Problems Of Teaching Arabic Language In Junior Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for English Education

Problems Of Teaching Arabic Language In Junior Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out to the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools using some selected junior secondary schools in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of students and teachers of the four selected junior secondary schools in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. The result of the findings reveals that students negative attitude, the use of ineffective teaching method, lack of pedagogical competence by teachers, lack of adequate language teaching aids, and poor availability of competent and qualified teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools. Therefore, it is of the researcher’s opinion that Governments should recruit more qualified Arabic teachers in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions in the country and assist in providing instructional materials that will assist in teaching and learning of Arabic. The Government should also help in providing current Arabic textbooks for the schools.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Language learning as a scientific process and a student-centred activity requires a wide range of planned teaching-learning activities. However, a number of obstacles hinder the effectiveness of teaching Arabic language in Nigeria.Arabic, in Nigeria, has been used and is still studied, largely, for liturgical as well as academic purposes. The study of Arabic for communicative ends is limited compared to the religious and academic utilities for which the language has been subjected. This, of course, restricts the competences of the graduates who are constricted to function as Arabists within Nigeria alone.

Although the majority of the learners studying Arabic as an additional language in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State hear the language in the form of prayer and recitation from birth, few achieve a satisfactory level of communicative competence. Pupils in their daily contact with the language are taught to perform ritualistic prayer in Arabic, and are expected to recite from the Qur’an fluently by the age of eight, yet they are unable to communicate effectively in Arabic or even understand what they hear (Majid,2017).This problem is also acknowledged by Bowker (2015). He, however, states that although understanding is important, there is a virtue in Islam in reciting the Qurían for its own sake; there can be a value in it quite apart from issues of understanding (Bowker 2015). This point of view is in contrast with current language teaching practices where the emphasis is on understanding and comprehension. Bowker (2015) explains that the First World Conference on Muslim Education, which was held in 1977, emphasized the Arabic language as the key to the understanding of the divine revelation presented in the Qurían and Sunna, and the teaching of Arabic as compulsory.The notion that the Arabic language is the key to the understanding of the Qurían and that there is a virtue in reciting the Qurían for its own sake, relates to the issue of Islamization. This concept was defined for the first time by Al-Attas (2013). Islamization (the word was formed analogous to Westernization) is the liberation of man from magical, mythological, animistic, national-cultural tradition, and then from secular control over his reason and his language (Al-Attas 2013). The Arabic language itself (and allother non-Arabic languages of Muslim peoples) have not been exempted from the process of Islamization. This implies that Arabic, as the language of the Qurían should accurately reflect the original message with no room for ‘… learned guess or conjecture, no room for interpretation based upon subjective readings, or understandings based merely upon the idea of historical relativism as if semantic change had occurred in the conceptual structures of the words and terms that make up the vocabulary of the sacred text’. Al-Attas (2013) proposes the exertion of constant vigilance in detecting erroneous language use, which can create general confusion and error in the understanding of Islam and of its world-view. He further argues for the desecularisation of the Arabic language (Al-Attas 2013). This argument is in contrast with the notion of communicative competence in foreign language teaching, where the focus is on the learners ability to use the language in different contexts for sending and receiving appropriate messages.

According to Allen (Mohamed 2017), the texts used in Arabic language teaching have been successful in developing reading, but do not constitute genuine reading ability, as they do not develop comprehension. Most learners are thus ‘barking at print’ when they read Arabic, in other words, they read aloud and may read very fluently, but they do not understand the meaning of the written message (Wessels & Van den Berg 2016). Although the current focus of teaching Arabic is on the acquisition of receptive skills (reading and understanding), these skills are not being acquired effectively. The majority of individuals who have acquired competence in Arabic as an additional language, have not learnt it through the schooling system. Some of these individuals have acquired Arabic in foreign countries, whilst others have learnt it through Muslim Seminaries in South Africa (see also Mohamed 2017). This suggests that the teaching methodology used in schools may be the reason for this dilemma. Mohammed (2017) states that despite the efforts to change to communicative Arabic, examinations at schools are still based on the grammar-translation method and it seems that teachers prepare their learners for this type of assessment. It is in the view of the above that this study seek to examine the problems of teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There has been various and numerable issues constraining the teaching of Arabic language in junior secondary schools. As observed by Amed(2015) , many teachers of languages (Arabic and English) in various Muslim schools in Yobe State lack communicative competence and low proficiency levels in all four language skills over many years. Many teachers of Arabic language are aware of this existing problem, and numerous discussions at teachers’ seminars, workshops and professional development programmes have taken place over the years, but either the problem has not been seriously tackled or plans of action have not been implemented. Since the inception of Arabic in Secondary Schools, inadequate methods of teaching the language has resulted in pupils dropping the subject at the Senior Secondary Phase, (Ebrahim 2016). Hence, students, who have received several years of formal Arabic teaching, frequently remain deficient in the ability to actually use the language, and to understand its use, in normal communication, whether in the spoken or written mode. Since it seems that the problem lies in the approach of teaching Arabic, what is needed is a shift of the focus of attention from the grammatical to the communicative properties of the language. From the aforementioned, this study aims at unveiling the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to critically examine the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain whether students negative attitude affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  2. Ascertain whether use of ineffective teaching method affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  3. Determine whether lack of pedagogical competence by teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  4. Determine whether lack of adequate language teaching aids affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  5. Determine whether poor availability of competent and qualified teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.

