The Status of Arabic in the United States of America post 9/11 and the Impact on Foreign Language Teaching Programs

Abdel-Rahman Abu-Melhim


This study aims at investigating the status of Arabic in the United States of America in the aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Center events. It delves into this topic and identifies the main reasons for the increased demand for learning Arabic. It also determines the impact of the renewed interest in Arabic on foreign language teaching programs. Furthermore, the study identifies the main Arabic language programs established in the U.S. after the events of 9/11, 2001 at various institutions of higher education. The process of data collection relied primarily on information and statistics provided by several authorized professional linguistic organizations based in the U.S. as well as a number of telephone interviews conducted by the researcher. Since September 11, 2001, Arabic language teaching and learning has become the focus of much more attention from the educational community in the United States. The study revealed that Arabic is the fastest-growing foreign language taught at U.S. colleges and universities ranking tenth among all other foreign languages during the last decade. Major reasons for the high demand for Arabic including political, family, and linguistic reasons are also discussed.  Finally, the impact of this demand on Arabic teaching programs is explained providing a comprehensive list of higher educational institutions that teach Arabic in the United States today.  

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