Teaching Arabic in creative way is key

At Kings' School Dubai, a British-curriculum primary school, teachers find that children who are excited about learning Arabic are more successful.

Creativity is key in teaching Arabic, says the head teacher of Dubai’s best-rated private school.

“Even though Arabic may be perceived as a tricky language to learn, if you approach it in the right way and you make sure that the children are excited about learning Arabic then they can be successful,” said Alison Turner of Kings’ School Dubai.

The British primary school is the only private school in the emirate to have consistently earned an outstanding rating.

“We have lots of creative solutions involving drama and puppets for teaching Arabic,” Mrs Turner said. “We constantly look at the curriculum because we know that children need to enjoy their learning.”

The school uses theatrics to teach Arabic to its 940 pupils, and groups pupils by years of experience with the language rather than age. Class sizes are small.

“We consider it every teacher’s responsibility to help every student learn Arabic,” she said. “What we do is ensure that Arabic is not just pigeonholed into Arabic lessons. We do creative things like teach a PE lesson through the Arabic language.

“Their instructions are all in Arabic so the children see the relevance of Arabic beyond the classroom.

“We want children to be proud of coming to school in Dubai and to be proud of the language that our host country speaks. We want them to grow up being linguists so we teach Arabic and French, and next year we’re going to be teaching Spanish.”

rpennington@thenational.ae

Published: June 2, 2014 04:00 AM

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