Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL Number 6. July 2020                              Pp.157-170

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Learning Arabic Media Related Vocabulary through Twitter at the University of Alabama 

  Saad Bushaala
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

  Safa Elnaili
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

  Maysoun Ali
Community Child Center/Headstart/ECEAP Program
Pullman, WA, USA



This research paper aims to investigate the effect of utilizing Twitter in a foreign language classroom and how it would affect students’ attitudes towards learning Arabic media related vocabulary. The researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods as a methodological approach to the study. The subjects of the study are American undergraduate students studying Arabic for their third semester, 11 participated in the study. The participants were asked to open Twitter accounts in order to practice reading up-to-date tweets from global news agencies. Participants took pre and post-tests, then were asked to take a questionnaire; a structured interview was also carried out along with reflections to have a better understanding of the students’ attitude towards the use of Twitter in the classroom. The data were gathered throughout the semester and analyzed qualitatively and the participants’ responses were coded for certain themes and then analyzed. The findings indicated that the students had a positive attitude towards the use of Twitter in learning vocabulary for specific topics -in this study media/political-related vocabulary- in the foreign language classroom. In addition, the quantitative data used as confirmation and showed vocabulary gains after the Twitter treatment. The study’s findings can be applied to any foreign language and can have important implications and recommendations for language teachers and educators in the field. The findings will add valuable recommendations on how to integrate social media platforms in a foreign language classroom.
Keywords: Arabic, Foreign Language Learning, Twitter, University of Alabama, Vocabulary learning

Cite as:   Bushaala, S.,  Elnaili, S., Ali, M.&  (2020). Learning Arabic Media Related Vocabulary through Twitter at the University of Alabama. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL (6). 157-170.


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Saad Bushaala , Safa Elnaili & Maysoun Ali

Dr. Saad Bushaala is a faculty member at the Modern Languages and Classics at the University
of Alabama. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Instruction and Teacher Education Department at
University of South Carolina. His research interests are Bilingual Education, Culturally Relevant
Teaching and Pedagogies, Multicultural Education, Assessment, Qualitative research, Integration
of Technology in Teaching, and Teacher Training and Development.
ORCID: 0000-0002-9675-2332

Dr. Safa Elnaili is an Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Alabama. She holds a
Ph.D. in Linguistics and Translation from Louisiana State University. She has over ten years
experience of SL/FL teaching in higher education. Her research interest are Arabic language,
literary translation, Libyan literature, and Myths. She is currently working on her MFA in literary
translation and creative writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
ORCID: 0000-0002-9371-3418

Dr. Maysoun Ali holds a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from the College of Education at
Washington State University. Her research interest is enhancing language learning with the use of
technology. She has experience teaching English as a second language at the University of Idaho
and currently teaches at the Headstart/ECEAP, Early Childhood Education and Assistance
Program for preschool aged kids.
ORCID: 0000-0001-8825-6649