arabic test for credit should be changed so that test for credit would not be acceptable from students who attend a school where ALP is offered. (2) For the Moslem and Arab community: Establishment of the ALP was a great step, but it is not enough. Continued support is needed. Political support for continuation of ALP is essential and should be accompanied by the Arab American community encouraging their sons and daughters to take advantage of the program and learn Arabic. In particular, the Arab American community should reverse the observed weak enrollment of their children in the program. High enrollment in the school should be accompanied by a reasonable enrollment in the ALP. 16 APPENDIX A I. Direct Questions (1) Age: ____ (2) Are you Male Or Female (Circle one)? (3) Grade in School (circle one): 9 (4) GPA: (5) Place of Birth: (6) Origin of Mother: (7) Origin of Father: (8) Origin of Grandmothers: (9) Origin of Grandfathers: 10 ____ _____________ _____________ _____________ mom’s side_____________ mom’s side_____________ father’s side_____________ father’s side_____________ 11 12 (10) List the Languages Spoken at Home: _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ (11) List the Languages (other than English) taken at school: _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME 17 II. Multiple-choice Questions Please Mark Only ONE Answer as Follows: Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; File: ALP-Survey-2 (1) I do not have to study Arabic formally because I already speak it. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (2) I feel that I belong to an ethnic group. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (3) All or most of my friends study with me at this high school. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (4) I come home early weekday nights. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (5) I respect my parents’ curfew on weekend nights. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (6) I agree with my friends’ judgment more than that of my parents. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (7) I wish my parents weren’t originally from another country and were born in America. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (8) The Arabic Class helps me stay connected to my original culture. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (9) I speak Arabic at home. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (10) I will speak English, not any other language, with my children in the future. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (11) I am proud of my parents. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (12) I am proud of my original culture and heritage. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (13) I want to hold on into my original culture, heritage and language and pass it onto my children in the future. 18 Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (14) In the future, I want to become more American. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (15) To me, the Arabic language is very hard to learn. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (16) I hope to follow in the footsteps of my parents. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (17) I like the way my parents speak English. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (18) Sometimes, I have to repeat what my parents say because other people don’t understand them. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (19) When I go to a restaurant with my parents, I order for them. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (20) Sometimes I feel embarrassed because people can’t understand my parents. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (21) My grandparents help me with my Arabic homework at home. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (22) I feel relaxed around my grandparents. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (23) I feel nervous when my parents help me with my homework. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (24) It is important to me to live up to the expectations of my grandparents. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (25) My parents are college graduates. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (26) My parents came to this country to attend university. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (27) My parents came to this country so my siblings and I could have a better education. 19 Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (28) I tell people where I am originally from. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (29) I think foreigners are clean and respectable people. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (30) I do not have a job after school. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; (31) I will teach my children my ancestors’ language. Strongly Disagree ; Disagree ; Not Sure ; Agree ; Strongly Agree ; 20 APPENDIX B Table A1. Summary of the raw data summary obtained from the survey. Parameter 1 2 3 Age (years) 16 16 16 Gender: Male=1; Female=2♥ 43% 46% 0% Grade: 9=1; 10=2; 11=3; 12=4 29% 27% 24% GPA: Over 3.5=1; 2.5-3.4=2; 2-2.4=3; Below2=4♣ 27% 37% 7% Birth- Current Generation: US=1; ARB=2; Other=3 43% 17% 39% Mother- Second Generation 9% 34% 56% Father- Second Generation 6% 40% 53% G. Mother-M side- First Generation 7% 36% 56% G. Mother-F side-First Generation 7% 39% 53% G. Father-M side-First Generation 7% 36% 56% G. Father-F side-First Generation 7% 39% 53% Languages-Home: English=1♠ 84% N/A N/A Languages-Home: Arabic=2 N/A 36% N/A Languages-Home: Other=3 N/A N/A 61% Languages-School: Other=3 N/A N/A 30% ♥ Changed as per school records to: 48% and 52%, respectively. 