Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Promoting Arabic Literacy in Primary Schools in the United Arab Emirates through the Emirati Dialect

Version 1 : Received: 28 September 2020 / Approved: 14 October 2020 / Online: 22 October 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)

How to cite: Ribeiro Daquila, J. Promoting Arabic Literacy in Primary Schools in the United Arab Emirates through the Emirati Dialect. Preprints 2020, 2020110110 (doi: 10.3390/sci2040079). Ribeiro Daquila, J. Promoting Arabic Literacy in Primary Schools in the United Arab Emirates through the Emirati Dialect. Preprints 2020, 2020110110 (doi: 10.3390/sci2040079).

Abstract

Globalization has had an impact on the education system in the UAE, where increased use of bilingual curriculum (Arabic-English) is held in high regard. Nevertheless, literacy among Emirati children and teenagers remains low. This study uses a 15-item, open-ended questionnaire completed by Emirati parents and an 8-item, open-ended questionnaire completed by Emirati primary school children from 8 to 11 years of age, and compares the translation of The Little prince into Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and into the Emirati dialect. The results suggest that not only the Emirati dialect, but any Arabic dialect (in its respective Arab country) could be used in primary schools to motivate children to read in Arabic and bridge the gap between their spoken language (dialect) and formal written Arabic. Not only must an Arab child learn how to read, but also, they have to understand a very formal language system that they are not used to speaking at home, i.e., Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Having books in their own dialects may make children more interested in reading, as they can understand them more easily.

Subject Areas

translation; children literacy; fostering reading; Arab countries; MSA or dialect; UAE; primary schools

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