The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has taken important steps to ensure that the standards of teaching Arabic are raised in the UAE, how are they planning to do that? Through involving the parents! Which I think is an ingenious idea that I hope other countries will also adopt, if parents know what their children are studying they can help and be a positive aspect of their child’s learning. The Arabic curriculum is usually criticised for its difficult text-book tasks and non-accessible style for students, but based on the pasted articles below, it seems perhaps that is about to change. I think much thought has gone into the guide, I have not seen it myself, but it appears that making such a tool for parents is helpful and may actually help parents re-learn some of the Arabic they themselves have forgotten! Exciting times ahead….the articles are passed below,
School teachers who teach Arabic Language, Social Studies, and Islamic Education, have received concise training courses on the new curriculum from 2nd – 5th October, in efforts to enhance their modern teaching skills with 21st century schooling methods which mainly focus on creative/critical thinking, research and analysis, and strong language skills.
“It is vital to encourage fluency in Arabic language since it’s the UAE’s mother tongue language. We have introduced a completely new approach and standards in learning Arabic, through engaging activities that encourage active participation and meaningful communication among school students,” said Dr. Karima Mazroui, Director of Arabic Curricula Division at ADEC.
Students will acquire linguistic skills through quality literature written in Arabic, where they will be required to understand text, apply authentic writing, and speak and listen fluently.
“Teachers have been trained to use a wide variety of stimulating material as a new teaching concept. This will encourage effective participation in a classroom setting, while setting fair, transparent and accountability standards,” added Dr. Karima.
The idea behind the newly inaugurated Arabic curriculum is to shift from textbook based learning to application and standard based instruction, a shift that both parents and students will start to witness, and one that is in line with the best school systems around the world.
“ADEC’s vision is to encourage students to become life-long learners who are not only proud of their own language but are also able to use what they learn in an intelligent, fluent and accurate manner. Research has shown that the education which encourages the active engagement of children results in a much higher level of proficiency and a greater desire in students to progress in their language skills,” said Dr. Karima, adding that the transformation of the Arabic language instruction will place Abu Dhabi on the forefront of Arabic language teachings regionally and globally.
The Guide is based on ADEC standards and criteria in terms of ensuring delivery of quality Arabic curriculum teaching and learning. It aims to enhance parent’s role in teaching their children their mother tongue language. The publication is neatly printed out and the text is drafted in easy, simplified and in a detailed holistic manner, covering all Arabic standards and criteria.
The information flows smoothly in the readers mind and creates a base of information to help understand what is specifically required. Dr. Karima Al Mazroui, the Arabic Curriculum Section Manager in ADEC said, “This initiative comes in line with ADEC’s policy to focus on improving pedagogies of teaching Arabic in Abu Dhabi schools.”
Dr. Al Mazroui pointed out, “The guide helps parents and ADEC key partners to realize the importance of assisting their children at home and includes a detailed section of Arabic curriculum standards and criteria.”
“Parents play a vital role in educating their children as well as achieving ADEC goals aimed at fostering Arabic learning,” he added.
The Guide focuses on topics and skills such as listening, reading, comprehension, composition, communication and writing. Educational standards ensure that students acquire the appropriate skills and knowledge needed by the end of each grade and cycle.
“The adoption of standard-based teaching provides students with equal opportunities to learn and master the language, regardless of their social and cultural background as well as demographic distribution factors that is common in our Arab world,” said Dr. Al Mazroui.
“The standards and criteria help regulate basic concepts, identify learning outcomes and expectations in each cycle regardless of school level, student cultural and social background or text books used. This will help us provide students with equal learning and teaching opportunities as well as enable our children to acquire a standardized Arabic language and basic knowledge and concepts about it,” emphasized Dr. Al Mazroui.
The last section of the book focuses on parents role at home in acquisition of Arabic skills through reading aloud, storytelling, acting, use of IT applications, observing the acquisition of vocabulary as well as enhancing discussion and dialogue skills.
The Guide is considered an important educational reference for parents to take an effective part in their children’s education and contribute effectively to support the role of a school in acquisition of Arabic language based on sound academic standards and innovative pedagogies that apply the latest techniques and methods.
Sometimes the resources are already available but it’s finding new ways through which to deliver the information that’s lacking. Perhaps this is one, such innovative way to deliver all the important Arabic language rules, grammar, syntax etc. but in a way that is appealing to children who are growing up around TVs, computers and iPads. It’s never too late to improve language standards
and transforming language learning from the classroom into the outside world (home and parents) is one way to preserve Arabic language (according to the article I disused last month) and to promote its importance among young children. If students become strong in their Arabic use and understanding they will be empowered to feel pride for their mother tongue and that maybe a step in the direction of changing social perceptions of Arabic…maybe who knows? I’d love to know what you guys think of this latest effort to promote Arabic language…thanks for reading.