Politics and Polemics: The Arabic Language in France
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
Dr. John Andrew Morrow
Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Department of Modern Languages, Northern State University