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Madeline Bergstrom

T&L 339
April 13, 2016
Arabic Speaking ESLs

1. Arabic-speaking ESL students struggle in similar regards to other ELL

students, based on cultural and linguistic differences had between them and
their classroom environments. Many positive and negative transfer issues
may occur during the language learning process such as the similar
alphabetic systems and verb tense, while English is written left to right and
Arabic is right to left. This makes it difficult for learners to read words and
place them in th correct order. Arabic speakers also tend to have a harder
time pronouncing letters such as p, d, and v.
2. Teachers should first of all be aware of these difficulties, so that they are
paying attention to how they are affecting their learning, and then they
should help to accommodate their linguistic growth by playing on their
strengths to assist their weaknesses. Teachers should also attempt to use
their home language to make quality connections between their knowledge
of Arabic to strengthen their understanding of English accordingly.
3. The teacher should do their best to accommodate for the needs of their ELLs,
especially with their Arabic speaking ESL students. One can do so by
providing texts in both their home language and in English, so that students
can visually make the connection between the two. Culture can also play a
role in their development. It may be helpful to incorporate your students
culture into the language lessons so that further connections can be made in
the eyes of your students. People tend to learn based on their personal
connections had to the subjects, so incorporating a familiar entity to their
language learning can prove to be very effective in teaching English to non-
native speakers.
4. Many teachers treat all of the ELL students in similar ways and try to use
similar teaching strategies to build these necessary connections, yet every
home language is different. It may be useful to work on pronunciation with
Arabic speakers, when Spanish speaking students may not need this focus. It
is all about catering your teaching to your students unique needs. Also, there
is always going to be a clear cultural barrier that can hinder student learning,
if the EL teacher does not fall under the same cultural groupings as their
students. It can be hard to connect with students of different cultures, and is
something that teachers need to keep in mind. We all have biases and
stereotypes about different cultures, and this culture especially tends to hold
negative feelings with people, so this misplaced hatred or skepticism may
interfere with student-teacher relationships, and can also effect an ELLs
ability to really learn.