Proverbs in the Arabic Language Classroom
This paper investigates how exposure to proverbs in the Arabic language classroom transforms students’ perceptions and values they hold dear regarding cultural diversity and facilitates new understanding and insights into the foreign cultural concepts and their own thus enhancing their intercultural competence. Two questions were asked:
1. To what extent the use of proverbs in the Arabic language classroom shed lighton cultural aspects not regularly covered in the Arabic language classroom?
2. To what extent the use of proverbs in the Arabic language classroom promote a new understanding of the
Arab culture among students and make them discover and reassess their own values and preferences? The results of this study indicate that participants (n=34) enriched their knowledge of the Arab culture, established societal appreciation across geographic boundaries, and expanded their understanding of communication patterns, ways of behavior, values, and rituals different of theirs. Engaging students with the Arab culture through proverbs offers participants more holistic perspective of the Arab culture and build up its relevance to them. It also challenges participants’ views, and forced them to doubt the validity of their assumptions and beliefs about the Arab culture and engendered a transformation in assumptions and in ranking them.
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