Appropriate knowledge of learners is fundamental for planning successful courses. Especially in Europe, we often lack a precise idea of the background and aspirations of the students of Arabic. Surveys on this topic are all the more meaningful in the case of Arabic for specific purposes (ASP), a field in expansion that should be oriented according to real needs. This study investigates 205 students majoring in Arabic and enrolled in BA and MA degree courses in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation in Italy. The materials used consist in a questionnaire of 51 items enquiring into the students’ motivations, job orientations, and language learning history. The sets of items are rated through a 7-point Likert scale and validated with Cronbach’s α test. The results are discussed through descriptive statistics and different groups of learners are compared by using inferential statistics. The population surveyed often took Arabic because of instrumental motivations related to the development of professional skills. Students are interested in specific linguistic areas, such as politics, diplomacy, administration, media, but also areas of business and tourism, and translation. The secondary education received also affects learners’ orientations. Needs analysis highlights which specific courses are perceived as relevant and helps set a framework for further developments in the teaching of ASP.
Copyright (c) 2020 Marco Aurelio Golfetto
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