International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Motivation of American College Students to Study Arabic
Hezi Brosh

This paper explores the motivations of American college students to study Arabic. A sample of 229 students enrolled in Arabic classes in six colleges were administered a survey. Theywere given a list of 29 reasons to study Arabic, each reason reflecting a different kind of motivation. The respondentswere asked to choose their top four reasons and rank them in order of importance (1,2,3,4).The results show that a variety of motivations can play an important role in a student’s decision to learn Arabic. Whereas many students are career-oriented, others are interested in the language itself and pursue it for its academic stimulation. Still, others learn Arabic to be more knowledgeable about the culture, history, and religion of the Arab people. However, there are those who feel a greater sense of national threat due to changes in the sociopolitical context, and they learn the language out of patriotism.Finally, the study also reveals an interesting finding which points to respondents’ perception that due to globalization and advancement in technology they now belong to the wider community of the world. This becomes a dimension of their identityand motivates them to learn foreign languages.

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