Student Perception of the Middle East
The study aimed to determine whether a correlation exists between choice of foreign language class and a high school student's perception and knowledge of the Middle East. For the purpose of this investigation, causal comparative research was utilized as participants were split into two groups: non-Arabic learners (those taking French or Spanish in high school, for example,) and Arabic learners (those enrolled in an Arabic course in high school). Participants received a carefully-crafted survey that measured both their knowledge of the Middle East, consisting of both geographical and cultural questions, and their perception of the region (based on the Middle East's portrayal in America, particularly through media). After a thorough analysis, it was determined that Arabic learners generally had more knowledge of the region while having a more positive perception towards it. Such research sparks future inquiries in regards to whether learning a different foreign language can trigger a similar effect and how this information can be applied both nationally and internationally as America's role in the Middle East increases.