Will Arabic Survive in Australia: Participation and Challenges

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Nadia Selim

Abstract

Motivated by the need to preserve Arabic learning and teaching, this article acknowledges the importance of considering the various contexts in which Arabic is taught and learnt and its specific status therein. In this regard, the Australian context is underrepresented in the literature on Arabic language learning. This article will, therefore, shed some light on the specifics of the Australian context, in which Arabic is a language of wider teaching that struggles to attract sufficient numbers of learners in the senior years of school, thereby often calling into question the viability of university-level programs. With the viability of Arabic tertiary programs in Australia on the line, reversing such trends is a necessity. However, research on Arabic in the Australian context has also been very limited. Therefore, this article will explore five language-specific issues that might underpin problematic participation in the learning of Arabic.

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