Sociolinguistics And Development Of Israel’s Arab Minority

1249 words - 5 pages

The objective of this report is to give a concise study regarding the Arab minority in Israel. It will trace some significant issues that have impacted the overall linguistic reality, nevertheless the marginalization of Arabs in that small but complex country. It will track the language policy adopted in that country, the educational, political,practical,social,ideological reasons that have lead to the Arabic status in Israel. Spolsky and shohamy(1999a:41)suggest an obvious difference among three things, language practices language ideology and language policy.
Language practices are the actual use of linguistic repertoire, that is, the options among language varieties and languages ...view middle of the document...

(Unit glossary)
Many young Arabs in the state of Israel, look down on Arabic language, this has contributed to weakening Arabic language. According to “panorama” newspaper, p27 (2-8-96), the Arab youth use Hebrew, to either show off or simply for the reason that they didn’t have equivalent expressions in Arabic. “Because of the accepted minority status of Arabs, their language poses no threat to the hegemony of Hebrew in the society as a whole” (Spolsky and shohamy, p.11)

As for the older Arab generation, the maintenance and the promotion of the Arabic language has been associated with the knack of producing literate figures, poets, and personnel such as Touyfic Ziad,Mahmoud Darwich and Samih el Kasim.Those figures along with others have not only maintained high level status of Arabic in Israel but have also contributed to the development of Arabic language elsewhere in the Arab world. Due to the fact that Arabs in Israel are a minority, such public figures have somehow helped the Arabs in the state of Israel express their national goals claim their identities and protect their heritage and custom.

Although Arabic is taught, in all levels of education in Israel,it is only exclusive at the primary and secondary level within local Arab communities, while Arabic is not taught within the majority of Jewish communities and schools, Hebrew is the medium used in all tertiary education. For example,arbs can have higher studies at universities in the Arabic linguistic area, however in all other areas,Hebrew is the main medium.
furthermore,while all arabs in Israel are required to learn and speak Hebrew, only a minority of the jewish population chose to study the Arabic language.Jabareen adds,it is moreover, the language of the enemy,studied by the jews for security reasons only.shohamy claims that language policy in Israel is stirred by the ideology”one nationmone language”(1996,p25)

The language contact in Israel is in favor of Hebrew language, over Arabic language. As a result, this situation of Hebrew becoming the national language has created a linguistic and social dominance across all domains.
This superstratum of Hebrew in Israel can be seen in most of the domains such as governmental departments and institutions, advertisements, the media, court procedures and education.

This linguistic reality, has added to the negative social attitudes towards the Arabic minority, the economic status of a minority language is likely to be a key element in language vitality. Palestinians in Israel, who constitute an indigenous and national minority, are considered a minority of low socio-economic status (Smooha, 2005) this in return has created hegemony amongst the majority towards the Arab minority in the state of Israel (unit glossary)

Furthermore, this linguistic reality, has enforced endogamy, where Arab Israelis, have to create state of...

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