Students’ Attitude Towards Arabic Language Varieties: The Case of the Fuṣḥā Arabic

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Abstract

Arabic speaking countries live in diglossic communities. This is where two or more varieties of a language are used by the same speech community. This paper examines students’ attitude towards Arabic language varieties. It focuses mainly on Egyptian students’ attitude towards the fuṣḥā on one hand and the Egyptian Arabic (EA) variety on the other. A survey of fifty university students from the American University in Cairo and Ain Shams University, Cairo was conducted using the questionnaire instrument. The data was analysed descriptively. The study reveals that Egyptian students have a slightly positive attitude towards the fuṣḥā Arabic. Notwithstanding, they tend to exhibit positive affective and behavioural tendencies towards EA. Based on this, the study proposes that language planners and for that matter, Arab states should adopt a vibrant ‘status planning’, whereby fuṣḥā is properly recognized and widely used in official and state institutions and functions.

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