Arabic as a Second Language A Study on Student

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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
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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 multiple-
choice 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 ALP-
SB 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.


                                                         Place of Birth for Parents and their Parents
     60%
                                                                            (In Blue)

                   Place of Birth for the Students
     50%                       (In Red)


     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;
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   (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
                               Arabic
                (Spoken)                   Others
                            (Spoken)                   Others
                                        (Spoken)
                                                    (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.
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       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%                           Agree    Disagree      Not sure

                            80%
            % 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
                    % o f Stud en ts




                                       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%      Agree       Disagree        Not sure
                             80%
             % 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


                              60%
              % of Students




                              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


                              60%
              % of Students




                              40%


                              20%


                              0%
                                    Q 05                  Q 04                    Q 30
                                           Q 05 Respect weekend nights' curfew.
                                           Q 04 Go home early weekday nights.
                                            Q 30 Don't Have a job after school.




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 off-
school 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     10     11    12

(4) GPA:                                ____

(5) Place of Birth:              _____________

(6) Origin of Mother:            _____________

(7) Origin of Father:            _____________

(8) Origin of Grandmothers:      mom’s side_____________     father’s side_____________

(9) Origin of Grandfathers:      mom’s side_____________     father’s side_____________

(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      4     5     6     Total
Age (years)                                        16    16      16     16    16    16
Gender: Male=1; Female=2♥                          43% 46% 0%           0%    0%    11%   100%
Grade: 9=1; 10=2; 11=3; 12=4                       29% 27% 24%          20%   0%    0%    100%
GPA: Over 3.5=1; 2.5-3.4=2; 2-2.4=3; Below2=4♣     27% 37% 7%           0%    0%    29%   100%
Birth- Current Generation: US=1; ARB=2; Other=3 43% 17% 39%             0%    0%    1%    100%
Mother- Second Generation                          9% 34% 56%           0%    0%    1%    100%
Father- Second Generation                          6% 40% 53%           0%    0%    1%    100%
G. Mother-M side- First Generation                 7% 36% 56%           0%    0%    1%    100%
G. Mother-F side-First Generation                  7% 39% 53%           0%    0%    1%    100%
G. Father-M side-First Generation                  7% 36% 56%           0%    0%    1%    100%
G. Father-F side-First Generation                  7% 39% 53%           0%    0%    1%    100%
Languages-Home: English=1♠                         84% N/A       N/A    N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A
Languages-Home: Arabic=2                           N/A 36% N/A          N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A
Languages-Home: Other=3                            N/A N/A       61%    N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A
Languages-School: Other=3                          N/A N/A       30%    N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A
  ♥ Changed as per school records to: 48% and 52%, respectively.

