Creative interactions with art works: an engaging approach to Arabic language-and-culture learning

Abdelhadi, Reem; Hameed, Luma; Khaled, Fatima and Anderson, Jim. 2020. Creative interactions with art works: an engaging approach to Arabic language-and-culture learning. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 14(3), pp. 273-289. ISSN 1750-1229 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This study explores whether and how interactions with art works can amplify and enrich language-and-culture learning in foreign and community language contexts with a focus on Arabic and the work of artist Ali Omar Ermes. The central cross-curricular orientation draws significantly on a range of other theoretical perspectives, both general and specific to language learning pedagogy. The application of this approach in practice is illustrated in sample material drawn from a new resource entitled ‘Language into Art and the Work of Ali Omar Ermes’ aimed at Intermediate and Advanced students of Arabic. Activities in the resource reflect the dual focus on content and language and are based around three stages of Approaching-Exploring-Creating. This leads on to presentation of a small-scale qualitative research study based on teaching of a unit from the resource at a London school employing an action research methodology. Substantial evidence emerges from analysis of the data collected indicating high levels of student engagement and Arabic language-and-culture learning. Other outcomes include a deeper appreciation of the interfaces between linguistic and artistic expression in the context of Middle Eastern art and the stimulus provided for student voice. The study is distinctive in its conceptualisation, in the detailed pedagogical model it provides and in the attention given to analysis of its impact in a classroom situation. It validates the integration of visual arts and foreign and community language-and-culture learning and reveals the benefits of a more personalised, intercultural and holistic approach.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Arabic, cross-curricular, foreign and community language learning, visual arts, intercultural, creativity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


28 January 2019Accepted
18 February 2019Published Online

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Date Deposited:

15 Dec 2022 10:35

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2022 10:35

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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