Criteria for appraising computer-based simulations for teaching Arabic as aforeign language
Richard Dabrowski, Indiana University, United States
Indiana University . Awarded
This was an exploratory study aimed at defining more sharply the pedagogical and practical challenges entailed in designing and creating computer-based game-type simulations for learning Arabic as a foreign language. Because of the current state of affairs, this study focused on the special needs and interests of an American military audience and the unique linguistic challenges for young adult Americans learning Arabic. This mixed methodology study used expert opinion and observations, interviews, and document analysis with two research populations, US Air Force Academy cadets who attended an intensive summer immersion program and US Army soldiers who field tested a developmental prototype of a video game-based program for learning Arabic.
The findings identified (a) the pedagogical features found in existing computer-based games for Arabic and how those features compared with the pedagogical features considered critical to success by experts and actual learners, and (b) the engagement and realism features that are required in computer-based simulations for learning Arabic as a foreign language. The study concludes that computer-based simulations are a promising possibility for this purpose. Improvements are needed in voice-recognition technology, in providing tailored feedback on linguistic and pronunciation errors, in allowing for learner differences, and in selecting the highest priority linguistic content and to incorporate that language into a scenario that is appealing to the military audience.
Dabrowski, R. Criteria for appraising computer-based simulations for teaching Arabic as aforeign language. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University.
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