Diglossia refers to the coexistence of High (H) and Low (L) varieties within a language (Ferguson 1959). Arabic, a diglossic language, struggles with this division. Native speakers of Arabic communicate via their dialects (L). Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) in the US focuses on Modern Standard Arabic (H), neglecting the dialects. US government investment in Arabic as a critical language since 9/11 has continued to prioritize the instruction and professionalization of the H variety, suppressing intercultural proficiency. Arabic Language curricula in the US must evolve to teach meta-linguistic awareness between the H and L forms of Arabic.
Parsons, Natalie C., "Negotiating Arabic: Diglossic Language and Intercultural Proficiency in American Education" (2023). International Studies Honors Projects. 42.
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