Al-Qudah, Hatem Ahmed (2002) Students and the teaching of Arabic grammar at Jordanian schools. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The main purpose of this study is to explore the reasons for students' weaknesses in
grammar at Jordanian schools, taking as an example the upper basic stage (ages 14-16
years) in the Al-karak district. The study consists of nine chapters; the first three
chapters explain the background and context of the study, the teaching of Arabic
grammar in Jordan and the heart of the problem together with an outline of previous
research. The fourth chapter explains the methodology and procedures of the study.
The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth chapters present the findings of the study and a
discussion of the findings. And finally the ninth chapter is the conclusion and
recommendations of the study. This chapter points out that some further research is
needed in the area of grammar learning and teaching.
The methods of data collection were the questionnaire and interview. One
questionnaire was developed, directed to the teachers of Arabic and the students of the
upper basic stage (eighth, ninth and tenth grades). The interviews were conducted
with teachers of Arabic, students and the education supervisors. The sample of the
questionnaire was 700 students and 135 teachers. The sample of the interview was 10
teachers, 15 students who were selected upon their willingness to be interviewed. 7
education supervisors who form the whole population were also interviewed.
The collected data was analysed based on the frequencies and percentages of the
responses. They showed several reasons for students' weaknesses in grammar which
attracted high percentages of the participants' acceptance. For instance, 70 per cent of
students considered the unavailability of audiovisual aids one of the reasons for their
weaknesses in grammar. About half (58.6 per cent) of the students considered the
lack of standard Arabic being used by the teachers of other subjects as one of the
reasons for the weaknesses. From the teachers' point of view, two reasons attracted
the vast majority (89.6 per cent) of their agreement. The first one was students' belief
that the formal assessment for students' achievement is lenient. The second one was
the lack of previous knowledge of grammar amongst students. The next strong reason
for the weaknesses was students' belief that grammar is difficult to understand.
Students' carelessness with previous preparation for grammar lessons was also
considered one of the strong reasons for the weaknesses in grammar.
Education supervisors emphasised that the procedures of teachers appointments are
not based on the criteria of teachers' quality and that makes it possible to nominate
some teachers who are not able to teach grammar successfully. They also blamed the
lack of effective preparation for grammar lessons by the teachers. The supervisors
stressed the teachers' weaknesses in grammar. There were many other more subtle
reasons for the students' problems which are discussed in depth. The study came up
with several recommendations to develop grammar teaching in Jordan as well as some
further research related to this study. The original contribution of this study is the
combination between the perceptions of students, teachers and education supervisors
which enriches the data. It also discussed the procedures of teachers' appointing as
one of the issues most neglected by most of the previous studies.

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