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Writing in Arabic as a foreign language (AFL): towards finding a balance between translation dependency and creative writing
journal contributionposted on 2020-07-01, 00:00 authored by Zouhir GabsiZouhir Gabsi
The main objective of the paper is to assess the effect of Google translation and other software applications on the students’ writing in Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL). Its central hypothesis hinges on the possibility that some students’ errors are attributable to translation mishaps. The research is based on three main areas of enquiry: first; it seeks to establish patterned input when writing in Arabic, such as a semantic transfer from English to Arabic and literal translation. Second, the paper discusses those areas of the Arabic language that challenge the students’ inability to provide a correct TL (Target Language) output on the levels of morpho-syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Third, the paper argues for the importance of teaching the rudiments of translation at the early stages of language learning. Hence, it proposes solutions and empirical strategies to reducing the students’ reliance on translation by, for instance, educating them about the translation process, and by designing guided writing tasks with rehearsed structures, and without discouraging creativity.