Key components in a successful Arabic immersion program for high school students : a case study
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As more second-language acquisition research is published about the optimal age to begin foreign language instruction, and the best methods for teaching foreign languages, many colleges and universities are seeking to create intensive immersion programs which would prepare prospective students for the rigors of their language programs and serve as a productive language-learning environment. One such program, the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, is based on the highly successful summer language schools model. This research isolates the components which would help create successful, intensive Arabic immersion programs. Specifically, this thesis asks: How can an institution create a successful Arabic immersion learning environment for high school students? To answer this question, this thesis reviews current literature in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), includes personal observations about the program and analyzes responses to surveys administered to two groups of stakeholders, namely students, and teachers/resident assistants. After the descriptive section, the thesis proposes a curricular framework which encompasses the main components of the curriculum (including goals, teacher and learner training, instructional materials, and native versus target language use). This framework is presented as a model to help teachers and other administrators as they try to set up new Arabic programs for high school students.
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