Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton December 16, 2015

Language, conflict, and migration: Situating Arabic bilingual community education in the United States

Zeena Zakharia

Abstract

Focusing on the educational efforts of a diverse ethnolinguistic community, this article considers the rationales, mechanisms, and channels adopted by Arabic-speaking communities in the US to teach and learn the Arabic language. The article draws on research conducted with a number of Arabic speaking populations in New York to situate Arabic language education in the US within the transnational context of conflict and migration. By employing a transnational lens, it provides insights into both the growing interest in the Arabic language, and conversely, the challenges posed to Arabic bilingual community efforts. The findings illustrate the embeddedness of Arabic language efforts in the US within a larger sociopolitical and sociohistorical context of conflict. This context, I argue, has shaped the rationales and means adopted by US Arabic-speaking communities to teach the Arabic language to their American children.

References

Abu El-Haj, Thea R. 2005. Global politics, dissent and Palestinian-American identities: Engaging conflict to re-invigorate democratic education. In Lois Weis & Michelle Fine (eds.), Beyond silenced voices: Class, race and gender in United States schools, 119–215. Revised edn. Albany: SUNY press. Search in Google Scholar

Abu El-Haj, Thea R. 2008. Arab visibility and invisibility. In Mica Pollock (ed.), Everyday anti-racism: Getting real about race in school, 174–179. New York: The New Press. http://b.3cdn.net/aai/44b17815d8b386bf16_v0m6iv4b5.pdf. Search in Google Scholar

Almontaser, Debbie. 2011. The Khalil Gibran International Academy – Lessons learned? In Reza Aslan & Aaron J. Hahn Tapper (eds.), Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, contentions, and complexities, 45–53. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Search in Google Scholar

Arab American Institute (AAI). 2012. Demographics. http://www.aaiusa.org/demographics (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

Bayoumi, Moustafa. 2008. How does it feel to be a problem?: Being young and Arab in America. New York: The Penguin Press. Search in Google Scholar

Benson, Kathleen & Philip M. Kayal (eds.). 2002. A community of many worlds: Arab-Americans in New York City. New York: Museum of the City of New York/Syracuse University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Cristillo, Louis. A. & Lorraine C. Minnite. 2002. The changing Arab New York community. In Kathleen Benson & Philip M. Kayal (eds.), A community of many worlds: Arab-Americans in New York City, 124–39. New York: Museum of the City of New York/ Syracuse University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Cristillo, Louis. A. 2008. Religiosity, education and civic belonging: Muslim youth in New York City public schools: Preliminary findings of a citywide opinion survey of Muslim high school students. Unpublished manuscript, Teachers College, Columbia University. Search in Google Scholar

Dávila, Alberto & Marie T. Mora. 2005. Changes in the earnings of Arab men in the US between 2000 and 2002. Journal of Population Economics 18(4). 587–601. Search in Google Scholar

Di Napoli, Mary A. H. 2002. The Syrian-Lebanese community of South Ferry from its origins to 1977. In Kathleen Benson & Philip M. Kayal (eds.), A community of many worlds: Arab-Americans in New York City, 11–27. New York: Museum of the City of New York/ Syracuse University Press. Search in Google Scholar

El-Aswad, El-Sayed. 2006. The dynamics of identity reconstruction among Arab communities in the United States. Anthropos 101(1). 111–121. Search in Google Scholar

Elliott, Andrea. 2008. Critics cost Muslim educator her dream school. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/nyregion/28school.html?fta=y&pagewanted=all (accessed 28 April 2008). Search in Google Scholar

Ethnologue. 2014. Summary by language size. http://www.ethnologue.com/statistics/size (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

Furman, Nelly, David Goldberg & Natalia Lusin, 2010. Enrollments in languages other than English in United States institutions of higher education, Fall 2009. New York: The Modern Language Association of America. https://www.mla.org/content/download/2872/79842/2009_enrollment_survey.pdf (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

García, Ofelia, Zeena Zakharia & Bahar Otcu (eds.). 2013. Bilingual community education and multilingualism: Beyond heritage languages in a global city. Multilingual Matters. Search in Google Scholar

