English is the core language of instruction throughout the school in all subjects, except Arabic and Islamic for Muslim children. We will have compulsory Arabic language from Pre KG to Grade 12. From Grade 1 onwards, students in each year group will be placed into two groups: native Arabic speakers group and non-native speakers group. Teachers will conduct baseline assessments in September to identify students’ language proficiency levels. The results of these assessments will help teachers differentiate the learning. Newcomers will also be assessed upon their entry into school. The results of these assessments will be used to determine future learning targets. Students whose passport is from a non-Arabic country, but whose parents are Arabic in origin will have the choice to place their child into the native or non-native Arabic class. Approval for this must be sought from the Head of Arabic. The Ministry of Education curriculum will be taught from Grade 1 onwards. In the Early Years the Arabic language will be integrated with the themes taught by the native English teachers.
Speaking and Listening
It is one of our priorities to encourage rich Arabic literature and language in our school. Opportunities to speak Arabic outside of the classroom will be encouraged so children become immersed in the language. Participation in key events like poetry recitations, participation in assembly and attendance at Arabic club will be encouraged.
In the future, the school would like to develop an interface computer assisted language learner system to add to individual tutoring in order to complement the process of second language acquisition.
All languages will be studied in terms of:
- Speaking/ talking and listening
- A teacher/mentor system to help assist in daily oral tasks will be created and the student will be encouraged to verbalize in Arabic as frequently as possible.
- Labeling objects found in the building or classroom in both their native language and the Arabic wording will be initiated in order to help their language orientation.
- It will be part of the teacher’s lesson planning to assist in the development of the students spoken and written Arabic. This should be implemented with patience and in a supportive atmosphere without setting unrealistic expectations.
- The student will be given access to the curriculum as well as an assessment profile which incorporates parental interaction and regular feedback from the school.
- Students who are learning Arabic will be encouraged to integrate with peers to facilitate communication development.
- The school will provide bilingual dictionaries (electronic and hard) where possible and encourage the student to participate in class discussion without creating a stress situation for the student.
- The students will have access to the ICT facilities and be encouraged to use language programmes to aid in a structured additional resource for Arabic language improvement.
- Work in collaboration with other subject teachers with regular feedback regarding progress or lack thereof.
- Keep evidence of continued assessments to monitor progress.
- Offer continued feedback to the student as well as the parents on progress.
- Ensure that the classroom seating is optimized to the benefit of the students in order to facilitate better concentration and ease the communication process.
- Incorporate activities in the classroom to actively encourage student collaboration.
- Organise group activities which include students of mixed abilities and interests so as to facilitate the development of fluid communication skills.
- Ensure access to all resources to assist the student’s fluid transition from one language to the next.
- Allow the student to vocalize where possible and not interrupt too frequently.
- Encourage reading out loud when applicable and assist in the selection of literature the student could use outside school hours.
- Allow the student the opportunity to talk about their home and community and encourage inter-active discourse with the rest of the class.
- Use questions to encourage language development.
- Assist in the scope and broadening of the students Arabic vocabulary.
- Offer assistance in learning the writing of the Arabic script and the development of the student’s literacy and writing skills through instructional activities.
- Guide the students through dialogue and not through lecturing. Allow the student the freedom to respond and thus encourage targeted conversation to develop the students Arabic skills.