Expatriate pupils in Dubai no longer ‘dislike’ Arabic

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Today, at the German International School Dubai, the students thoroughly enjoy learning the Arabic language.

(Alamy Image)

Majority of expat students at a school in Dubai “did not like” learning the Arabic, as the language was very foreign to them. They did not see “the point” of learning it. At least this was the case six years ago.

Today, at the German International School Dubai, the students thoroughly enjoy learning the Arabic language. A few other schools also shared similar experiences with Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Living Arabic Forum.

More than 500 Arabic and Islamic studies teachers gathered to share best teaching practices at the annual Living Arabic Forum organised by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Saturday.

Fatma Al Marri, CEO of Dubai Schools Agency at KHDA, told Khaleej Times that they have seen improvements in schools, particularly in Arabic and Islamic studies classrooms, because of the Living Arabic Forum, as it gives teachers an opportunity to implement new and improved teaching methods into their classroom.

“We have to work with teachers to make sure students find Arabic as a language they love learning,” Al Marri said. “Teachers are also benefiting by forum through exchanging knowledge. Teachers have started thinking of improving and they’re learning.”

Teachers’ speak

Ahmed Abdelwahab, one of the Arabic teachers at the German International School Dubai, told Khaleej Times: “We shared how to teach Arabic to non-Arabic speakers. We did a lot of activities to ensure that the language was attractive to the students and the results were really good. We saw that students didn’t understand the Arabic culture, so we introduced it in the curriculum.”

Lycee Francias International Georges Pompidou Primary in Oud Metha, a French school in Dubai, is also implementing a similar approach to help their pupils learn Arabic. “Arabic is the language of the country, but we don’t speak it outside. We have to show them the positive points of learning other languages and they have to implement what they learn through activities. They shouldn’t learn just through books and pens.”

Source: Khaleej Times