Inspiring Initiatives in Teaching Arabic Language.
Fourth meeting: Aghadeer, Morocco, April, 2002.
For different reasons and from different aspects, most educators agreed that studying and learning Arabic language have the biggest effect on school and life. A number of studies and conferences discussed a lot of issues, such as standard language, spoken language, teaching science in Arabic, and various attempts to use non Arabic languages of old ages in the Arab World, and no matter what other people’s convictions might be, it is common that learning Arabic language and teaching it is a very complicated and important subject.
According to this, the coordinating committee decided that the 4th meeting will be about “Inspiring Initiatives in Teaching Arabic Language.” The subject alone includes different dimensions and issues.
As all meetings of the Forum, we don’t focus on specific subjects, rather than giving space to ask questions not been asked before and highlighting relations and dimensions that were absent before the meeting.
The meeting included more than one surprising element which created a sense of incoherency and distraction for some, and new exciting dimensions for others, which gave a chance to create new relations and explore inexperienced dimensions that relate language to life, things that are not discussed in conferences usually. This drew our attention to the importance of integration when understanding matters and introducing dimensions that seem at first irrelevant to the subject, such as the relation between language and body movement and having different people with different thoughts together in the same meeting.
Proposals included teaching language at school, the relation between language and arts (Drama, singing and dancing), language in literature, knowledge, language’s role in expressing the inner world of an individual, how to deal with children facing difficulties when learning Arabic, language used in writing children books, and language and publishing..
At the same time, not all significant dimensions were discussed, some because they can’t be covered in one meeting and the rest because some participants apologized for not attending the meeting due to unexpected circumstances. The meeting raised issues and questions more than giving solutions and answers, so we concluded two things:-
The AEF doesn’t give solutions, but it’s a forum for people to express their visions, work and solutions in order to expand and deepen their perception and discussion of key issues based on personal experiences and thoughts.
A fact, language is not possessed by who teaches it in education institutions, its for everyone, whether they work in the fields of literature, media, arts or in any other means of expression or in daily communications and interactions.
Probably, the significant thing raised in the discussion was the importance of thinking about the Arabic language and discussing it by taking into consideration the largest number possible of viewpoints that reflect different positions of people dealing with it.
29 people from 8 Arab countries attended this meeting, and 16 proposals were presented.
Participants and summary of proposals:
Nafisa Abbas & Reema Jamal: From Dhahran Schools, Saudi Arabia, spoke about their experience at Dhahran Schools in Alnaja7 (Success) Project and Balanced Arabic Language Arts Program.
Radi Elwaqfi: Dean of Princess Tharwat Collage in Jordan; spoke about a program that deals with difficulties of learning the Arabic language.
Ahmad Baidoon: From Lebanon, spoke about major problems in learning Arabic language.
Sultan Nasser Ed’een: From Beirut Modern School, Lebanon, talked about his experience in teaching Arabic language in classroom by using different illustrating and teaching methods.
Nada Mghaizel: From Jesuit University, Lebanon, spoke about her experience with Arabic language.
Nadira Assaf: From the University of Lebanon, Jbail; spoke about the research she is conducting about the relation between dancing and language as two means of expression, and how dancing can be used to teach Language.
Ghada Hamadah: From the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon, spoke about her experience in using Active Learning Methods in teaching Arabic Language.
Waseem Alkurdi: From Abd Elmuhsen Qattan Institute Ramallah, Palestine, Spoke about the applied research and workshops he is conducting with children, youth and teachers about using drama in writing and language education.
Sonia Al Nimir: Directress of Museums Department at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Palestine, spoke about her vision of the teaching process in classroom and how this process can stand on giving students space for creativity.
Najima Thaythay: From Aghadeer, Morroco; Spoke about her experience at “Sabk Hekaya” festival, which synchronized with the 4th meeting of the AEF.
Abd Assalam Fazazi: From Ibn Zahr University, Aghadeer, Morocco, spoke about methods of teaching Arabic language to non-native speakers.
Abdulrahman Ayoub: From Tunisia, spoke about stories and how it may contribute in teaching Arabic language.
Abdulwahed Barahem: From Tunisia, presented his project of producing World Classic Novels but in an exciting way for students.
Munir Rahhal: From Syria, spoke about teachers training process and its affect on teaching Arabic language in schools.
Ibtisam Barakat: From Palestine, living in the United States of America, presented “Oktob Hayatak” workshop where she uses psychological analysis theories to promote writing.
Munir Fasheh: Director of AEF; presented his experience with the Arabic language and his visions of developing and teaching it..