Early-Arabic-Language-Teaching-Approach

Early Arabic Language Teaching: approach and application

! مَرْحَباً   

What is the best Early Arabic Language Teaching Approach?!

In this article, I introduce an approach to teach Arabic to little kids (under 7 years old) and suggest you play-based activities to practice Arabic with our printable story “Nashoot meets Bannoon” (included in the “Greeting & introducing myself” unit in our membership).

The objectives:

– make young children enjoy and love Arabic,

– give them a head start in acquiring this language!

1) Early Second language Teaching Approach:

 My own experience in raising a bilingual child and the advises of Early Second Language Learning experts, make me believe in an approach based on play, daily life contexts, social interactions and whole-language exposure/immersion.

In fact, young children effectively acquire a language by being exposed to it through fluentrich and meaningful learning experiences. Teaching them list of isolated words or flashcards, without links between them, is denying their powerful brain’s mechanisms in learning a new language.

Moreover, the use of a multi-modal approach is important to respond to each kind of learner: kinesthetic (physical), auditory, oral and visual.

I recommend to plan activities:

  • based on a particular theme or story,
  • using daily life/meaningful contexts and repetitions in various contexts,
  • relying on the children’s ability to naturally learn through play, fun and social interactions,
  • stimulating their powerful imagination and senses.
  • making them practice the 4 skills of the language: listening, speaking, (pre-)writing, (pre-)reading.

Activities have to be adapted to the development, needs, ways of learning and interests of the children. For the preschool and kindergarten aged children plan short and various activities of this kind:

  • storytelling,
  • pretend play & drama,
  • arts & crafts,
  • games & physical activities,
  • rhymes,
  • science experiments and pre-Math.

 

2) Application: 6 Fun activities to accompany our story “Nashoot meets Bannoon”

 

Activity 1: Arabic Storytelling 

 Material:

– our printable story “Nashoot meets Bannoon” (Greeting & Introducing myself UNIT of the membership)

– props, puppets and flashcards/pictures representing the 2 kittens and the key words of the story; ex: picture of a park, bottle of milk, food toys for the onion, puppet for the fish etc..

Instructions:

Read aloud the story and involve more the children by acting it out (become a character). Use theatrical intonations, facial/body gestures and props/ puppets/pictures.

Arabic Story, Props, Flashcards for Arabic Language Teaching

 

Activity 2: Arabic Vocabulary Hunt (association game)

 Material:

– objects, stuffed animals, puppets and flashcards/pictures representing the 2 kittens and the key words of the story; ex: picture of a park, drawing of the sun, bottle of milk, food toys for the onion, puppet for the fish etc..

 Instructions:

Hide the key words representations in the room and request the children to find them. To help them, you can show the picture from the mini-book while saying the word.

 Advice: You don’t need to teach every single word of the story.

Activity 3: The mystery box (Arabic Vocabulary speaking game)

 Material:

– a box or a bag

– objects, stuffed animals, puppets and flashcards/pictures representing the 2 kittens and the key words of the story; ex: picture of a park, drawing of the sun, bottle of milk, food toys for the onion, puppet for the fish etc..

 Instructions:

One by one, make them take an object from the box/bag and tell its name.

 Activity 4: Arabic Dramatic play

Material:

– cats puppets, stuffed cats/kittens, pictures of cats or cats’ masks. Here is a link to find printable cats’ masks: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Animals/animalmasks/animalmask.html **

Instructions:

Make groups of 2 children, or if you are a parent with one kid, play one of the kittens. And then, make them pretend to be Nashoot or Bannotn by repeating the whole dialogue or a part of it after you.

Advices: It’s normal that children don’t say the sentences completely or with the exactly right pronunciation. The objective of this speaking activity is that they start to feel comfortable in speaking Arabic. They will improve with practice.

 

Activity 5: Arabic Name Game and Craft

Material:

– a ball

-1 sheet of paper per child

Instructions:

  1. Make a circle with the children and take a ball.

Throw the ball to a child and ask him his name in Arabic.

Let him answer (help him if needed) and then make him throw the ball to you.

Continue with the other children.

  1. Make them write/trace their name in Arabic on a sheet. You can help them by writing dots for each letter. Tell the name of the letters while writing them.

Then, make them write several time their names over a model through colorful/sensorial hand crafts:

  • with play dough
  • with finger painting or brush painting
  • with sand sensory tray.

 

Activity 6: Arabic Counting activity

Activity related to the answer to “how old are you?” in Arabic in the story 1.

Reminder of the counting rule from 3 to 10: the gender of the number is the opposite gender of the noun. The noun “year” in Arabic is feminine, so when counting the years from 3 to 10, the number becomes masculine. http://www.learnarabiconline.com/arabic-numbers.shtml **

Instructions:

  1. Download this useful and fun cartoon.**

On the page, click LEFT on this icon:Capture download

 It gives ideas to practice Arabic counting for feminine nouns in daily life. The characters count: – clouds from around 0:55 min.

– flowers from around 2:40 min

– apples from around 7:05 min

– bubbles from 10:42 min

  1. Watch it with the children and practice counting with the same nouns or others.

 

What do you think about this approach? Do you already use it?

Do you use an other approach to teach Arabic to young children?

Do you have other ideas of activities ?

 Share & leave a comment below!

Emilie, cofounder of Arabic Seeds.

6 thoughts on “Early Arabic Language Teaching: approach and application”

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  4. Mashaa Allah, sister I love the resources you have provided. Jazakillaah khair. I wanted to download/watch the cartoon but kinda struggling to understand

    1. Assalamu 3alaykum sister Samira,
      wa laki khayru al jaza’, I am glad you found it useful!
      I love the cartoons from this website and my daughter too! I know that they are safe and the characters have good manners. she learned a lot of Arabic from them (of course I recommend to limit the time in front of the TV and other screens, and that one parent stays with the child to enhance the language learning).
      yes sometimes I have difficulties to download their files. Before to write this article, I tested it and I downloaded it by clicking LEFT (not right as we use to do) on the icon
      (I updated the article because the picture of the icon wasn’t appearing)
      did you do this ?
      Ummu Meriem.

      1. yay, jazakillah khair for the picture of the icon and explanation. Now I understand it much better. May Allah reward you for all you do.

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