Is Teaching Arabic in Jewish Schools Feasible?
Learning Arabic in Israeli-Jewish schools is considered to be a very strategic goal in the country. Not only is it an aspiring goal of the educational board, but it will essentially make a strong cultural impact as well. Many people feel that if the children are given the opportunity to study and learn the Arabic language early on then they will have an appreciation of the philosophy in behind it, in regards to the richness of the culture it rests with.
The Attitudes to Expect
The student attitudes of many Israeli-Jewish pupils have been positive ones in regards to wanting to learn the language and the culture of the people intertwined with it. This proves to be a positive reinforcement in allowing for diversity and equality among Israeli and Arabic ethnicities. The starting point always rests with the children of the future and moves on from there so that a yearning to want to learn the language by Israeli-Jewish adults can form as well. The push is to get overall approval to have this language moved ahead in the Jewish schools in Israel. Since it is the chosen language of many native Middle Eastern speakers then it makes logical sense to have the language carried on into the Israeli-Jewish schools as well. As was said, the students are more than willing to have this as a second language, and many teachers are anxious to begin teaching it to the students.
The leaders within the Ministry of Education believe that it should be a subject made compulsory for students to study for at least three years. Though this might seem demanding and stressful for the students, in the long run it will prove to be a positive affirmation in regards to a better understanding among Israeli-Jews, and native Arabs. However, there seems to be slight problems to overcome. One of the main ones is the stereotypes that have been laid out about native Arabic speakers among the Jewish population. These negative feelings need to be laid to rest because they arenâ€™t necessarily in correlation with the whole population of the Arabic people. These attitudes have caused a lot of students to drop out of studying Arabic. It gives them a false sense and confuses them on whether or not studying the language and the people is really a good thing.
If the various views on the Arabic way of life such as, the culture, societal attitudes, opinions on public speakers, and most of all the parental attitudes, can be changed then it is feasible to see the teaching of Arabic in Israeli-Jewish schools excel. However this is going to take some time and attitudes must change before hand to have positive outcomes and good experiences for the students.
Schmidt-Donitsa, Smadar & Inbar, Ofra & Shohamy, Elana (2004). The Effects of Teaching Spoken Arabic on Students Attitudes and Motivation in Israel. The Modern Language Journal Volume 88, Issue 2