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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


Interview with El-Said Badawi

© 2002 NITLE

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El Said Badawi, Director of the Arabic Language Institute at the American University in Cairo talks about the Arabic language in this interview with Nabil Abdelfattah. He discusses the importance of Arabic in the world today, its relationship to the Islamic religion, its relationship to other Hamitic-Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Amharic, its origins on the Arabian Peninsula, the preservation of the language throughout the centuries and the prohibitions on teaching the dialects, and the degree to which Arabic dialects are close to the Classical standard. Badawi speaks at particular length about the learning and teaching of Arabic by non-native speakers, including the challenges they will face, the amount of time it will take to learn Arabic, and the pedagogical goal of making students ‚Äúteacher independent‚Ä?. Badawi ends the interview by discussing the future of the Arabic language and the impact of technology, especially satellite television, on the languages and dialects.

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