East Jerusalem Students’ Attitudes towards the Acquisition of Hebrew as a Second or Foreign Language in the Arab Educational System of East Jerusalem and Society’s Support


This is a pioneering study examining the eighth grade students’ attitudes in the Arab Education System in East Jerusalem towards learning Hebrew as a foreign/second language: their readiness to communicate in it, and the extent of the community support to learning it. The study is based on Schuman’s (1978) social theories regarding acquiring foreign/second language. The extent of the learner’s social integration in the community of the foreign/second language determines the extent of his success in acquiring the language. The study sample included 643 eighth grade students from East Jerusalem schools who are learning Hebrew as an elective subject. The study questionnaire included three parts: 1) Attitudes towards learning a foreign/second language 2) Readiness to communicate in a foreign/second language 3)The social support. The study findings indicate statistically significant positive correlation between all the measures of the following variables: 1) Attitudes towards a foreign/second language and readiness to communicate in it. 2) Attitudes towards Hebrew as a school subject got a higher positive score than attitudes towards the speakers of the language. 3) Family support (father/mother) got a higher positive score than the friends’ support, and this is following the instrumental issue. The main conclusion of the study is that there is a need to formulate a systemic and unique work plan accompanied with an addition of suitable position and budget to handle the problem of teaching Hebrew as a foreign/second language.

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Ilaiyan, S. (2012). East Jerusalem Students’ Attitudes towards the Acquisition of Hebrew as a Second or Foreign Language in the Arab Educational System of East Jerusalem and Society’s Support. Creative Education, 3, 996-1005. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.326151.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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