Those who work hard shall realize their dreams
This is a proverb among so many others that remained carved in my recollection since my childhood years. As a child in elementary school, I loved Arabic, and that love continued through junior high and high school. I completed my first undergraduate studies majoring in physics in 1972 from the College of Science, the University of Mosul in Iraq.
I became a professional in teaching meteorology and climatology at Iraqi Air Force and Defense College and the departments affiliated with the college for the period from 1974 till 1985 since I was the first among the participants of the course on the same subject.
In 1978, the Iraqi Government then decided to eliminate illiteracy in Iraq and decided on a compulsory illiteracy elimination campaign that teaches reading and writing Arabic for all Iraqi illiterates.
Accordingly, training programs were open to introduce methodologies for teaching the illiterates. My wife and I were among the main participants in the training programs that enabled the graduates to teach others efficient teaching methodologies for the illiterates. For me, I relied upon the visual teaching method rather than merely teaching alphabets. My method generated positive results, and I remained for almost three years. Additionally, I used to teach students of other Arab nationalities who used to study at Iraqi Air Force and Defense College (Mauritania, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti) Arabic to improve their Arabic language. Towards the end of 1988, I successfully completed my master’s degree in Meteorology and Climatology from Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, and I returned to Iraq to practice my major and to teach private Arabic lessons till 1999.
I left Iraq with my family in 2000 heading for Syria where I worked as a private Arabic teacher for elementary and junior high students. Immediately after arriving to the USA, I applied at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges to teach Arabic.
In 2004, Cuyamaca College, Department of Foreign Languages, asked me to teach Arabic. I actually started teaching its first level Arabic program in August 2004. During the last semesters, the results were very good as students whose Arabic is considered a foreign language to them (for example, Lisa a housewife, Renaldo criminal justice, Renee from the army, Rose cosmetologist, Romaine, a housewife, and others) were able to learn all the alphabets with their diacritical marks, reading, and writing, and the introduction to writing sentences. In addition, they learned the number system and numerous vocabularies. I earned a good evaluation for my teaching, 3.95 out of a maximum 5 from the first semester.
Starting from the second semester, I used to provide my students with authentic material from Arabic websites. I have encouraged students to listen to native speakers, record their voices in order to improve their listening and speaking skills. By the third semester I focused in my teaching on doing projects, debates and presenting to others using the target language. I concentrated on learning style to motivate students to learn by doing and share information with their classmate in pairs and groups.
I have tried to provide you with a glimpse of what I have achieved so far with the blessings of the Lord.
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