AWEJ Volume.5 Number.4, 2014                                                                Pp. 14-27

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Motivation and Methods in Learning Arabic in an AFL Environment


Siobhán McPhee
University of British Columbia, Canada

Josephine O’Brien
Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Learning a second or other language has been closely associated with English for functional purposes for many decades. In a global context, English is perceived as a necessity for anyone wanting to progress in a career especially at the international level. However, in recent years with the shifting focus and locus of the worlds of business and finance, many have developed a keen interest in learning non-European languages such as Arabic and Chinese. The current paper considers a group of adults taking Arabic classes at their own expense in a non-Arabic speaking environment and outside of their everyday working lives. Aspects of language learning, in particular motivation and self-regulated learning are considered as factors in the learning process. The nature of the language to be learned is also examined with challenging features highlighted through the discussion. Participant responses are recorded and analysed in an attempt to note the interest in the learning process. The focus of the paper takes motivation in general and motivation as affected by the nature of Arabic and the language learning process into consideration.
Keywords: Arabic as a foreign language, motivation, methods, language challenges


Dr Josephine O’Brien works as an Assistant Professor in English Writing Studies in Zayed
University, Dubai. Her language learning interests include sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics,
Teacher Training and in particular the influence of the mother tongue on acquisition of another