This study investigated the relationship of the attitudes and cultural background of Arab students in Israel to their reading comprehension of stories from Jewish and Arab culture. Participants were 74 eighth-grade Arab students (age 14–15 years) from Israel, learning Hebrew as a second language (L2). An attitude questionnaire, stories from Arab and Jewish culture and multiple-choice questions about each story were used. Results indicated that students scored higher on tasks of reading comprehension with texts from their own cultural setting than with texts from a culturally unfamiliar setting. Furthermore, results of the attitude questionnaire showed that motivation of Arab students to learning Hebrew was primarily instrumental rather than integrative. A conclusion of this study is that problematic social contexts negatively affect L2 learning of minority students. In order to facilitate Hebrew L2 learning, L2 curricula should include Hebrew language texts with content culturally familiar and relevant to the life of Arab learners. United Kingdom Reading Association 1998.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychology (miscellaneous)