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Volume :4 Issue : 15 1988      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Arabisation and the problem if using English as a medium on instruction in the Faculty of Science at Kuwait University

Auther : Muspah Haj-Issa & Nagat Al-Mutawa

   The students at the Faculty of Education include many who enroi in the various branches of science and mathematics. Some of these students aresent by the Ministry of Education. The objective is to enable them tho teach these subjects in intermediate and scondary schools. However, the majority subsequently withdraw from these subjects in order to enrol in other fields which do not not require English as a medium of instruction.

   The present study seeks to analyse this phenomenon. Iti is based on a questionnaire distributed to 365 students and staff at the Faculties of Science and Education. Two types of questionnaire were designed: the first was for Arabic-speaking members of the staff, and the second was for the students. In addition, a questionnaire consisting of a single question was distributed to non-Arabic-speaking members of the staff.

   The results indicate that new students at the Faculty of Science face difficulties in absorbing the concepts that are laught in English. They have to spend extra time and effort in order to understand these concepts. The responses also indicate that members of staff prefer to teach scientific subjects in English. There are a number of reasons for this preference. First, most of the lectureres were taught thes concepts in Enlgish. Second, there are insufficient reference works in Arabic. Third, it is difficult to translate the continuous flow of foreign publications. Finally, using English as a medium of instruction failitates studies at the postgraduate level.

   There was nevertheless tendency to overcome these problems through teaching scientific subjects in Arabic. Various opinions were offered to achieve Arabisation. These include gradual introduction of the use of Arabic, allocation of the necessary funds and manpower for translation, co-ordination between Universities in the Arab countries, increased care for the teaching of English and Arabic and the increased use of audiovisual aids in teaching.

   The study concludes with some suggestions that may be useful at the presenttime, or when Arabisation is implemented at the Faculty of Science. Such suggestions merit consideration since the use of foreign language is a temporary measure, and the Univesity rules require that Arabic be used as the official language.

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