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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Bilal Hawashin, Shadi Alzubi, Tarek Kanan and Ayman Mansour

This paper aims to propose a new efficient semantic recommender method for Arabic content.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a new efficient semantic recommender method for Arabic content.

Design/methodology/approach

Three semantic similarities were proposed to be integrated with the recommender system to improve its ability to recommend based on the semantic aspect. The proposed similarities are CHI-based semantic similarity, singular value decomposition (SVD)-based semantic similarity and Arabic WordNet-based semantic similarity. These similarities were compared with the existing similarities used by recommender systems from the literature.

Findings

Experiments show that the proposed semantic method using CHI-based similarity and using SVD-based similarity are more efficient than the existing methods on Arabic text in term of accuracy and execution time.

Originality/value

Although many previous works proposed recommender system methods for English text, very few works concentrated on Arabic Text. The field of Arabic Recommender Systems is largely understudied in the literature. Aside from this, there is a vital need to consider the semantic relationships behind user preferences to improve the accuracy of the recommendations. The contributions of this work are the following. First, as many recommender methods were proposed for English text and have never been tested on Arabic text, this work compares the performance of these widely used methods on Arabic text. Second, it proposes a novel semantic recommender method for Arabic text. As this method uses semantic similarity, three novel base semantic similarities were proposed and evaluated. Third, this work would direct the attention to more studies in this understudied topic in the literature.

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Sylvia van de Bunt‐Kokhuis and David Weir

The purpose of this paper is to highlight how future teaching in business schools will probably take place in an online (here called 24/7) classroom, where culturally…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight how future teaching in business schools will probably take place in an online (here called 24/7) classroom, where culturally diverse e‐learners around the globe meet. Technologies such as iPhone, iPad and a variety of social media, to mention but a few, give management learners of any age easy 24/7 access to information. Depending on the quality of the materials and the competences and cross‐cultural sensibilities of the teachers and trainers, this information may support the progress of e‐learning in business schools. At the same time, easy online access to knowledge and educational structures is not, in practice, equally available yet across cultures, and this will be documented with comparative cases from the Arab world and African learning communities.

Design/methodology/approach

This article contributes to multicultural education by identifying various barriers in the online management classroom. It combines theories from educational and cross‐cultural leadership studies, as well as e‐learning studies.

Findings

The outcomes of this analysis show how technical, language and cross‐cultural barriers still hinder particular adult learners to benefit from the “24/7 business school”. It is concluded that by understanding and serving a wide range of culturally diverse e‐learners in business schools, the stewardship role of the business school teacher is key.

Originality/value

The interplay between technical, language and cultural barriers in the online business school is rarely reflected upon. It is the intention of the authors to trigger a broad discussion process by focusing on culturally diverse management learners and by connecting with innovative educational insights across histories and cultures.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Nagwa Hedaiat

Arabic Across the Curriculum is a broad language support program at Zayed University in the UAE, which has stimulated discussion on several issues concerning Arabic

Abstract

Arabic Across the Curriculum is a broad language support program at Zayed University in the UAE, which has stimulated discussion on several issues concerning Arabic language support in the Arab world in general and in the Gulf area in particular. These issues can be summed up in the following questions: Why do we need to teach Arabic to native Arabic-speaking students? How will Arabic language proficiency help students in their academic and future careers? Which Arabic language skills should we teach native speakers in higher education, and how? What means of assessment and what criteria might be helpful to Arabic programs and instructors?

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2008

Hanada Taha‐Thomure

The purpose of this paper is to map out the status of Arabic language teaching as practiced in the Arab World today and to bring into focus the main issues that any…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to map out the status of Arabic language teaching as practiced in the Arab World today and to bring into focus the main issues that any improvement to that discipline would need to address.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the current teaching practices and needs in the teaching of the Arabic language.

Findings

Arabic language teaching practices remain teacher centered and bound to teaching the textbook and overlooking the importance of aligning the curriculum to instruction and assessment.

Practical implications

The need is critical for writing national standards for the Arabic language in addition to establishing teacher colleges that offer quality pedagogical training all backed by sound research and generous funding.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the importance of teaching and seeing the Arabic language in a totally new light that preserves national identity yet embraces best teaching practices.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2020

Linda S. Al-Abbas and Ahmad S. Haider

The purpose of this study is to examine the most frequent countries and prevalent discourses in the context of homosexuality in the headlines of Arabic-language media outlets.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the most frequent countries and prevalent discourses in the context of homosexuality in the headlines of Arabic-language media outlets.

