Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Research on Foreign Language Education in the Digital Age



Publisher Name

IGI Global

Publisher Location

Hershey, PA


This case study explores the teaching and learning of Arabic at one Catholic university campus, with a focus upon the complex interactions between language and culture in a postmodern globalized context. Specifically, it examines the use of “multimodal culture portfolios” as a means to engage students both linguistically and culturally in classroom and community discourses. Through their interactions and co-construction of knowledge with other participants, these students are led to think about the multiple communicative contexts that are shaping and being shaped by them. Data collection was conducted through survey questionnaires and students' responses to the assigned culture portfolio. The participants were made up of students enrolled in first year Arabic courses during the 2012 spring semester. The purpose of this exploratory case is to attempt to understand students' investments in Arabic and their cultural knowledge of the Arab world pre and post their enrollment in the Arabic courses. It also seeks to understand their socialization into the culture assignment and the main challenges they faced in accessing, interacting with, and reflecting upon cultural aspects related to the Arab world. This study's findings are significant for enriching the general conversation on intercultural proficiency in classroom discourse, curricular decisions, roles and challenges of teachers, and the involvement in target language communities, particularly in less commonly taught languages such as Arabic.




Author Posting. © IGI Global 2016. This chapter is posted here by permission of IGI Global for personal use, not for redistribution. The chapter was published in the Handbook of Research on Foreign Language Education in the Digital Age, 2016,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.