An Assessment Framework of Communicative Arabic Proficiency CAP in the Light of Diglossia

Alabar, Rahaf. 2017. An Assessment Framework of Communicative Arabic Proficiency CAP in the Light of Diglossia. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The key aim of my research is to explore the meaning of communicative Arabic proficiency CAP consulting the assessment stakeholders in the UKHE context. I then propose an assessment framework that resonates with the communicative needs of the UKHE students and considers the diglossic nature of Arabic language. A qualitative approach was followed to explore the concept of CAP in relation to the Arabic varieties and its potential competences in addition to the testing norm and constructs. For these purposes, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine assessment stakeholders who fall into three categories; assessor teachers, teachers, and learners of Arabic as a foreign language in the UKHE context. The research questions revolve around four main areas; the meaning of CAP, the competences that CAP embodies, the constructs through which learners’ CAP can be measured, and the suitable norm for CAP assessment. The findings are presented in four sections following the sequence of the research questions; the first section reports aspects like social appropriacy, grammatical accuracy, and cultural and bi-dialectical knowledge as the major attributes of CAP. It also implies conceptualising CAP from a post-method perspective. The second section outlines the socio-linguistic, cultural/intercultural, bi-dialectical and interactional competences as the different components that make up CAP. The third section highlights interaction and culture/inter-culture as the potential different constructs through which learners’ CAP could be measured. The fourth section reports the educated native speaker or a L2 user as potential norms to assess the learners’ CAP. Following an examination of the research findings in the light of the relevant literature, the UKHE context and the learners’ needs, a languacultural assessment framework of CAP is proposed. Its distinctive components are proposing a situated assessment (SA) approach of MSA and the colloquial, an interactional/languacultural construct, and a diglossic competent L2 user (DC2) as a norm of proficiency assessment.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Assessment, Proficiency, Diglossia, Communication, Arabic

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


30 September 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Oct 2017 12:00

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2022 11:15


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