Al-mihna wa’l-huwiyya. Motivational Dimensions of Arabic Heritage Learners in a Professionally-Oriented Education Setting
This study investigates motivational and professional orientations and identity issues of students of Arab descent majoring in Arabic in a teaching setting oriented to develop vocational and professional language skills. Their motivations for learning the target language were investigated and compared with those of their colleagues of non-Arab descent through a questionnaire that explored motivational factors, job expectations and education history. Apparently, students were prompted to take Arabic classes because of employment concerns and they proved keen on undertaking most of the proposed professions, providing that they were connected with the Arab world. It is also possible to highlight how the study of the language of origin was determined by thoroughly intrinsic motives. Cultural interests and especially identity needs provided the strongest push for the respondents, even in the surveyed education setting, where instrumental motivation was clearly expected to play a major role. Implications can be drawn as regards curriculum design and classroom practice.