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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Teaching Arabic in South Africa: Historical and Pedagogical Trends
Author:Mohamed, Yasien
Periodical:Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:language instruction
Arabic language
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:In South Africa, more than half a million Muslim minority people identify with Arabic, the language of the Koran, and have the desire to learn and speak the language. This paper is concerned with the teaching of modern standard Arabic in South Africa. First, it briefly examines the history of Muslim arrivals in the Cape from 1658 onward, and the teaching of Arabic during this period. With the opening up of South Africa to the rest of the world, people began to realize the significance of Arabic for political and trade links with the Middle East. These new developments call for a revision of teaching methods. Educationists are torn between two approaches: teaching Arabic for religious and academic reasons alone, and preparing students for communicative Arabic, oral and written. Next, attention is paid to Arabic education in the United States; the two broad approaches, classical and modern, reflected in Arabic textbooks; the need for appropriate Arabic texts; the advantages of a proficiency-based curriculum over a curriculum based on textbooks; the role of grammar in language learning; and the choice of the teaching medium: modern standard Arabic or colloquial Arabic. Notes, ref.