The Modern Language Association (MLA) recently reported that from 1998 to 2002 there was a 92% increase in Arabic programs throughout the United States. With the increase in media coverage of current events in the Middle East, more and more students are desiring to learn about the region's languages and cultures. More teachers of Arabic are needed to meet this growing demand for Arabic instruction. This thesis investigates whether deliberate intervention via explicit and implicit exposure to the instructional behavior, skills, and strategies of master teachers of Arabic, combined with replication thereof, as well as critical personal reflection, positively alters instructor-teaching style (style, defined as behavior and beliefs in Katz, 1996). This thesis is also an attempt to provide an exportable model for the training of novice instructors of Arabic. One model currently being developed by the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC) is based on video footage of Muhammad Eissa, a master teacher of Arabic, made available by Brigham Young University, as well as additional footage from NMELRC's summer teacher development seminars. The model supports the first two semesters of Arabic instruction, including a set of DVDs of Dr. Muhammad Eissa teaching and interacting with students in a live classroom. The model also includes explicit training footage captured on DVDs from a two-week training seminar that took place at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, in the summer of 2003. My thesis investigates two types of training in this model: first, implicit training via exposure to Muhammad Eissa, accompanied with various reflective activities; and second, explicit training by way of exposure to, and discussion of, specific pedagogical issues via footage from the 2003 training seminar for instructors of Arabic at Middlebury College. It is hoped that my research will serve as a training model for teacher trainers and language program coordinators at institutions of higher education that desire to offer Arabic courses.



College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies



Date Submitted


Document Type





Arabic, teacher training, teaching, language acquisition, master teacher, novice instructor, teaching style, teaching improvement, teacher training technology