4 16 0% 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% N/A N/A N/A N/A 5 16 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% N/A N/A N/A N/A 6 16 11% 0% 29% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% N/A N/A N/A N/A Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% N/A N/A N/A N/A ♣ Changed as per school records to: 27%; 37%; 20% and 16%, respectively. ♠ N/A = Not Applicable 21 Table A1. Summary of the raw data summary obtained from the survey. Questions 1 2 3 4 5 6 01. Knows Arabic/Doesn't want to study it 41% 46% 9% 4% 0% 0% 02. Feel of belonging to an ethnic group 6% 13% 19% 31% 30% 1% 03. Study with friends at school 9% 26% 13% 47% 6% 0% 04. Go home early weekday nights 11% 13% 14% 46% 16% 0% 05. Respect curfew weekend nights 7% 7% 20% 37% 29% 0% 06. Agree with friends' judgment over parents' 30% 34% 26% 3% 7% 0% 07. Dislike parents’ ethnic origin 70% 23% 4% 1% 0% 1% 08. Arabic class- Connection to culture 3% 13% 19% 49% 16% 1% 09. Speak Arabic at home 33% 30% 9% 16% 13% 0% 10. Will speak only English with my children 57% 20% 16% 3% 4% 0% 11. Proud of parents 0% 0% 6% 24% 70% 0% 12. Proud of original culture/heritage (OC&H) 0% 1% 7% 14% 77% 0% 13. Will hold to OC&H and past to my children 0% 1% 7% 24% 67% 0% 14. Want to become more American 44% 30% 17% 7% 1% 0% 15. Arabic very hard to learn 4% 29% 23% 23% 21% 0% 16. Like to follow parents' footsteps 9% 19% 24% 20% 27% 0% 17. Like the way my parents speak English 6% 7% 31% 33% 23% 0% 18. Other people do not understand my parents 37% 21% 17% 20% 3% 1% 19. I order for my parents at the restaurant 53% 30% 9% 7% 0% 1% 20. Feel embarrassed of my parents 56% 24% 14% 4% 0% 1% 21. Grandparents help with Arabic at home 53% 29% 7% 7% 1% 3% 22. Feel relaxed with my grandparents 6% 7% 20% 33% 31% 3% 23. Feel nervous with my parents help 27% 24% 21% 20% 7% 0% 24. Grandparents expectations are important 10% 10% 29% 36% 14% 1% 25. Parents are college graduates 9% 17% 13% 30% 31% 0% 26. Parents came to US to attend school 24% 41% 19% 10% 4% 1% 27. Parents came to US for me/my siblings education 14% 13% 24% 19% 29% 1% 28. Proud of origin 0% 3% 4% 29% 64% 0% 29. Respect foreigners 3% 3% 30% 34% 30% 0% 30. Do not have job after school 21% 10% 9% 26% 33% 1% 31. Will teach my children ancestors' language 0% 3% 10% 37% 50% 0% 1= Strongly Agree; 2= Disagree; 3= Not sure; 4= Agree; 5= Strongly Agree; 6= No Answer. Total 100% 100% 101% 100% 100% 100% 99% 101% 101% 100% 100% 99% 99% 99% 100% 99% 100% 99% 100% 99% 100% 100% 99% 100% 100% 99% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 22 Appendix C Table 1. Summarizes students’ responses to the direct questions asked about age, gender, grade, GPA, ethnic origin, and foreign languages spoken at home and those taken at school. % From ALP student Body Table 1. Responses to direct questions asked. Parameter (1) Age, Gender, and Grade - Average Age 16 years - Number of Males 48% - Number of Females 52% th - Number of 9 Graders 29% th - Number of 10 Graders 27% th - Number of 11 Graders 24% th - Number of 12 Graders 20% (2) GPA (School Achievement Measure)☺ - GPA Above 3.5 27% - GPA Between 2.5-3.4 37% - GPA Between 2.0-2.4 20% - GPA Below 2.0 16% (3) Student Ethnic Origin (a) Student - Born in US 43% - Born in Arabia (Arabic Speaking) 17% - Born in Other Countries 39% (b) Father - Born in US 06% - Born in Arabia (Arabic Speaking) 40% - Born in Other Countries 54% (c) Mother - Born in US 09% - Born in Arabia (Arabic Speaking) 34% - Born in Other Countries 57% (d) GM/GF-F & GM/GF-M (Results ≈same for both) - Born in US 07% - Born in Arabia (Arabic Speaking) 37% - Born in Other Countries 56% (4) Languages Spoken at Home and Those Taken at School - English Spoken 84% - Arabic Spoken 36% - Other Languages Spoken 61% - Other Languages Learned 30% ☺Distribution in the Arabic Class: B+ -A =29%; C+-B =27%; C & Below =44% 23 Table 2. Distribution for recorded students’ responses to the multiple-choice questions. Distribution of the % of Students’ Responses In In Not Question with the original Number Agreement Disagreement Sure (1) Questions related to factors influencing the choice for learning Arabic 87% 03% 10% 31. Will teach my children ancestors’ language 65% 16% 19% 08. Think that Arabic is a connection to culture 44% 33% 23% 15. Arabic is very hard to learn 29% 62% 09% 09. Speak Arabic at home 07% 77% 16% 10. Will speak only English to my children 04% 87% 09% 01. I know Arabic, thus, I don’t want to study it (2) Questions related to Factors Influencing the Learning Process (a) Ethnic Origin & Culture 95% 01% 04% 07. Like parents’ ethnic origin* 93% 03% 04% 28. Proud of my origin 92% 01% 07% 12. Proud of original culture and heritage (OC&H) 92% 01% 07% 13. Will hold OC&H and pass it to my children 75% 08% 17% 14. Do not want to be more Americanized* 64% 06% 30% 29. Respect foreigners 62% 19% 19% 02. Feel of belonging to ethnic group (b) Parents 94% 00% 06% 11. Proud of parents 82% 04% 14% 20. Do not Feel embarrassed of my parents* 61% 26% 13% 25. Parents are college graduates 56% 13% 31% 17. Like the way my parents speak English 48% 27% 24% 27. Parents came to US to educate me/my siblings 48% 28% 24% 16. Like to follow my parents footsteps 27% 52% 21% 23. Feel nervous with my parents help 23% 59% 17% 18. Other people do not understand my parents 14% 66% 19% 26. Parents came to the US to attend school 07% 84% 09% 19. I order for my parents at the restaurant (c) Grandparents 66% 13% 21% 22. Feel relaxed with my grandparents 51% 20% 29% 24. Grandparents’ expectations are important 08% 85% 07% 21. Grandparents help me with Arabic at home (d) Peers 64% 10% 26% 06. Friends’ judgment is not over parents’* 52% 35% 13% 03. My friends are studying with me at school (e) Availability of Off-School Time 66% 14% 20% 05. Respect weekend nights’ curfew 62% 24% 14% 04. Go home early weekday nights 60% 31% 09% 30. Do not have a job after school * Note: the original question was the opposite of what is stated, thus, % response is switched.