Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2  June 2021                                                    Pp.251-267

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The Place of Arabic in English as a Foreign Language University Level Classes in Jordan 

Tamador Khalaf Abu-Snoubar
Department of English Language and Literature
Al-Balqa Applied University, Salt Faculty of Humanities

Bandar Khlil Mukattash
Department of English Language and Literature
Al-Balqa Applied University, Salt Faculty of Humanities

Received: 2/10/2021               Accepted: 5/16/2021               Published: 6/24/2021

Modern graduates face major challenges in the international job market where knowledge of English and other foreign languages became one of the most important requirements of a well-trained professional. Even though the demands of such candidates increase, the methodology of teaching English remains the same. Modern educators and students demand the inclusion of the first language in their English as a Foreign Language classrooms, yet still, this method is considered controversial. Previous research generated ambiguous and inconclusive findings that the current study tries to re-explore. This study aims to find out the a) students’ attitude towards implementing their first language in English as a Foreign Language classes; b) how these attitudes can be related to their proficiency levels; c) the potential purposes of using the first language in the English language classrooms; and d) if teachers support using a bilingual approach in their classrooms. The current research uses a mixed-method design by applying a survey filled in by 400 students studying at Al-Balqa Applied University and semi-structured interviews with 5 instructors from the same institute to collect the data needed. The findings recognized that both students and teachers support the situational application of Arabic in the English as a Foreign Language classrooms, especially when it comes to the reading comprehension activities and introducing a new grammar topic or new vocabulary items. The use of the first language has to be proportionate to the level of students’ target language proficiency, as basic English speakers require the inclusion of their first language more often than their advanced counterparts.
Keywords: bilingual approach, English as a Foreign Language, First language, mother tongue, Target Language, monolingual approachp 

Cite as:  Abu-Snoubar, T. K., & Mukattash, B. K. (2021). The Place of Arabic in English as a Foreign Language University Level Classes in Jordan.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 251-267.


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Received: 2/10/2021   
Accepted: 5/16/2021 
Published: 6/24/2021  

Tamador Khalaf Abu-Snoubar ( He is an Assistant Professor at Al-Balqa Applied University, Salt Faculty of Humanities, Department of English Language and Literature. He holds have a Ph. D. in TEFL and an M. A. in Comparative Literature. His major fields of interest are English Literature, Methods Teaching English Literature, Teaching English as a Foreign Language for adults and CALL. He has published eight papers in different journals.

Bandar Khlil Mukattash is a lecturer at Al-Balqa Applied University/ Salt Faculty of Humanities/ Department of English Language and Literature. I have an MA in English Linguistics from Ulster University/ UK. I am mainly interested in Forensic Linguistics, Phonetics, Discourse Analysis and TEFL.