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Title: Language learning strategies used by learners of Arabic as a foreign language in the sultanate of Oman
Author: Al-Busaidi, Fatma
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
The main purpose of this study was to explore the language learning strategies (LLSs) used by 19 Arabic language learners, learning Arabic in Oman. It also aimed to investigate the difficulties experienced by these students in learning Arabic in the Omani context and the strategies they used to deal with these difficulties. An interpretive approach was adopted for the study, using in-depth interviewing, classroom observation, and students' diaries. Additionally, to enhance the data collected by the main methods, informal interviews with two Arabic teachers and the director of the programme were conducted. The analysis of the data generated 34 strategies which reflected the participants' use of these strategies within their social context. It has also found that the strategies could not be categorised into one universal broad type as most of them had characteristics of more than one type. Therefore, the way they are grouped in this study is mainly influenced by the way they were used by these students to achieve a specific purpose. It has also found that the strategies reported by these students and the way they were used were influenced by different factors such as the wider social context, the classroom learning environment, the teachers, the characteristics of Arabic, and finally their personal competence. Major differences were also found between these learners in the chosen strategies and the way they were applied to enhance their learning and to solve their difficulties. The data analysis indicated four types of linguistic difficulties related to the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). The data showed that these four types of difficulties were attributed to different factors discussed in detail in Chapter Seven. Additionally, the findings showed that the Omani social context has an impact on these learners of Arabic. This mainly resulted from cultural differences between these participants and the Omanis. Specifically, it was found that these differences are associated with various policies applied in their own countries and the Omani society regarding the attention given for promoting the local language for non-native speakers. Also, the differences related to the academic system including the role of the teacher, the availability of resources and learning materials and finally the evaluation system in the schools were reported to affect the learning of these students. Finally, the differences related to the life style, customs and values of these students and the Omanis were found to affect their interaction with the Omani society. The data indicated that in dealing with the linguistic difficulties and cultural conflicts, these learners applied a variety of strategies. The findings have also showed that there is a great deal of similarity between the strategies students used in language learning and those they used for overcoming learning difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.515547  DOI: Not available
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