Arabic Language Arts Standards: Revolution or Disruption?

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Research in Comparative and International Education


© The Author(s) 2018. Textbooks are major organizers of Arabic language instruction in most Arab countries (Faour, 2012). Textbooks approved by ministries of education have traditionally guided teaching of content knowledge, skills, and values to be taught at each grade level (Faour, 2012; Sabella, 2014; Taha-Thomure, 2008). This research is a foundation study into the use of Arabic Language Arts (ALA) standards in six schools in three countries in the Arabian Gulf region (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates). Fifty-eight teachers used the ALA standards adapted from the Ohio English Language Arts standards (Taha, 2017a) for at least one year. Results of the online survey indicated that 83.5% of teachers found the standards had a positive effect on their teaching, while 94.9% of teachers found that the standards helped them collaborate with each other in planning and finding suitable resources to use. This suggests that well-supported innovations can lead to teachers being aware of and using ALA to improve student learning and instruction. Results also highlight some of the challenges teachers faced to find the necessary Arab language resources that will help them implement a standards-based approach, in addition to the amount of time they needed to put into preparing for the lessons.

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