Hajar, Paula. 2002. Arab families in New York public schools. In Kathleen Benson & Philip M. Kayal (eds.), A community of many worlds: Arab-Americans in New York City, 140–155. New York: Museum of the City of New York/Syracuse University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Internet World Stats. 2011. Internet world users by language: Top 10 languages. http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

Kayyali, Randa A. 2013. US Census classifications and Arab Americans: Contestations and definitions of identity markers. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39(8). 1299–1318. Search in Google Scholar

Levitt, Peggy & B. Nadya Jaworsky. 2007. Transnational migration studies: Past developments and future trends. Annual Review of Sociology 33(1). 129–156. Search in Google Scholar

Levitt, Peggy & Nina Glick Schiller. 2004. Conceptualizing simultaneity: A transnational social field perspective on society. International Migration Review 38(3). 1002–1039. Search in Google Scholar

Michigan State University. 2014. The language flagship program at MSU. http://arabicflagship.msu.edu (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

Modern Language Association (MLA). 2014. MLA language map data center. http://www.mla.org/map_data (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

Naber, Nadine. 2008. Introduction: Arab Americans and US racial formations. In Amaney Jamal and Nadine Naber (eds.), Race and Arab Americans before and after 9/11: From invisible citizens to visible subjects, 1–45. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Naff, Alixa. 2002. New York: The mother colony. In Kathleen Benson and Philip M. Kayal (eds.), A community of many worlds: Arab Americans in New York City, 3–10. New York: The Museum of the City of New York/ Syracuse University Press. Search in Google Scholar

New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). 2013. Office of English language learners 2013 demographic report. http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/FD5EB945-5C27-44F8-BE4B-E4C65D7176F8/0/2013DemographicReport_june2013_revised.pdf (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). 2014. NYCDOE Bilingual Programs 2013–2014, Districts 1–32, 75, and 79. http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/44BDFDA2-35FB-4B8F-9BE1-050F6B03F072/0/BilingualProgramList20132014asof051314.pdf (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

NSLI-Y. n.d. NSLI-Y history. http://www.nsliforyouth.org/nsli-y/history-of-nsli-y/ (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

Orbe, Mark P. & Darlene K. Drummond. 2011. Competing cultural worldviews in the United States: A phenomenological examination of the essential core elements of transnationalism and transculturalism. The Qualitative Report 16(6). 1688–1714. Search in Google Scholar

Orfalea, Gregory. 2006. The Arab Americans: A history. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press. Search in Google Scholar

Rouchdy, Aleya. 2001. Language conflict and identity: Arabic in the American diaspora. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 31(1). 77–93. Search in Google Scholar

Sawaie, Mohammed & Joshua A. Fishman. 1985. Arabic-language maintenance efforts in the United States. Journal of Ethnic Studies 13(2). 33–49. Search in Google Scholar

Shaheen, Jack G. 1997. Arab and Muslim stereotyping in American popular culture. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Search in Google Scholar

Teague, David. 2009. Intifada NYC [documentary]. New York: Brooklyn Vitagraph Company. Search in Google Scholar

US Census Bureau. 2012. American community survey 1-year estimates. http://factfinder.census.gov (accessed 1 November 2015). Search in Google Scholar

US Department of Education. 2008. Enhancing foreign language proficiency in the United States: Preliminary results of the national security language initiative. http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/competitiveness/nsli/about.html (accessed 5 October 2013). Search in Google Scholar

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 2010. Debbie Almontaser v. New York City Department of Education and New Visions for Public Schools. Search in Google Scholar

Vertovec, Steven. 1999. Conceiving and researching transnationalism. Ethnic and Racial Studies 22(2). 447–462. Search in Google Scholar

Zakharia, Zeena. 2010. Language-in-education policies in contemporary Lebanon: Youth perspectives. In Osama Abi-Mershed (ed.), Trajectories of education in the Arab World: Legacies and challenges, 157–184. New York: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Zakharia, Zeena & Laura Menchaca Bishop. 2013. Towards positive peace through bilingual community education: Language efforts of Arabic-speaking communities in New York. In Ofelia García, Zeena Zakharia & Bahar Otcu (eds.), Bilingual community education and multilingualism: Beyond heritage languages in a global city, 169–189. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2015-12-16
Published in Print: 2016-1-1

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton