February 11, 2013
Vol. 28 , No. 08
View Entire Issue (Vol. 28 , No. 08)
The Arabic Language and Language Anxiety
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2013
LECTURE 6:45 p.m. PARENTS DINING ROOM
Is the standard of Arabic language failing? The speaker will address this theme and the theme of the Arabic language anxiety. The media often describe Arabic as being in danger, reflecting folk linguistic views about the language and expanding them through enhanced dissemination. Conferences on the state of Arabic in the modern world reiterate the same theme. Teachers and parents often bewail the falling standards in the language in schools, attributing it to a variety of factors.
Arabic language teaching reforms in the last decade are related to this language anxiety and to the role of language as proxy. The language anxiety is a factor in all languages, including English and French which are often offered as examples of dominant and secure languages in the Arabic speaking milieu.
Yasir Suleiman is Professor of Modern Arabic Studies at the University of Cambridge, Professorial Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is Head of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Director of the Prince Alwaleed Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge. Professor Suleiman held the Iraq Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1990-2007). His published works include, Living Islamic History (2010), A War of Words: Language and Conflict in the Middle East (2004), The Arabic Language and National Identity: A Study in Ideology (2003).
Professor Yasir Suleiman's visit to CMC is jointly sponsored by the Arabic Studies program and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.