The best approach when it comes to teaching letters to beginners
Teaching Arabic to beginners in the right way with the right methodology is a primordial step toward a future successful learning. In the last past two decades, many teachers elaborated several curriculums on the topic. Nevertheless, those curriculums were made by teachers specialized in teaching Arabic to native speakers, and those teachers did not experience in teaching Arabic to non native learners. Nowadays, parents and children feel lost amidst an endless list of materials available in the market. Because any language is built upon letters, the major cue while teaching Arabic letters is focusing on the names of letters instead of their sounds.
Teaching Arabic letters’ names to Arabic learners should be the first step. First of all, it helps learners to acquire a complete understanding of Arabic’s alphabet. For example, some letters do not have a sound like “ Alif ” since it is a prolongation. If a teacher is willing to pronounce “Alif”, he should pronounce before it an other letter. In other words, the teacher will confuse students because they are not yet ready to distinguish the letter “ Alif “ from stretched sounds (Fig. 1).
Fig.1: Alif cannot be pronounced without connecting a letter before because it does not have a sound if alone
In addition to that, the letter “Al Hamza” does not have any similarity with the sound that it makes. If a teacher teaches its sound before its name, students will not be able to recognize or to name it since they do not know its name (Fig. 2).
Fig.2: Al Hamza sounds differently from its name
Moreover, when a teacher starts by teaching sounds to students, that means that students already learned the concept of vowels which is crucial in pronunciation. In real classes, learners have no idea about vowels. Therefore, they will struggle indefinitely if they start learning letters’ sounds before letters’ names. Finally, teaching students Arabic letters’ names will simplify things when it comes to learn how to write. Teachers could be able to explain word structure easily if students already have a full control on letters’ names. Thus, teachers should start teaching Arabic by teaching letters’ names.
To tie things together, Arabic classes must start by teaching students letters’ names before sounds and vowels in order to provide complete lessons to students, to avoid confusing information, and to prepare the ground for the writing step. Teachers and parents should take into account the previous points before using any material in their classes.
– Arabic Seeds’s team member.
Related resource on Arabic Seeds:
In TarkEasy are included the flashcards of all the Arabic letters with their name.