Palestinian kindergarten teachers in Israel and Arabic education policy: Language practice, ideology, and management

Abeer Shahbari Kassem, Muhammad Amara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aims to explore language education policy among Palestinian Arab kindergarten teachers in Israel, employing the framework of language policy proposed by Spolsky (2009), based on three major components: language practices, language ideologies, and language management. A mixed-method research approach consisting of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection is employed. A questionnaire was completed by a total of 509 kindergarten teachers. In addition, a semi-structured interview was carried out with 12 kindergarten teachers, selected from among those who answered the questionnaire, in order to gain a deeper understanding about Arabic language education policy. The data revealed that Palestinian Arab kindergarten teachers in Israel mostly use a mixture of Standard Arabic (StA) and Spoken Arabic (SpA) as the medium of instruction, using Hebrew or foreign words only sparingly. They express positive attitudes towards Arabic’s role as an important language in Israel. They also show positive attitudes about StA, believing that it is necessary to master it, yet facing difficulties while using it when speaking with the children. Regarding language management, they conduct activities that help develop StA skills, both for themselves and their students. Finally, there are significant interrelations between the kindergarten teachers’ background variables (religion, type of city they live in, seniority, education, and district) and language practice, ideology, and management. Based on these findings, it is important to construct a clearly-defined StA educational policy in Arab kindergartens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-290
Number of pages35
JournalLanguage Problems and Language Planning
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Keywords

  • Arabic
  • diglossia
  • language ideology
  • language management
  • language policy
  • language practice

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