Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.2 June 2015                                                  Pp. 54 – 65

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Is Standard Arabic Dying?

Sabah Salman Sabbah
Community College of Qatar, Qatar



This paper aimed at investigating the issue of the future of the Arabic Language with special attention given to exploring the following questions: (1) What are the factors that enhanced the prominent Arabic Language status in the past?(2)What are the phenomena that anticipate the death of the Arabic Language?(3) What are the factors that influenced the Arabic Language and led to the likelihood of its deterioration? (4)What are the best strategies to revive the past prominent status of the Arabic language and to stop its deterioration? More specifically, the paper discussed the status of the Arabic Language with regard to the different chronological stages it experienced during different historical eras. It also explored the influence of colonialism, globalization, current educational systems in the Arab countries and the political Arab scene on the status of the Arabic Language. The paper highlighted different linguistic and social phenomena that anticipate the “death” of the Arabic Language, such as “Arabization”, “Englishization”, “Diglossia”, and “Code-Switching” Authentic visual examples of these linguistic phenomena were provided to elucidate their negative impact on the Arabic Language.   More focus was directed to the status of the Arabic Language in the Gulf Countries: conferences and recommendations suggested to protect the standard Arabic Language.In conclusion, this paper, by closely analyzing the current status of the Arabic Language, shed light on the little-recognized issue of strategic plans to protect the identity of the Arab nations.
Keywords:  Arabization, code-switching, colonialism, diglossia, Englishization, globalization, Arabic

Cite as: Sabbah, S. S. (2015). Is Standard Arabic Dying? Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).


Dr. Sabah Sabbah holds MA in TEFL and Ph.D. in English Language Curriculum and
Instruction. She has worked as a teacher trainer, a supervisor and an assistant professor. She
attended courses in English pedagogy in Jordan, Britain and U.S. She published research. She
presented papers in Innovations 2014 Conference in Anaheim, U.S.A., in CCQ Humanities
Conference, and in Qatar and Dubai TESOL, 2015.