From a seed to a blooming tree, this was the journey of the Arabic Center for non-native speakers, which was established five years ago and is now a growing centre, sponsored by local and international institutions.
The teacher training programme ‘Teaching Arabic to Non-native Speakers’ was launched by IUG as part of a UK-funded research project in cooperation with the University of Glasgow entitled ‘Accelerating the impact of the Online Arabic from Palestine(OAfP) language course’.
The teacher training programme aims to train 19 Arabic language teachers in using creative teaching methods and innovative techniques to teach Arabic to non-native speakers. The trainees who are taking part in the program are IUG graduates from the Faculty of English and Arabic Language who were selected among over 100 applicants, based on several criteria which included their graduation year, their academic results and their GPA. Sixty of them took a competency test, and the successful graduates were interviewed and finally 19 of them were selected for the program.
Dr. Sa'eed Al-Ghora, Dean of IUG Community Services and Continuing Education, opened the launch of the teacher training course expressing his gratitude for organizing such valuable training programs at the Arabic Center for non-native speakers at IUG Community Services and Continuing Education Deanship
Dr Nazmi al-Masri (Co-Investigator and Project Director), Husam Ayesh (Community Development Institute Arabic Centre Director), Mr Yousef Diab, Miss Ola Lubbad, and Ms Lubna Al-Hajjar (course developers and teacher trainers), Miss Hala Shraim and Miss Azza Alssahar (Project coordinators) and all graduates from different universities in Gaza attended the launch of this program.
Dr Nazmi Al Masri said that this distinguished project is the first training program of this kind for many reasons. First of all, it is implemented in partnership with international trainers from the University of Glasgow, following years of close cooperation. Secondly, the training course integrates language-teaching approaches based on developing communication skills with innovative and effective techniques to improve the Arabic language within a short time. He added that the aim of this training program is to empower graduates with practical skills tailored for English and Arabic teachers that could be useful to find online teaching jobs. Dr. Al Masri welcomed the trainees and thanked the trainers and the Glasgow-based partners in this project, Dr. Giovanna Fassetta (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Maria Grazia Imperiale (Postdoctoral Research Associate). Dr. Fassetta and Dr. Imperiale will be involved in the trainings by delivering some of the sessions online.
The training course consists of four phases. Mr. Yousef, one of the trainers, explained that the first phase of the program will focus on understanding the pedagogical principles of teaching Arabic for non-native speakers, while the second phase includes using technology in teaching Arabic. The third phase will be led by Dr. Fassetta and Dr. Imperiale and will focus on contextualised teaching for the OAfP course, including the use of creative methods. During the last phase, the trainees will apply what they learn through developing and delivering authentic lessons with non-Arabic speakers volunteers from all over the world. The 120-hour interactive training program therefore combines theoretical and practical sessions, in addition to exercises, reflections, discussion groups and assignments.
At the end of the first day of the training, all the trainees expressed their enthusiastic motivation, passion and positive attitude towards such a unique program.
IUG Arabic Center Website: http://www.iugaza.edu.ps/
OPAC Blog: https://palestinian-arabic.blog/