First Advisor

Anita Bright

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Educational Leadership and Policy





Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 271 pages)


Little research has been conducted on Arab American students at universities (Shoman, 2016) and specifically, in the heritage language studies field. The experiences of Arab American heritage language (AAHL) students are significantly less examined than those of other heritage language students (Hillman, 2019). Arabic language curricula and instructional practices in universities tend to privilege the teaching of Modern Standard Arabic over dialects (Al-Batal, 2018a; Younes, 2018), which marginalizes heritage learners' prior knowledge of the Arabic culture and its language, specifically Arabic dialects used in their home communities. These phenomena can create a non-affirming learning experience for these students. As such, in this study, I addressed these questions:

  • To what extent did the Arabic language practices in course curricula and instructional practices match those of AAHL students in their home communities?
  • How did AAHL students perceive the impact of teaching Modern Standard Arabic on their development of linguistic skills, and their identities as Arab American multilingual speakers?

In this study, I used the frameworks of culturally responsive teaching and funds of identity to illuminate the experiences of AAHL students in the classroom, as well as in their homes and communities. I employed in-depth interviews (Seidman, 2019), together with classroom artifacts, and language samples.


© 2022 Lina Gomaa

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