December 1, 2022
When we were in Math class in the third grade, one of my friends asked the teacher: “Why are we learning Math?” The teacher calmly said: “It helps you in life.” Our teacher did not give us any examples! What did that mean for a third grader at that time? Simply nothing! I enjoyed Math as a child, but I would have enjoyed it even more if we connected Math to everyday life and future careers.
Teaching the Arabic language reminded me of my third-grade experience. As a foreign language, it could be a challenge to the teacher and students. I always tell my students that Arabic is not a difficult language, but it takes a longer time to learn because everything is new to an English speaker; a new alphabet, new syntax, and new usage. I believe that students can easily learn Arabic if they have the motivation. In my more than twenty years of teaching Arabic as a second language, I made sure I found a reason to motivate my students to keep on learning!
Getting students engaged with the language and the culture was my key strategy. My students had many hands-on activities,…