Many parents and teachers struggle to get children engaged in their Arabic learning. I empathize with the students. Lessons are boring, irrelevant and teaching methods such as getting students to sit on their chairs at a weekend school after they’ve had to put with that from their full time school is just not happening. Seriously, it’s not happening.
One principle and fact remains as solid as cement. Kids learn through play.
Here’s a couple of games I’ve used to teach my child students the directions in Arabic فوق تحت أمام خلف يمين شمال
These games can be played with adult learners too as well at home or in school.
- Guide the blind
Divide the class into two teams. Allocate team names. Pick one student from each team and blindfold both. Then take an object one for each team and hide the object in a place. The students have to guide their team mates to the object using the above directions in Arabic.
The first blind folded person to reach their object gets one point. As opposed to getting the students to robotically memorize words they are being entertained and using the language.
2.Flashcard on head relay race
Get students into two teams again. One student from each team has a flashcard from the lesson with the word they have been taught.
They place the flashcard on their head and have to get to one side of classroom to other and back repeating the word without dropping it. If they do they have to start again until they don’t drop it. Then when they get back to the starting position they hand the flashcard to the next student. This goes on til one team has completed the race.
Divide students into two teams again.
Have the two teams seated facing eachother.
Then you whisper an Arabic word or sentence from the lesson into the student closest to the board from each team. For example ألقلم مكسور
al qalamu maksoor
They then whisper the word or sentence to the next that next student whispers to the next until the message gets to the last student in the team who has to get up run to the board and write the word.
First student to from one of the teams to write the word down gets a point for their team. Here in this game students are practicing their listening skills, speaking, and writing skills.
Alternatively you could just get the last students from each team to shout out the word to get the point if they cannot write.
It’s hard to get students to just learn. They must be entertained and have the learning incorporated into the fun.
I believe you can force a child to sit down on a chair to learn but you can’t force it to learn. Forcing children or adults to do something they don’t wana do does not make them more interested in doing that thing. It actually makes the person dislike the thing they are being forced to do.
Remember the word education means to draw out of someone. The traditional school system involves putting things into children.
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(Author of Get Fluent in Arabic)