Tips for Teaching English to Arabic-Speaking Students
English language learners (ELLs) are a growing population in the United States. The majority of teachers will have the opportunity to teach English to pupils who speak Arabic at some point in their careers. In contrast to Spanish, where a large number of teachers have at least some expertise, only a small number of Arabic teachers have a great deal of knowledge. Teachers are well aware that children’s first and second languages provide them with the structure that will aid them in learning their third language.
Among the most difficult languages to learn for native English speakers, Arabic is one of the most challenging. Its grammar is distinct from English’s, and its script is written from right to left, in addition to having sounds that are not present in English. Despite having lived in the Middle East for 13 years, I am still not fluent in the language. However, I have discovered that my English language learners (ELL) are more adept at learning English than I am at learning Arabic.
These tactics will make it easier for you to teach Arabic to pupils who speak the language.
There is only one sound associated with each Arabic letter. This is in stark contrast to the way English is spoken. It can be difficult to distinguish between letters such as c, g, and q. Arabic contains only three vowel sounds and no /p/ sound, which is also a limitation. They are represented by the letters /a/, /i/, and /u/, respectively. Although each sound is distinct depending on where in the Middle East the speaker is located, there are some similarities between them. The /oo/ sound in the Arabic names Noor and Noorah can be found between a long /o/ and a short /u/, depending on the dialect. To avoid confusion, many Arabic speakers pronounce the name Nour or Nourah in English.
Some consonants in Arabic are also uttered with the tongue at one’s roof, as is the case with some vowels. The Khaled sound is the most evocative example of this. Most English speakers pronounce it Kaled or Haled, depending on their dialect. This is because only a small number of people can correctly pronounce the sound. In addition to guttural sounds, Arabic contains other sounds. Even though they sound lovely and fluent in Arabic, when translated into English words, they sound harsh and are nearly impossible to understand.
For native English speakers, these sounds can be difficult to comprehend. Certain sounds are particularly difficult for Arabic speakers to cope with. My Arabic ELL sessions are primarily concerned with phonics. I begin each class period by going over the vowels, consonants, and blends that we have learned. It is common for young toddlers to require these routine reinforcements for them to remember these sounds. It is possible that older children will not be able to discriminate between the sounds and will struggle to generate the correct sound when confronted with the/p’, /be, or any other /be sound.
I frequently give youngsters a coloring page with the word on it that they may trace to aid in their learning of new vocabulary. Children are more likely to remember how to pronounce a word correctly if they see visual representations of its sounds. Trying to figure out what the word means
The National Center for Educational Statistics stated that Arabic was the second most common home language for coloring it reinforces this tactile information. To reinforce what students hear, I will write the word on the boards with older students.
Arabic script is similar to cursive in that it is read from the right side of the paper. The cognitive challenge of reverse writing is so great that older students frequently turn in essays rather than turn in reverse writing assignments.
For older students who are comfortable reading and writing Arabic, practicing finding the first page of a book in Arabic can be an excellent approach to improve their proficiency. I frequently work in groups with other Arabic speakers to assist them in finding the first page. The practice of reading and writing in Arabic allows students to become more comfortable.
For younger kids who are studying both English and Arabic at the same time, I remind them at the start of each class period which direction they are working in at that time. Wearing a bracelet or a bright string around their left wrist can help them recall which direction they wish to read or write in.
Students who are older and speak Arabic must also learn to write in English. Written Arabic is a very formal language. Modern Standard Arabic is the language that is used for writing. It is comparable to Classical Arabic in sound and structure. It has remained largely unchanged over the decades. Consider the contrast between speaking in common English and writing in Shakespearean English. That is the case with Arabic-speaking English language learners (ELLs). Students have copied pages from internet sources or cut and pasted them by hand in a state of total panic, according to my observations.
I had an eighth-grade group of Arabic-speaking ELL males who refused to answer any open-ended questions when I asked them. To that end, I enlisted their assistance in creating a new action sequence for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. They weren’t pleased with how the story ended. In small groups of three to four lads, they collaborated on the creation and illustration of their new action sequence. Then they came up with a series of lines that comprised instructions for performers and stunt people.
They found it to be difficult, but also really interesting. When students had completed the project, they were prepared to move on to further writing assignments. They had produced two-page essays by the end of the year and were able to give brief speeches in front of their classmates. When the boys were allowed to write straightforwardly, they established their distinctive voice and began to love the process.
assignments that caught their attention, similar to choice reading.
How a child learns a second language is also affected by their culture
Families and communities are extremely important in Arabic culture. Although working with students of Arabic in small groups may be more convenient, this can result in feelings of isolation.
My observations have revealed that Arabic-speaking students perform better when they are placed in groups with native English speakers, which is consistent with my observations. They gain knowledge of the English language through collaboration and socialization. However, I make certain that my Arabic students who are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated have access to a private location in the room.