Students from the Al Ruwais Primary Boys School reading during an Arabic language class. Silvia Razgova / The National
Students from the Al Ruwais Primary Boys School reading during an Arabic language class. Silvia Razgova / The National

Zayed University to boost Arabic standards



DUBAI // Zayed University's new Arabic Language Institute is beginning work with the Ministry of Education to better train the country's Arabic teachers.

Dr Obaid Al Muhairi, head of the new institute, hopes to banish the outdated teaching methods and lack of standardisation that results in most Emirati students starting university with a "very low" standard of Arabic.

"There is a need on the part of the Ministry of Education and the public schools to reform Arabic language [teaching]," he said. "They have to meet certain standards - and the students aren't meeting those levels."

While government schools teach mainly in Arabic, almost all courses at federal university are taught in English, so there is no Arabic language requirement for entry.

Because of that, Arabic is not tested as part of the school-leaving Cepa exams. An attempt about five years ago to include it in the Cepa tests did not get beyond the pilot stage - it was seen as unnecessary, and the exam was too difficult for most students.

Now the institute wants to try again. "We are trying to standardise the high school assessments," said Dr Rahman Said Haleem, director of the institute. "We're trying to find a way like Toefl [test of English as a foreign language] assessment, so when you hear a number [score], you know what it means worldwide."

But that needs to be accompanied by better teaching - which means better trained teachers.

"There are teachers who are looking to do more professional development as well relating to teaching strategies," said Dr Muhairi,

Dr Natasha Ridge, head of research at the Al Qassimi Foundation for Policy Studies, suggested the lack of good Arabic teachers may warrant a more thorough review.

"If existing teachers are not able to teach this to a high enough standard then there needs to be a serious examination of teacher training mechanisms," she said.

"Perhaps the attention given to improving English language teaching needs now to be given to improving Arabic as well."

Universities have struggled to recruit potential Arabic teachers to their training courses. "Maybe they don't see the same job opportunities," said Dr Steven Bossert, dean of education at UAE University.

But training teachers in modern classroom methods - including the use of technology - is crucial, he said. "Teachers who have been teaching for five or 10 years probably learnt to teach in a more didactic way, so it's easier for them to teach in the way they learnt. Breaking these patterns can be a challenge, but it's not impossible."

The key is thorough professional development. "It's not the frequency but the quality of the professional development," he said. "You can give teachers workshops or put new materials in their hands but unless there's on-site follow up where you coach teachers, only a handful of teachers will put it into practice."

Veil (Object Lessons)
Rafia Zakaria
​​​​​​​Bloomsbury Academic

The biog

Favourite car: Ferrari

Likes the colour: Black

Best movie: Avatar

Academic qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in media production from the Higher Colleges of Technology and diploma in production from the New York Film Academy

FIGHT INFO

Men’s 60kg Round 1:

Ahmad Shuja Jamal (AFG) beat Krisada Takhiankliang (THA) - points 
Hyan Aljmyah (SYR) beat Akram Alyminee (YEM) - retired Round 1
Ibrahim Bilal (UAE) beat Bhanu Pratap Pandit (IND) - TKO Round 1

Men’s 71kg Round 1:
Seyed Kaveh Soleyman (IRI) beat Abedel Rahman (JOR) - RSC round 3.
Amine Al Moatassime (UAE) walk over Ritiz Puri (NEP)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Silkhaus

Started: 2021

Founders: Aahan Bhojani and Ashmin Varma

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Property technology

Funding: $7.75 million

Investors: Nuwa Capital, VentureSouq, Nordstar, Global Founders Capital, Yuj Ventures and Whiteboard Capital

Crops that could be introduced to the UAE

1: Quinoa 

2. Bathua 

3. Amaranth 

4. Pearl and finger millet 

5. Sorghum

RACE RESULTS

1. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1hr 21min 48.527sec
2. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) at 0.658sec
3. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) 6.012
4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 7.430
5. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN/Ferrari) 20.370
6. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas) 1:13.160
7. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Force India) 1 lap
8. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Force India) 1 lap
9. Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams) 1 lap
10. Lance Stroll (CAN/Williams) 1 lap
11. Jolyon Palmer (GBR/Renault) 1 lap
12. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/McLaren) 1 lap
13. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault) 1 lap
14. Pascal Wehrlein (GER/Sauber) 1 lap
15. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber) 2 laps
16. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso) 3 laps

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday Stuttgart v Cologne (Kick-off 10.30pm UAE)

Saturday RB Leipzig v Hertha Berlin (5.30pm)

Mainz v Borussia Monchengladbach (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Union Berlin v SC Freiburg (5.30pm)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (5.30pm)

Sunday Wolfsburg v Arminia (6.30pm)

Werder Bremen v Hoffenheim (9pm)

Bayer Leverkusen v Augsburg (11.30pm)

Seemar’s top six for the Dubai World Cup Carnival:

1. Reynaldothewizard
2. North America
3. Raven’s Corner
4. Hawkesbury
5. New Maharajah
6. Secret Ambition

The specs: 2019 Jeep Wrangler

Price, base: Dh132,000

Engine: 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic

Power: 285hp @ 6,400rpm

Torque: 347Nm @ 4,100rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 9.6L to 10.3L / 100km

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

SCORES

Multiply Titans 81-2 in 12.1 overs
(Tony de Zorzi, 34)

bt Auckland Aces 80 all out in 16 overs
(Shawn von Borg 4-15, Alfred Mothoa 2-11, Tshepo Moreki 2-16).

Ads on social media can 'normalise' drugs

A UK report on youth social media habits commissioned by advocacy group Volteface found a quarter of young people were exposed to illegal drug dealers on social media.

The poll of 2,006 people aged 16-24 assessed their exposure to drug dealers online in a nationally representative survey.

Of those admitting to seeing drugs for sale online, 56 per cent saw them advertised on Snapchat, 55 per cent on Instagram and 47 per cent on Facebook.

Cannabis was the drug most pushed by online dealers, with 63 per cent of survey respondents claiming to have seen adverts on social media for the drug, followed by cocaine (26 per cent) and MDMA/ecstasy, with 24 per cent of people.

Leap of Faith

Michael J Mazarr

Public Affairs

Dh67
 

Napoleon

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim
Rating: 2/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg

Barcelona v Liverpool, Wednesday, 11pm (UAE).

Second leg

Liverpool v Barcelona, Tuesday, May 7, 11pm

Games on BeIN Sports

The specs: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk


Price, base: Dh399,999
Engine: Supercharged 6.2-litre V8
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 707hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 875Nm @ 4,800rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 16.8L / 100km (estimate)

Yuki Means Happiness
Alison Jean Lester
John Murray

Brief scores:

Everton 0

Leicester City 1

Vardy 58'

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

The currency conundrum

Russ Mould, investment director at online trading platform AJ Bell, says almost every major currency has challenges right now. “The US has a huge budget deficit, the euro faces political friction and poor growth, sterling is bogged down by Brexit, China’s renminbi is hit by debt fears while slowing Chinese growth is hurting commodity exporters like Australia and Canada.”

Most countries now actively want a weak currency to make their exports more competitive. “China seems happy to let the renminbi drift lower, the Swiss are still running quantitative easing at full tilt and central bankers everywhere are actively talking down their currencies or offering only limited support," says Mr Mould.

This is a race to the bottom, and everybody wants to be a winner.

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today