Arabic Literacy Is In Danger Due To Learning English In Schools In The United Arab Emirates

1830 words - 8 pages

Does studying mostly in English at university lead to a loss in Arabic literacy and language skills? In fact, there are many point of views around this major issue; education and technology are developing rapidly worldwide and every nation is competing in order to become the best in teaching in English forgetting the side effects that might occur to the native language of the country. English is considered to be the main language that is used worldwide; as a result, in order to communicate with people around the world Arabs have to learn how to speak and write in English. There are different opinions on whether studying in English affects our Arabic literacy and skills. There are some parents who agree that English is affecting the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) language. On the other hand, other parents do not agree and they think English has no effect on MSA or Emirati Arabic (ElBahi, 2013). In my point of view, I think studying in English leads to a loss of Arabic literacy and language skills because it may reduce the use of Modern Standard Arabic Language (MSA). MSA language is being faded by some students for the reason that they are studying in private schools and spending more time with their maids. As a result, losing our MSA language will lead to a loss of our national identity.

Most of the private schools concentrate mainly on English language in almost all the subjects except for Geography, History, Islamic education and Arabic. Perhaps, some private schools have Geography and History subjects optional which means the student have the choice to choose whether he/she wants to study it in English or Arabic language. Beside that, the MSA classes and Islamic Education classes are twice or three times weekly which is less than what public schools give. MSA is in danger because students who study in private schools started to speak in English all the time and they are starting to forget about their native language which is Arabic (Barakat, 2013). English Language is being a first language for those students. For that reason, students who study in private schools face some difficulties in their MSA language. For instance, when the student get used to reading and studying almost all the time in English he/she finds it difficult to write and study in MSA language because he/she faces some difficulties in it. Students who speak and write all the time in English are unable to speak fluently and write in MSA language.

How did UAE improve their Education? Actually, it is well known that the UAE and in general the Gulf countries improved in all the sectors since the day oil was discovered. In view of the fact that almost all UAE citizens are having a high standard of living (Zayed, 2013); almost every house includes one or more foreign housemaid. Many children spend almost all their time with the housemaid who helps them speak English fluently. As a result, children become weak in both Emirati Arabic and MSA language because they do not use their...

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