  ♣ 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     Total
01. Knows Arabic/Doesn't want to study it            41% 46%         9% 4% 0% 0%           100%
02. Feel of belonging to an ethnic group             6%      13%     19% 31% 30% 1%        100%
03. Study with friends at school                     9%      26%     13% 47% 6% 0%         101%
04. Go home early weekday nights                     11% 13%         14% 46% 16% 0%        100%
05. Respect curfew weekend nights                    7%      7%      20% 37% 29% 0%        100%
06. Agree with friends' judgment over parents'       30% 34%         26% 3% 7% 0%          100%
07. Dislike parents’ ethnic origin                   70% 23%         4% 1% 0% 1%           99%
08. Arabic class- Connection to culture              3%      13%     19% 49% 16% 1%        101%
09. Speak Arabic at home                             33% 30%         9% 16% 13% 0%         101%
10. Will speak only English with my children         57% 20%         16% 3% 4% 0%          100%
11. Proud of parents                                 0%      0%      6% 24% 70% 0%         100%
12. Proud of original culture/heritage (OC&H)        0%      1%      7% 14% 77% 0%         99%
13. Will hold to OC&H and past to my children        0%      1%      7% 24% 67% 0%         99%
14. Want to become more American                     44% 30%         17% 7% 1% 0%          99%
15. Arabic very hard to learn                        4%      29%     23% 23% 21% 0%        100%
16. Like to follow parents' footsteps                9%      19%     24% 20% 27% 0%        99%
17. Like the way my parents speak English            6%      7%      31% 33% 23% 0%        100%
18. Other people do not understand my parents        37% 21%         17% 20% 3% 1%         99%
19. I order for my parents at the restaurant         53% 30%         9% 7% 0% 1%           100%
20. Feel embarrassed of my parents                   56% 24%         14% 4% 0% 1%          99%
21. Grandparents help with Arabic at home            53% 29%         7% 7% 1% 3%           100%
22. Feel relaxed with my grandparents                6%      7%      20% 33% 31% 3%        100%
23. Feel nervous with my parents help                27% 24%         21% 20% 7% 0%         99%
24. Grandparents expectations are important          10% 10%         29% 36% 14% 1%        100%
25. Parents are college graduates                    9%      17%     13% 30% 31% 0%        100%
26. Parents came to US to attend school              24% 41%         19% 10% 4% 1%         99%
27. Parents came to US for me/my siblings education 14% 13%          24% 19% 29% 1%        100%
28. Proud of origin                                  0%      3%      4% 29% 64% 0%         100%
29. Respect foreigners                               3%      3%      30% 34% 30% 0%        100%
30. Do not have job after school                     21% 10%         9% 26% 33% 1%         100%
31. Will teach my children ancestors' language       0%      3%      10% 37% 50% 0%        100%
 1= Strongly Agree; 2= Disagree; 3= Not sure; 4= Agree; 5= Strongly Agree; 6= No Answer.
                                                                                             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
31. Will teach my children ancestors’ language          87%            03%          10%
08. Think that Arabic is a connection to culture        65%            16%          19%
15. Arabic is very hard to learn                        44%            33%          23%
09. Speak Arabic at home                                29%            62%          09%
10. Will speak only English to my children              07%            77%          16%
01. I know Arabic, thus, I don’t want to study it       04%            87%          09%
(2) Questions related to Factors Influencing the Learning Process
(a) Ethnic Origin & Culture
07. Like parents’ ethnic origin*                        95%            01%          04%
28. Proud of my origin                                  93%            03%          04%
12. Proud of original culture and heritage (OC&H)       92%            01%          07%
13. Will hold OC&H and pass it to my children           92%            01%          07%
14. Do not want to be more Americanized*                75%            08%          17%
29. Respect foreigners                                  64%            06%          30%
02. Feel of belonging to ethnic group                   62%            19%          19%
(b) Parents
11. Proud of parents                                    94%            00%          06%
20. Do not Feel embarrassed of my parents*              82%            04%          14%
25. Parents are college graduates                       61%            26%          13%
17. Like the way my parents speak English               56%            13%          31%
27. Parents came to US to educate me/my siblings        48%            27%          24%
16. Like to follow my parents footsteps                 48%            28%          24%
23. Feel nervous with my parents help                   27%            52%          21%
18. Other people do not understand my parents           23%            59%          17%
26. Parents came to the US to attend school             14%            66%          19%
19. I order for my parents at the restaurant            07%            84%          09%
(c) Grandparents
22. Feel relaxed with my grandparents                   66%            13%          21%
24. Grandparents’ expectations are important            51%            20%          29%
21. Grandparents help me with Arabic at home            08%            85%          07%
(d) Peers
06. Friends’ judgment is not over parents’*             64%            10%          26%
03. My friends are studying with me at school           52%            35%          13%
(e) Availability of Off-School Time
05. Respect weekend nights’ curfew                      66%            14%          20%
04. Go home early weekday nights                        62%            24%          14%
30. Do not have a job after school                      60%            31%          09%
* Note: the original question was the opposite of what is stated, thus, % response is
switched.