Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Diane Larsen-Freeman


Experiencing plateaus in second language learning is a common experience, especially for language student studying Arabic or one of the other languages considered more difficult. Some of the causes for the plateau experience in Arabic are its complex grammar, its vast amount of vocabulary, and the different roles of Modern Standard Arabic and the spoken dialects of Arabic.

Rising off the Plateau in Studying Arabic is a thesis project, which analyzes this second language learner’s attempt to make significant progress in studying Modern Standard Arabic. The project was based on a self-directed, semi-intensive Arabic language program, which prioritized the reading skill because of this learner’s visual learning style. The importance of analyzing one’s own second language acquisition process was emphasized throughout the project. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) were used as an evaluation tool to guide self-assessment of progress being made.

This thesis project was the final requirement for a M.A.T. (Masters of Arts in Teaching) degree from the School of International Training. The required classes of this program provided the knowledge, hope, and inspiration that enabled this project to be envisaged, planned, and completed. The Second Language Acquisition course played the most significant role in that process.


Educational Psychology | First and Second Language Acquisition | Near Eastern Languages and Societies