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A CASE STUDY OF LANGUAGE PLANNING IN JORDAN

Fawwaz Al-Abed Al-Haq

Ph.D. Dissertation, 1985

Abstract

This dissertation is an exploratory study of language conflict, language planning, and language-user attitudes toward Arabicization in the context of language policy in Jordan. It pursues three objectives: (1) To report on the language-planning activities carried out in Jordan. (2) To survey language and language-policy attitudes among groups of essential language users, by means of two questionnaires developed for this purpose. One was distributed to faculty members at the University of Jordan-Amman and the University of Yarmouk-Irbid, the other to students in the same schools. The questionnaires probe nine factors: (a) language use patterns; (b) language attitudes; (c) proficiency in Arabic and English; (d) attitudes and knowledge about variation in Arabic; (e) instrumentality of language; (f) students' achievement; (g) general standard of education if Arabicization were implemented in Jordan; (h) practical commitment to Arabicization; and (i) attitudes towards Arabicization. Correlations between some of these factors are also investigated, in order to examine possible ambivalence in attitudes towards the major speech varieties in use in Jordan (English, Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Jordanian Arabic). This study seeks to show the effects of ambivalence, if any, on language policy, especially with regard to Arabicization. (3) The final objective is to relate the results of this study to the overall field of language planning. In summary, the study has demonstrated the desire and commitment of faculty members and students alike to proceed with Arabicization--despite their awareness of the problems connected with variation in Arabic, the lack of technical terms in scientific fields, and the lack of reference materials; it was also felt that study of English should be retained, but not in such a way that it detracts from the use of Arabic as a scientific language. Finally, the review of literature of Language Planning in Jordan reveals that there is a lack of formal association between the Arabic Language Academy of Jordan and the Jordanian universities' authorities, such that there is no real incentive for universities to adopt the fruits of the Academy's labors.


 
 
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