Parents show children importance of Arabic by taking lessons themselves

At some schools, parents are benefiting from Arabic classes so they can help their children’s learning processes and assist them to practise their skills at home.

ABU DHABI // At some schools, parents are benefiting from Arabic classes so they can help their children’s learning processes and assist them to practise their skills at home.

Nancy Hassan, head of the Arabic department at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, said Arabic classes for parents are held once a week during term time.

“We have found the number of parents attending grows throughout the year as word about the usefulness of the class spreads among the parent body,” she said.

“One of our highly-qualified and experienced Arabic teachers takes the class.”

Ms Hassan said the class has had overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents.

“The parents are saying that their children are now showing an even bigger interest in Arabic as the children see their parents are making an effort to learn the language,” she said. “It has helped to raise the status of Arabic.

“Also, more parents are now able to help and support their children with Arabic home learning. The class is also assisting parents to understand more about the heritage, culture and traditions of the region.

“We feel that this programme would be beneficial in every school, as Arabic is one of the fastest-growing languages in the world and, of course, as guests in the country, everyone should try to learn some Arabic.”

Similarly, Jumeira Baccalaureate School launched parent Arabic classes two years ago.

“Last year, this initiative was taken over by our parent association, and we now have parents teaching parents,” said Nadine Heikamp, parent relations officer.

Three years ago Dubai British School, in The Springs, began offering Arabic lessons, including speaking, reading, writing and understanding Arabic culture, to parents for free.

Mother-of-two Kay Coolledge said she looks forward to the lessons every week.

“The classes are fun, interesting, have a great energy and is a lovely talking point with my friends here in Dubai and with my friends and family back home,” she said. “We are aware that to learn privately, lessons are expensive, therefore we realise how fortunate we are with the opportunity that the Dubai British School have given us.”

Henrietta has two children – Maddie, 12, and Will, 9 – who attend Brighton College, where she has enjoyed parent Arabic lessons.

The expat, who moved to Abu Dhabi from Qatar, said her children’s previous school did not offer such lessons for parents, and she was pleased to have the opportunity here.

“Learning Arabic allows me to appreciate the Arabic lessons my children are having at school, and I think it shows them that this is something that I think is important to work hard at,” said the Briton. “The lessons have also given me the confidence to speak, a little, when out and about.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: September 25, 2016 04:00 AM

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