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Teaching Arabic to spread outside classroom

A new initiative to take Arabic teaching ‘beyond classroom borders’, is being pioneered at What Works Arabic Plus.

Throughout the day students will wear “I’m learning Arabic badges”, whilst teachers will wear “I’m a community tutor badges”. The two groups will be encouraged to mingle, giving students the chance to practice their Arabic in a real environment, and teachers a better understanding of where they need assistance. This ‘community learning’ approach has been designed by schools to encourage the use of Arabic in everyday life.

Previous KHDA inspection reports have criticised schools for the ‘learn by rote’ methods, which do not give students the chance to use the information they receive in any real context.

“We hope that this initiative will instil confidence and positive learning attitudes in our students, and be used as a teaching method in schools across Dubai,” said Robert Stokoe, Director of Jumeirah English Speaking School and What Works Content Advisor. “We are all aware that teaching and learning is a process that requires active student involvement and a belief that Arabic language learning is important.  We have achieved much to date but we still have a long and challenging journey ahead to truly meet the needs of our students.”

In addition to this new initiative, What Works Arabic Plus will host various ‘best practice’ sessions, encouraging educators to share other teaching practices that are working to improve language skills in schools. Arabic is a key part of Emirati heritage and the new teaching initiatives have been designed to inject fun and enthusiasm back into learning.

Studies show that being able to speak, read and write well in Arabic also enables a student to learn other languages more effectively.

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