Design/methodology/approach

This study combined both corpus linguistic (CL) quantitative and critical discourse analysis (CDA) qualitative approaches to analyse five thousand two hundred news headlines that were retrieved from the Factiva news database from 2010 to 2019.

Findings

There were six main categories of subjects covered by the media in the context of homosexuality, namely crime, extremist groups, legislation, authority figures and scandals, culture and countries. The analysis showed that the countries whose laws criminalize homosexuals were more frequent than those seen to be supportive of homosexuals. The findings revealed that homosexuals are under-covered in the Arab media, and whenever they are present in the news reports, they are depicted negatively.

Research limitations/implications

This study examined the representation of homosexuals in Arabic headlines from 2010 to 2019. Future researchers may investigate their construction in the body of the articles in different periods and languages.

Practical implications

The present research has implications regarding the necessity of objectivity in covering news about minority groups without being influenced by the stock of ideas circulating in the culture where media outlets report.

Social implications

The social implications include enhancing the principles and values of solidarity and respecting all groups in society.

Originality/value

Although there is considerable literature on the representation of homosexuals in media outlets, the number of articles that investigated the same concept in the Arab region is relatively limited to the best knowledge of the researchers. Therefore, this study can add great significance to existing knowledge as it tackles a limitedly investigated topic in the Arab world.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Kay Gallagher

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the macro‐factors and contextual variables surrounding the recent introduction of compulsory bilingual schooling in Abu Dhabi in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the macro‐factors and contextual variables surrounding the recent introduction of compulsory bilingual schooling in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, in order to generate informed discussion, and in order for stakeholders to understand the sociocultural, linguistic and pedagogical issues involved.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an analytic one which examines language‐in‐education in Abu Dhabi through a framework of the operational, situational and outcomes factors involved in bilingual education, as identified by Spolsky et al. and Beardsmore. Insights gained from international empirical research into bilingual education are applied to the Abu Dhabi context, and key questions about the specific model of bilingual education selected are posed for future local research to answer.

Findings

The paper concludes that bilingual education is likely to confer linguistic, academic and socioeconomic benefits on future generations of Emirati school leavers. However, the acquisition of biliteracy is likely to be challenging because of the diglossic features of Arabic, as well as the linguistic distance between Arabic and English. Because of the ambiguity of international research findings with regard to the appropriate age to begin second language learning, as well as uncertainty about the merits of simultaneous versus sequential teaching of biliteracy, research must be undertaken in Abu Dhabi schools into the effects of bilingual education under conditions of early Arabic/English immersion.

Originality/value

This paper is timely given the recent announcement of compulsory and universal bilingual state schooling from an early age in Abu Dhabi, and necessary given the dearth of discussion and research on language‐in‐education matters in the Arab world. While the paper is contextualised within the school system of Abu Dhabi, it has resonance for adjacent Gulf States and for the many expatriates from across the Middle East who teach and study in Abu Dhabi's schools.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

Ali Selamat and Choon‐Ching Ng

With the rapid emergence and explosion of the internet and the trend of globalization, a tremendous number of textual documents written in different languages are…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid emergence and explosion of the internet and the trend of globalization, a tremendous number of textual documents written in different languages are electronically accessible online from the world wide web. Efficiently and effectively managing these documents written in different languages is important to organizations and individuals. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to propose letter frequency neural networks to enhance the performance of language identification.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, the paper analyzes the feasibility of using a windowing algorithm in order to find the best method in selecting the features of Arabic script documents language identification using backpropagation neural networks. Previously, it had been found that the sliding window and non‐sliding window algorithm used as feature selection methods in the experiments did not yield a good result. Therefore, this paper proposes, a language identification of Arabic script documents based on letter frequency using a backpropagation neural network and used the datasets belonging to Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Pashto language documents which are all Arabic script languages.

Findings

The experiments have shown that the average root mean squared error of Arabic script document language identification based on letter frequency feature selection algorithm is lower than the windowing algorithm.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the fact that using neural networks with proper feature selection methods will increase the performance of language identification.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Asma Al-Wreikat, Pauline Rafferty and Allen Foster

The purpose of this paper is to report the results and the methods of a study which applied grounded theory to the information-seeking behaviour of social scientists when…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results and the methods of a study which applied grounded theory to the information-seeking behaviour of social scientists when searching Arabic and English academic databases using both languages.

