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Arabic Language Teachers in the State of Michigan: Views of Their Professional Needs

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2014.45053    5,878 Downloads   6,531 Views  
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ABSTRACT

A full-day summer conference directed by this investigator took place in Dearborn city under the umbrella of Western Michigan University for professional development of Arabic teachers serving public, private, and academic charter schools in Michigan. The theoretical framework for conducting the conference was focused on the issue of teaching strategies as well as the needs assessment of teachers for improving their professional development. A group of fifty teachers volunteered to participate in the conference and were asked to complete a twelve-item questionnaire designed to provide their professional profile and their preference in developing professional development. Their professional profile included years of Arabic teaching experience in the United States, teaching level (elementary school, middle school, or high school), teaching certificate, academic credentials, and type of school (public, private, or charter school). The findings indicated that among the ten sub-items related to the professional development skills of the teachers, “Implementing differentiated language instruction” was rated by the participating teachers as the most important components of their professional development skills; followed in order by “Integrating technology and Arabic instruction”; “Using effective learner-centered teaching strategies”; “Using and maintaining Arabic language”; “Implementing a standards-based curriculum”; “Developing curriculum and thematic units”; “Implementing performance assessment methods”; “Conducting constructive action research in Arabic instruction”; “Conducting the Oral Proficiency Interview”; and “Learning how to be a certified Arabic language teacher in Michigan”. In response to the questions regarding the role of Council in supporting Arabic teachers, the participating teachers made a number of constructive suggestions to help improve the quality of teaching Arabic with special focus on facilitating appropriate teaching materials and other instructional tools as a part of curriculum development.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Wafa, H. (2014) Arabic Language Teachers in the State of Michigan: Views of Their Professional Needs. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 607-620. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.45053.

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