I am more than happy to help with teaching you Arabic online. I have 21 years of Arabic teaching experience, and I am the co-author of an Arabic book, Basic Arabic, publishes by Berlitz. I have also designed online courses for Rutgers. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in working with me.
I am pursuing my doctorate at Rutgers University in American Studies, with a specialization in Language Education. My studies have given me a better understanding of language analysis (phonology, morphology and syntax), and they have provided me with extensive exposure to the methods of second-language acquisition.
My work and studies have helped define my teaching philosophy, which I’d like to share with you. From the start, I knew that teaching grammar and sentence structure alone in an Arabic-language class was destined to fail. Students would never learn to internalize the language, nor would they understand much about the life of the language – its sensibilities, its nuances and its extraordinary depth and breadth. Instead, I instinctively knew that Arabic must be taught in the context of culture. “Culture” is broad, amorphous, conflicting and all-encompassing… so where does an instructor begin? On day one. From the way students are taught to greet each other to learning the diverse dress of Arab-speaking peoples to discerning what is humorous or offensive in Arab-speaking societies, every aspect of lesson planning should incorporate culture. In this way, students are exposed to the social thoughts and values of our diverse people and communities. Students learn to be keen observers of our culture (or more accurately, cultures) through the acquisition of Arabic, which is especially valuable given the tension and miscommunication between the West and the Middle East.
When I began teaching 21 years ago, I taught solely Alfusha or formal Arabic. Since then, I have realized that to capture the life of the Arabic language, it is imperative to teach the language that is lived. That is, the Arabic that is spoken everyday by every class of people in diverse societies. I firmly believe teaching must incorporate both formal and colloquial forms of Arabic, a difficult task indeed given the sheer number of colloquial forms. But it is a necessary blending if learning is to have any value for students. This blending of forms requires a command of the formal language and a broad knowledge base of diverse Arabic colloquial forms, which I possess. I am easily able to incorporate and have my students learn and use the Levantine, Gulf, and Egyptian Arabic in my language classroom.
Arabic is dynamic and creative, thus Arabic teachers must be dynamic and creative in their teaching of the language. They need to be able to manipulate, simplify and attempt to individualize vast knowledge for learners. An instructor should be able to shift from one method of teaching to another to find what is most effective. In my classroom, lecturing and reading texts comprise a small portion of activities presented. Instead, I use humor and creativity to connect students to the subject matter. For instance, I use cartoons and news clippings to tell stories, point out silly things and bring joy to difficult assignments. I bring in guest speakers regularly, use technology to reach out to the Arab-speaking communities and integrate cross-discipline lessons of history, literature, socio-economics, religion, gender studies, music, the arts, etc. with those of syntax and grammar in developing a holistic approach to teaching.
Finally, I believe teachers of Arabic should use peer-approved guidelines and accountability measures to ensure students are effective communicators of the language. Such success can be measured by the Oral Proficiency Guidelines, as determined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Ph.D. Candidate of American Studies, with a focus on Arabic language, culture, history, and Arab-American issues. Rutgers University, Newark.
Most Enthusiastic Professor,
Outstanding Teaching Effectiveness of Arabic Language