New methods required to teach Arabic

Readers express their opinions on learning Arabic, cyclist-friendly cities and Donald Trump

Readers say we should do more to encourage expatriate pupils to learn Arabic. Jaime Puebla / The National
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Nathan Toronto's article Simple ways to help expatriate pupils learn Arabic, December 9) must be applauded. These steps are surely not too difficult to implement.

I attempted to learn the local dialect, with the help of an established 16-week course here in Abu Dhabi, and I have far more confidence in conversing with Emirati people than my two children who have been taught Arabic at their international school for 10 years.

It is a missed opportunity for them.

Perhaps more involvement between community schools and established international schools could bridge the gap to improve conversation and confidence about how to chat in the playground or the park.

A monthly visit by expatriate children to local community schools may reveal that the expatriates have learnt more than they let on; the problem is they have nowhere to test their knowledge and practise what they have been taught.

Regrettably it may be too late for the current generation of expatriate pupils, but simple ways implemented now could help the next generation.

Suzy Jane, Abu Dhabi

I would say that 90 per cent of my­ ­Arabic-language knowledge and vocabulary comes from watching Arabic television channels and cartoons dubbed into Arabic.

I think television is a very important medium that often gets overlooked when we think about education.

Samia Iftekhar, Abu Dhabi

Cyclist worries about safety

I agree with the suggestions made in the news story, ­Improve road safety by encouraging people to walk and cycle, UAE conference hears­ (December 8).

I would really like to ride my bike to work and back but it is far too dangerous on city streets.

Lynda Suzanne, Abu Dhabi

The current infrastructure that caters mostly to car users needs to be changed to ­accommodate cyclists and ped­estrians.

The authorities should invest further in footbridges, underpasses and more paved space for those on foot.

This will not only encourage people to use public transport and ditch their cars, but will also help them stay fit and healthy by walking regularly.

Name withheld by request

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are great places, but comparing it with Europe, there is no respect at all for cyclists and pedestrians.

A great start would be to start fining motorists for not stopping at zebra crossings and for not using their indicators.

After that, the authorities should start creating more bicycle paths. They should also make sure that there is some follow up after roadworks. Quite often, the temporary barriers are just left there.

Paolo Masell, Dubai

Proper pavements – ones that don’t have cars parked on them – and dedicated bicycle lanes would be great.

Also cars should be required to reduce their speed in residential areas. Nicloas Benoit, Dubai

Islamophobia rules Trump out

I refer to Damac sticks by Trump Organization amid anti-Muslim tirade (December 8).

The Muslim community worldwide should loudly condemn Donald Trump and his incendiary views.

His entire presidential campaign is now resting firmly on a platform of out-of-control Islamophobia.

Mairam Ahmed, Dubai

What an immature act by Mr Trump. He thinks that targeting Muslims and restricting them will bring him people's support.

However, as far as I know, his supporters are already fed up with him.

Mursalan Khan, Abu Dhabi

It is absolutely ridiculous for Mr Trump to show intolerance and hatred towards all Muslims and propose barring them from entering the United States.

He is wrong to hold the entire Muslim population responsible for the acts of a few twisted individuals who defamed Islam.

Name withheld by request

The joke that is his presidential campaign is no longer funny.

Mr Trump has just become an embarrassment to his country.

Holly T, Dubai

Can we please put in place a travel ban for Mr Trump? Put him on a no-fly list and see how he likes it. Jean Francois Ng Lewis, Dubai