The effectiveness of the noticing hypothesis in retrieving data from non-Arabic Qur’an memorizers
Keywords:Arabic language, noticing, Qur’an memorizers
AbstractThis study explores the role of Schmidt’s (1990) noticing hypothesis as a teaching strategy for second language learners, specifically in the context of teaching Arabic to non-Arabic Qur’an memorizers. The noticing hypothesis suggests that nothing is learned unless it has been noticed, and the availability of data is not sufficient if those data are not processed by the language learner. Data for this study were collected by interviewing 10 instructors in the Arabic Language Institute for Non-Native Speakers at King Abdulaziz University, and 15 learners who are studying the modern form of Arabic in the same institute after having previously memorized a number of chapters from the Qur’an. The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the noticing hypothesis in retrieving data, including phonological, morphological, lexical and structural information from the learners’ memories because of the learners’ previous memorization of passages from the Qur’an, the classical form of Arabic, which does resemble, to some extent, the modern form of the language. However, this knowledge is inactive as the learner, in most cases, cannot use it or refer to it until someone brings it to his/her attention. Thus, the language is not acquired because of noticing, but it is the starting point for the noticed item to be patterned, controlled and lexicalized.
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