This study investigates the relation of attitudes and cultural background of Israeli-Arab students learning Hebrew, and Israeli- Jewish students learning English, to their reading comprehension in familiar/unfamiliar cultural stories. It compares two different social contexts: Israeli Arabs as a minority group learning the language of the majority group, and Israeli Jews as a majority group learning English as the language of the world. Participants were 80 Jewish and 70 Arab 14-15 year-old students (total 150) from two schools in central Israel. The instruments were an attitude questionnaire, stories in Arabic, Hebrew and English, and multi-choice comprehension questions about each story. Results indicated that when students read texts with familiar cultural content they scored higher on tasks of reading comprehension than when they read texts with unfamiliar cultural content. Further, results of the attitude questionnaire indicated that the motivation of Arab and Jewish students in learning their second language was instrumental rather than integrative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language