Design/methodology/approach

The research applied the grounded theory approach using search experiments and semi-structured interviews. Think-aloud protocol during the experiment was used to capture the data from the subjects to allow a detailed analysis for the experiment. The semi-structured interviews followed each experiment and were analysed using the Strauss and Corbin (1990) version of the grounded theory, as were the think-aloud protocols.

Findings

The results of the think-aloud protocols and the semi-structured interviews suggest that the information needs of the subjects varied depending on the language used. In addition, it was discovered that social scientists followed more tactics in searching the Arabic database for the same tasks searched in English during the experiment. This allowed more search strategies and search tactics to appear in seeking information in Arabic language. The study also proposed a model to account for the cross-language information-seeking behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

This study identifies and compares the information-seeking behaviour of the social scientists in Jordanian universities in searching both Arabic and English academic databases. Therefore, the findings of this study cannot be generalized to other Arab countries, unless there was similar context.

Originality/value

Few studies have investigated information-seeking behaviour using academic Arabic databases and proposed information-seeking behaviour models. No studies have compared information-seeking behaviour when using Arabic and English academic databases. The value of the current study arises by being the first study to identify and compare the information-seeking behaviour of social scientists by using grounded theory and proposing a cross-language information-seeking behaviour model.

Details

Library Review, vol. 64 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2020

Hany M. Alsalmi

Less attention has been paid to users’ interactions and behavior in studying multilingual search. Although digital library researchers have yet to assess user interaction…

Abstract

Purpose

Less attention has been paid to users’ interactions and behavior in studying multilingual search. Although digital library researchers have yet to assess user interaction and behavior in multilingual search, they have concurred that there is a need for user studies that document the extent to which information retrieval systems meet multilingual users’ needs and expectations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is composed of five individual cases. The case study participants were Saudi students enrolled either at a large state university or Historically Black College and University located in the same community. Research questions are, what do Saudi Digital Library (SDL) users experience when searching within the SDL in Arabic and English? And what strategies do they use if they fail to find resources? Data collected for this study were via a qualitative method called video-stimulated recall.

Findings

In the Arabic search tasks, participants realized that finding resources is not easy. Participants expressed their concerns about the lack of relevance and accuracy of results returned by the search system, indicating weak trust and confidence in the search system. Whereas in the English search task, participants felt more satisfied and confident in their ability to trust the results returned from the search system. Participants expressed their satisfaction in the search experience as it provided them with accurate and varying resources. The participants faced difficulties finding Arabic resources than English resources in the SDL.

Originality/value

This study is considered one of the earliest works in studying the information-seeking behavior of multilingual digital libraries in the Arabic language. The value of this study arises as being the first study to investigate and report the information-seeking behavior of SDL users.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Nikki Ashcraft

As new English-medium universities open their doors in the Arabian Gulf andsome Arabic-medium universities switch to using English as the language ofinstruction…

Abstract

As new English-medium universities open their doors in the Arabian Gulf andsome Arabic-medium universities switch to using English as the language ofinstruction, instructors in all disciplines face the challenge of teaching theircourses in English to students who have learned (and who are continuing tolearn) English as a foreign language. This article reviews theories and practicesfrom the field of Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a SecondLanguage (TESOL) which can help content-area instructors understand andreach these learners.

Second language acquisition research has produced several concepts ofinterest to content-area instructors. Krashen’s theory of comprehensible inputfocuses on the language used by the instructor, while Swain’s of comprehensibleoutput emphasizes providing opportunities for students to produce language. Cummins differentiates between two types of language proficiency: BasicInterpersonal Communication Skills (BICS), which are needed for dailyinteractions, and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP), which isrequired for academic tasks. Interlanguage and first language interference mayalso influence students’ second language production in classroom settings.

Specific classroom practices for improving students’ language comprehensionand facilitating content learning are recommended. These include modifyingspeech, using visual aids, utilizing a variety of questioning techniques, andextending the time instructors wait for students to respond. Instructors canemploy strategies, such as mind-mapping and quickwriting, to activate students’linguistic and conceptual schemata at the beginning of a lesson. Scaffoldingprovides structure and support for students to complete tasks until they are ableto realize them on their own. Collaborative/cooperative learning lowers students’affective filters and offers opportunities for participation and language practice. Graphics illustrate some of the suggested practices.

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

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