Fun Arabic Learning was produced with a dream to make learning Arabic easy and fun.
It started in about 2000 when I was looking for suitable materials to teach my classes in Northamptonshire Arabic School. I was the founder and organizer of the school and felt responsible for the delivering an efficient and enjoyable learning experience.
I started to develop teaching materials and worksheets to complement the available text book, and encouraged my fellow teachers to do the same, which was enjoyable and rewarding. My skills driven from architectural background, management experience and design software knowledge were great aid in visualizing, planning and delivering quality teaching materials.
Means to enhance the Arabic teaching practice was explored with many teachers with considerable experience in teaching Arabic in UK. Teacher Zainab Osman, Liverpool, took on the mission of editing, revising and piloting Fun Arabic Learning.
Sincere thanks to Mrs Osman and all others who offered genuine encouragement, feedback and piloting throughout. To mention a few thank you Mr Alaa Abozanad, Northampton, Mr Ahmed Seif, Liverpool, Mrs Batool Bashir, London, Mrs Amira Musa, Liverpool, Mrs Omsalama Ahmed, Birmingham, Mr Mosab Hayatli, Oxford, Mrs. Morcia Walker, Northampton, and Mr Abdelrazag Mohamed,London.
Love and gratitude to my children who were the reason for me to be involved in Arabic teaching. It is a pleasure to see them now grown up and actively helping with the books. Thank you Yasmin for all the shapes you created for my work sheets, Basil for all the Photoshop colouring, templates and cover design, Ahmed for walking me through how to deliver my art work professionally to printers and Rashid for pushing me to turn my work into a business with all discussions and planning.
We hope that you will find the educational resources useful and your feedback is mostly welcome.
Author and publisher.
Arabic is the official language of more than 22 different countries and many children in UK are taught Arabic in main stream school, supplementary schools or other settings. As well as offering educational materials, we hope to see further improvement in numerous areas.
Enhance students’ perception of learning:
Most children are passionate about learning Arabic, but all too often they come to view this as a difficult and boring process, hence wasting valuable resources and time. Some of the reasons may be:
- Most of the teachers have been educated in different Arabic-speaking countries. This brings a wide range of materials and teaching approaches within our Arabic classes. The teaching style and resources may conflict with the style used in UK schools.
- Different Arabic-speaking countries have different accents and local dialogues, which brings different spoken dialogues in classrooms.
- This reflects adversely on long-term planning and continuity in learning between classes and between schools. Children having to change teachers or schools encounter very different approaches and classroom environment which hinder their education.
Raise the standard of Arabic teaching practise:
Teachers are often competent in Arabic and very keen in teaching; many of them have persuaded further training and developed their own activities and enhancement to the courses they teach. However, many teachers found the Arabic teaching practise unsystematic and needs promotion of:
- Raising awareness of the need for enhanced classroom environment.
- Raising awareness of the need for unified and systematic approach to teachings, planning for lessons and preparing a scheme of work.
- Encouraging Arabic schools & teachers to participate in languages conferences and exhibitions.
- Facilitation of teachers training to recognised qualifications.
Develop standard guidelines for spoken language in classrooms:
Simple Modern standard Arabic should be spoken in all classrooms and not local dialogues, as:
- Different spoken local dialogues of teachers confuse students who are just starting to learn.
- Local dialogues are not considered proper Arabic and many words used are not correct and cannot be used for writing.
- Simple Modern standard Arabic is written and spoken in all media from news to children cartoon, and understood by everybody.
- Simple correct Arabic to be spoken in classroom will enhance learning and be far more beneficial for students learning across different schools.
Develop standards for teaching and assessment:
Develop standards for teaching and assessment at different levels sets clear objectives for learning. It facilitates assessing the student’s progress and level achieved which is essential for students, parents and teachers.
We suggest working towards The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which is, according to Cambridge English “an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners’ language skills”. More at https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/cefr/.
Common Reference Levels: global scale is available at: https://www.eui.eu/Documents/ServicesAdmin/LanguageCentre/CEF.pdf
Encourage teaching of Arabic in mainstream schools:
Arabic is increasingly being offered in main-stream schools where the demand is high, mainly in lunch-time and after school clubs. This creates an opportunity to develop the interests and skills of pupils and teachers and contribute towards improving achievement levels.
Cardiff, author and publisher. An architect raised in Sudan as a native Arabic speaker. Worked both in UK and Sudan and exposed to different cultures through tasks requiring high communication skills, good team work and leadership qualities both in private and public sectors.
Founded and run a weekend Arabic Supplementary School in Northampton In April 1998 and was also taught classes in the school. Took part in numerous book exhibitions, conferences and workshops concerning teaching Arabic and MFL in UK.
Self-published Fun Arabic Learning first edition in 2004, and piloted in small classes in Northampton, Liverpool, London and Birmingham. Second edition August 2016.
Mrs. Zainab Osman, Liverpool,
Ms. Osman is an experienced bilingual support teacher in mainstream schools and Arabic teacher in supplementary schools. She has been thoroughly involved in developing and piloting the Fun Arabic Learning Course from early stages of design and revisions.
Mrs Osman is keen to contribute towards offering suitable educational recourses for teaching Arabic to children in UK. She has volunteered her time and expertise generously to develop the course. Her positive comments and revisions has been extremely valuable and reflecting her long experience and personal commitment.
Mr. Ahmed Saif, Liverpool
Mr. Saif is a specialist in Arabic literature and grammar. He founded and successfully run Alghazali Multi-cultural Organization, Serving over 200 students in weekend and after school classes. His organization offers Arabic classes, sports, summer holyday projects, youth club and ESOL classes. His contribution to the community and children achievement is well recognised by local authorities. Mr Saif has granted us many consultations and piloted the books in some of his classes.
Mr. Adil Al-Mahy, Sudan
Mr. Al-Mahy is an artist specialising in children’s art; he created the illustrations used in the Fun Arabic Learning series.