Mira El-Deeb - mira_114@yahoo.com

This paper presents the findings of a PhD research (2013) which investigates the phenomenon of Arabic learning as a foreign language (AFL) within the present global context and the complexity of the Arabic language learning situation compounded by the contrasting socio-political forces that underpin the learning of Arabic in the world today.  The empirical part of the study was carried out in all seven educational institutions in Melbourne that offered Arabic language programs to adult learners in 2008-2009.  A total of 160 learners and eight teachers participated in the study.  Multiple methods (qualitative and quantitative) were employed for data collection; an online survey was administered to 160 learners of Arabic across the seven institutions and in-depth one-to-one interviews were conducted with sixteen learners and eight teachers of Arabic who taught at the above institutions.  The research explored various educational and social attitudinal aspects involved in Arabic language learning and produced a rich description and analysis of learners’ attitudes, motivations and orientations in an attempt to reach an in-depth understanding of their motivational thinking and of the meanings they make of their experiences.  The conceptual background of the study is informed by L2 motivation theories and research in educational and social psychology of second language acquisition.