Exploring characteristics of effective Arabic language teachers
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This study explored the learning experience of Arabic language learners at the college level, focusing on their perception of effective and ineffective Arabic language teachers as well as the influence of their experiences on their motivation. The study also attempted to shed some light on the nature of the teacher-student interaction within the current sociopolitical context. The 29 students who agreed to participate in this study were all Arabic language learners enrolled in the second year or higher of Arabic at a major university in the United States. Data were collected from multiple sources including an open-ended survey and semi-structured interviews that were conducted on a one-on-one basis with the participants. Data were analyzed using coding procedures suggested by Strauss and Corbin (1998) from a grounded theory qualitative approach. Results indicated that participants perceived their effective Arabic language teachers as adaptable teachers. These adaptable teachers influence learners' learning outcomes by balancing their high expectations of their students with an awareness of language learning needs. Moreover, participants' perceptions of their best Arabic learning experiences were always associated with adaptable teachers, whose positive interaction style radiated throughout in their teaching. The data indicated that participants were intrinsically motivated in four different ways: (1) intrinsic motivation for the linguistic aspects of Arabic, (2) intrinsic motivation for knowledge, (3) intrinsic motivation for optimal experience, and (4) intrinsic motivation for accomplishment. Moreover, motivation constructs such as expectancy-value, self-efficacy, and flow were related to the students' experiences. According to many students, the more years they spent in learning Arabic, the more they had become obsessed with it. Most participants in this study credited both native and non-native speakers as effective language teachers.. Participants credited their native teachers for their linguistic knowledge and their in-depth understanding of the Arabic culture and described them as resourceful. At the same time, they credited non-native teachers for their pedagogical knowledge, organizational skills, and knowledge of learners' characteristics, and described them as role models. Suggestions for future research and implications for research and practice are discussed.Not available
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