Teaching the Arabic language
Teaching the Arabic language
Teaching the Arabic language is at the center of my life and cultivating a desire for my students to live this language is the driving force behind that passion. To me, teaching is the ability to utilize the power of human communication in order to act as an ambassador, passing on my language and culture to my students. I have never felt more alive than in the middle of an exciting Arabic lecture where my students’ eyes light up with comprehension and a sense of fulfillment runs through...
Teaching the Arabic language is at the center of my life and cultivating a desire for my students to live this language is the driving force behind that passion. To me, teaching is the ability to utilize the power of human communication in order to act as an ambassador, passing on my language and culture to my students. I have never felt more alive than in the middle of an exciting Arabic lecture where my students’ eyes light up with comprehension and a sense of fulfillment runs through veins. I use this symbol of an ambassador because my job as a professor is beyond teaching a language; it extends to my role in bridging the gap between different cultures and perspectives through the medium of language. Hence, teaching Arabic is my role in creating better and more comprehensive relationships between societies.
Since my philosophy is for students to live the language, the classroom experience must be centered on them and their ability to grasp Arabic with time. My strategy begins with the understanding that I, as the professor, cannot dominate the lecture at all times but instead, must facilitate the growth of my students. This is why I believe that I should enable my students to speak for up to 80% of time, especially as they increase in proficiency.
Many teachers may teach the same material, but each one’s character is an important aspect of how the knowledge will be perceived by the students. I understand myself to be dynamic, exciting, and a person constantly searching for the fun in everything I pursue. This is why I like to utilize unorthodox methods to not only teach the language, but also create an enjoyable classroom environment. For example, my background in Arabic calligraphy enables me to use art and illustrations to teach grammar or vocabulary.
My love for music and recreation has led me to write songs and develop games, which I have used in class to help students memorize complex concepts. This creates a healthy environment, encourages participation by preventing boredom, and brings my own character into the classroom. Also, I make an effort to stress that the Arabic language and culture and intertwined, which is why I utilize cultural opportunities to help my students live the language. Depending on the resources we have available, this can range from assigning conversations with native speakers, attending events regarding issues pertaining to Arab culture, or even discussing videos available on YouTube.
I can remember the joy I felt when my students forgot my presence in the classroom and rose to the challenge of communicating with local university students whom I had invited. The goal of all this is to encourage my students to have the confidence to use Arabic as naturally as possible. These exercises allow me to enjoy my job as a teacher and learn from the amazing stories and experiences of my students.
Early on in my career I began to see the common fear among my students that proficiency in unreachable and Arabic too difficult to pronounce. I realized that for the quality of my teaching to increase; I must be able to provide my students with the tools to challenge these fears. This is why I strive to minimize the use of English in the classroom to the best of my ability. Of course, English is required at the introductory and beginning levels but should slowly change into more Arabic with time. For example, from the intermediate level on, all of my exams are written only in Arabic, which may scare students at first. However, experience has taught me that overcoming this small challenge gives students a large amount of confidence. Hence, I am constantly working to develop creative ways to answer questions and explain concepts without the use of English when possible.
For example, utilizing acting, body language and physical demonstrations, the vocabulary on the page is brought to life in the middle of the classroom, which helps students to remember without the same stress of basic memorization. I also like to assign multiple group projects such as speaking to the class regarding different topics or preparing skits to perform in class. This makes it easier for students to learn from each other especially when a student may be nervous about approaching the professor. If students make a mistake, I have always made an effort not to embarrass an individual because it destroys the confidence we worked to build.
For over five years I have been teaching Arabic to non-native speakers from various universities in the United States. This experience has taught me to lessons I need to excel as a professional in this field. I am qualified to teach the Arabic language and confident that I have the tools to so effectively.
Nizar hasn’t set a schedule.