1.4 Research Question

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. Does students negative attitude affect the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools?
  2. Does use of ineffective teaching method affect the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools?
  3. Does lack of pedagogical competence by teachers affect the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools?
  4. Does lack of adequate language teaching aids affect the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools?
  5. Does poor availability of competent and qualified teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools?

1.5 Significance of the Study

There appears to be general agreement that there are problems with the teaching and learning of Arabic language in Yobe State, and in Nigeria at large. The areas of concern seem to revolve around the teachers factors including teachers’ proficiency in Arabic and the purpose of teaching Arabic as an additional language (secular or mundane). Therefore the outcome of this study will help the state ministry of education, policy makers, school administrator, and other stakeholders to understand the nature of the challenges militating against effecting teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria. More importantly, this study will proffer actionable recommendations that will help to improve the teaching of Arabic language in Nigerian schools.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to the the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally evaluate the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools, with specific focus to teachers and teaching related factors. The respondents for this study will be obtained from selected junior secondary schools in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Teaching:

In education, teaching is the concerted sharing of knowledge and experience, which is usually organized within a discipline and, more generally, the provision of stimulus to the psychological and intellectual growth of a person by another person or artifact.

Language:

The principal method of human communication, consisting of words used in a structured and conventional way and conveyed by speech, writing, or gesture.

Arabic Language:

A Semitic language that developed out of the language of the Arabians of the time of Muhammad, now spoken in countries of the Middle East and North Africa.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools using some selected junior secondary schools in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State form the population of the study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the problems in teaching Arabic language in junior secondary schools using some selected junior secondary schools in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State form the population of the study. The study is was specifically set to; ascertain whether students negative attitude affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools, ascertain whether use of ineffective teaching method affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools, determine whether lack of pedagogical competence by teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools, determine whether lack of adequate language teaching aids affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools, and determine whether poor availability of competent and qualified teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are students and teachers of the four selected junior secondary schools in Damaturu Local Government Area Of Yobe State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. Students negative attitude affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  2. The use of ineffective teaching method affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  3. Lack of pedagogical competence by teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  4. Lack of adequate language teaching aids affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.
  5. Poor availability of competent and qualified teachers affects the effective teaching of Arabic language in Nigeria junior secondary schools.

5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations were proffered with respect to the findings of the study;

  1. The Governments should recruit more qualified Arabic teachers in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions in the country and assist in providing instructional materials that will assist in teaching and learning of Arabic. The Government should also help in providing current Arabic textbooks for the schools.
  2. There is an urgent need for higher education institutions where Arabic is taught and where teacher training is taking place to reconsider the rationale for Arabic teaching. The primary focus should be on achieving communicative competence, in other words the ability to adapt to different contexts and use the language appropriately for receiving and sending messages. As such this differs from the artificial non-communicative manipulation of language which is so characteristic of many additional language programmes at higher education institutions.
  3. Workshops, seminars, e. t. c, should be organised on the curriculum of Arabic Studies for both primary and secondary school teachers in the country to enhance their knowledge. And in-service training should be done on a regular basis to ensure that effective and professional methods of language teaching find their way into the classroom.
  4. Professional bodies in the field such as Nigeria Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS), Nigerian Association of Arabic Language and Literature (NATALL) e. t. c; should be asked to work on the curriculum for Arabic Studies both in primary and secondary school levels in the country with a view to making it relevant to our environment and the standard of the students.

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