Posted on November 04, 2015

Educators of Arabic Language from around the globe have convened in Doha, Qatar for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE): “Investing for Impact: Quality Education for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.” Thirty three educators from Canada, Brazil, the United States, United Kingdom, and Qatar were invited to take part in a roundtable titled, “Effective Teaching of Arabic Language & Culture in High School: Issues, Approaches, and Principles.”

The session, focused on Arabic pedagogy intended for high school students, addresses the growing gap in language learning essentials at the pre-university level.

Outcomes will included:

  • Identifying a variety of pedagogical issues pertaining to teaching and learning Arabic in the high school context.
  • Drafting teacher-designed principles for effective teaching of Arabic at the high school level to be shared with schools and teachers.
  • Networking with fellow teachers from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Qatar, and the U.K. and sharing experiences regarding commonalities and differences of teaching Arabic in their different contexts. 
  • Dispelling myths and showcasing diversity of Arabic speakers.

Maggie Mitchell Salem, Executive Director, QFI said: “Partnering with Education Development Institute and Pre-University Education Division in Qatar Foundation and WISE ensures that best practices from QFI’s Arabic language & Arab culture program are shared with colleagues in Doha and we are able to benefit from their experience. This roundtable, paired with the WISE sessions, will allow QFI-supported educators to return to their classrooms equipped with the innovative tools necessary to elevate their students as engaged global citizens.”

Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO, WISE commented: WISE provides a platform for networking, debating, and sharing ideas and improved practice for positive change in education. The roundtable on teaching Arabic in new, innovative ways is a great example of WISE values in action. We are pleased to support QFI in bringing Arabic and the riches of Arab culture to a more diverse audience of young learners.”

Noof Al Thani, the Executive Director of Education Development Institute in Qatar Foundation commented: “EDI and Pre-University Education Division are committed to QF’s vision to unlock the human potential of future generations by supporting the growth and development of the educational community within Qatar and internationally. EDI in collaboration with QFI and WISE is pleased to host this roundtable discussion for high school teachers of Arabic in Qatar and abroad. This event aims at creating an environment for educators to share their knowledge, experiences, and best practices in teaching of Arabic language and culture which results in better student learning of the language at the high school level.”

The roundtable was facilitated by QFI advisor Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal, Director of the Arabic Flagship Program at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Al-Batal is also publishing a new statement with QFI on the teaching of colloquial dialect versus Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in the classroom. The statement is meant to encourage Arabic language classes to teach communicative skills that prepare students to function effectively in the real world. The statement will be published through the QFI website along with resources and a blog post by Dr. Al-Batal, connecting educators to this work.