Politics and Polemics: The Arabic Language in France

Dr. John Andrew Morrow
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Language scholars and teachers generally agree that the understanding of foreign cultures and peoples is an essential part of language learning and that language cannot be meaningfully studied in isolation from context and culture. In France, however, the opposite is true, with French teachers of Arabic addressing what seems to be an unsolvable issue: how to teach secular Arabic, how to teach Arabic without directly dealing with Islam. This paper examines the pedagogical problems posed by such an approach which essentially seeks to separate Islam from the Arabic language when these two elements form the inseparable core of Arabic-Islamic identity.

Keywords: Arabic, Islam, Allah Lexicon, Secularism, Politics, Culture, Language Learning, Language, Religion, and Identity
Stream: Language, Linguistics
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Arabic Instruction in France

Dr. John Andrew Morrow

Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Department of Modern Languages, Northern State University
Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA

Dr. John A. Morrow is an Assistant Professor of Modern Languages at Northern State University in the United States. He has three degrees from the University of Toronto: an Honors B.A. with majors in French and Spanish, as well as an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Spanish American Literature. He also completed Post-Doctoral Studies in Arabic in Fez, Morocco and at the University of Utah. His publications on literature, language, linguistics and Islāmic Studies have appeared in over a dozen countries. He is the author of Arabic, Islam, and the Allah Lexicon: An Exploration of the Language of God.

Ref: H06P0520