The nature of the learners
Learners increasingly communicate in Arabic in everyday interactions and in domains beyond the home. They continue to be immersed in Arabic language and culture, making connections and comparisons with other languages and cultures. They have a growing awareness of the wider world, including the diversity of languages, cultures and forms of intercultural communication. They begin to consider their role as bilingual, intercultural communicators in the Australian context. They are considering future pathways and prospects, including how Arabic may feature in these.
Arabic language learning and use
This is a period of language exploration, vocabulary expansion, and experimentation with different modes of communication. Learners use Arabic to communicate and interact, exchange information, express and justify opinions (أريد ركوب العجلة ولكن ليس عندي خوذة ), and plan, negotiate and solve problems in shared tasks and transactions (ماذا لو نذهب في عطلة المدرسة؟ ). They access and evaluate information from a range of sources, and present ideas and views from a range of perspectives in different formats and contexts and for particular audiences. They use their imagination to create a range of texts, such as stories, plays and video clips, about past events and experiences and future possibilities, using a range of techniques to entertain different audiences. There is a balance between activities that focus on language forms and structures and those that emphasise communicative tasks and performance. Learners recognise that moving between Arabic and English involves interpretation and personal response as well as literal translation and factual reporting. Task characteristics and conditions at this level are more complex and challenging, providing opportunities for collaborative as well as independent language planning and performance, and development and strategic use of language and cultural resources. Learners discuss the relationship between language, culture and identity, exploring in more depth the concept of being bilingual and bicultural.
Contexts of interaction
Greater control of language structures and systems increases confidence and interest in communicating in a wider range of contexts beyond the home. Contexts of interaction in Arabic move beyond the immediate world of teenage experience to more active participation in the local community, for example, by engaging in local community events or celebrations. Learners participate in discussions and presentations on topics of interest and on life experiences in different contexts and cultures, and view television programs, documentaries, music performances and films to further explore Arabic language and culture. Additional opportunities for interaction are provided by purposeful and integrated use of information and communications technologies (ICT), for example, videoconferencing and e-learning.
Texts and resources
Learners read, view and interact with a broad range of texts and resources specifically designed for learning Arabic in school contexts, such as textbooks, readers, videos and online materials, including those developed for computer-supported collaborative learning. They also access authentic materials created for Arabic-speaking communities, such as films, literature, websites and magazines. They use a range of dictionaries and translation methods to support comprehension, build vocabulary and elaborate on ideas.
Features of Arabic language use
Learners use appropriate pronunciation, rhythm and intonation in communication and interaction, and apply accurate spelling and punctuation in a range of written texts. They gain greater control of grammatical elements, such as word order, a range of tenses, conditional and subjunctive moods, embedded clauses, imperative forms, and vocative case, to elaborate on ideas and information relating to people and events ( أخي يلعب كثيراً لكن أختي تدرس دائماً), discuss future plans and aspirations (سوف أذهب إلى الجامعة؛ سوف اسافر مع أهلي؛ سوف أشتري سيارة), persuade audiences ( لنذهب إلى المعلم ونسأله؛ هيا حاول مرة ثانية؛ ممتاز! أحسنت؛ تكلم مع سامر), express doubt, uncertainty or emotion ( ربما نذهب إلى السينما يوم السبت), and link and extend ideas and information ( بداية؛ بعد ذلك؛ أخيراَ). They analyse text more critically, identifying how language choices reflect perspectives and meaning in a range of texts, and developing their understanding of the relationship between context, purpose and audience. They demonstrate understanding of language variation and change, and of how intercultural experience, technology, popular culture, migration and globalisation influence forms of communication.
Level of support
This stage of learning involves consolidation and progression. Learners need opportunities for new challenges and more independent learning experiences. Continued scaffolding, modelling and monitoring are required to support these challenges. A range of resources is provided and processes modelled for the development of more autonomous self-monitoring and reflecting strategies, such as online journalling, video documenting and discussion forums. Continued focused attention on grammatical and textual features supports learners in the production of texts.
The role of English
The classroom is increasingly characterised by bilinguality, with Arabic being the principal language of communication. English continues to be used as the medium for substantive discussion, comparison, analysis and reflection, although learners at this level are able to discuss some abstract and complex views and ideas on language, culture and intercultural experience in Arabic. They explore the interrelationship between language, culture and identity, and reflect in more depth on the concept of being bilingual. They discuss the influence of Arabic and English on their ways of communicating, thinking and behaving, how living and moving between cultures has impacted on their own bilingual identity, and how successful communication requires flexibility, awareness and openness to alternative ways.