The Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Arabization Process

Findings of an exploratory study with a sample of students at the colleges of medicine, pharmacy, science, and computer science revealed that English is the language of classroom instruction and most textbooks used in most of the courses at those colleges. Students reported that they do not study the Arabic equivalents of English technical terms in their major area of study. It was noted that students have misconceptions about the Arabization processes. Most of them believe that borrowing and transliteration are the only ways English terminology can be transferred to Arabic. Most students never heard of the Saudi Arabic Terminology Databank hosted by KACST. On the basis of the findings, the study recommends that students at the colleges of medicine, pharmacy, science, and computer science be taught the Arabization processes as part of the university Arabic language requirements or in a special Arabization and word coinage course. Students at those colleges must study the Arabic equivalents to English technical terms in their major area of specialization and mastering them must be part of the course evaluation and course grades. To encourage university faculty to translate, publish books and articles in Arabic and Arabize terminology, use of Arabic must be a requirement of promotion. To encourage graduate students to write their theses in Arabic and to have an active role in the Arabization process, use of Arabic must be considered a partial requirement of the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. An Arabic glossary of terms should be appended to published books and theses. Students and faculty must be also familiarized with terminology databanks. They should be made accessible to them. Terminology databanks must be updated on a regular basis and their terminology must be used in writing specialized books in Arabic.

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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