• Share

Teacher Professional Development


The Arabic Language and Culture Initiative (ALC) program supports teachers in the US., Qatar and South America by providing professional development opportunities to those Arabic teachers who wish to learn new methods of instruction and new developments in the field of Arabic language education. In addition to sending teachers to relevant conferences and workshops, ALC supports professional development through Teaching Fellowships, Regional Teacher Councils, and Teacher Training.

Only by strengthening the teaching profession in the United States and Brazil:  providing training and access to professional meetings, supporting advances in curriculum and instruction, and  creating new venues for collaboration, will school programs survive in the long term.

Other areas of ALC include: School Programs, ALC Grants, Summer Arabic Program


Teacher Fellowships

QFI is playing a unique and important role in strengthening the teaching profession in the United States at a time when access to other sources of support are dwindling. With our ALC Teacher Fellowships, we provide K-12 teachers access to receive certification in teaching Arabic as a foreign language (TAFL). During the 2012-2014 academic years, QFI awarded 40 Teacher Fellowships to cover tuition and fees for current or prospective K-12 public school Arabic teachers pursuing certification. With these credentials, teachers will be able to apply their expertise in teaching Arabic language in public or public charter schools in the United States. Please stay tuned to this page for future opportunities.

For Teacher Fellowship applications and deadlines, visit our opportunities page.

Our Teacher Fellows will be attending programs in the following colleges and universities:

Boston University
Brigham Young University
California State University
Colorado State University
Concordia College
DePaul University
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Michigan State University
Middlebury College
National University
The University of Maryland at College Park
The University of Minnesota
The University of Texas at Austin
Wayne State University


Regional Teacher Councils

QFI is supporting the establishment of Arabic Teachers Councils in major metropolitan areas:  Washington DC, Michigan, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  These teachers’ councils will strengthen local Arabic programs by providing a forum for Arabic teachers to network and share ideas and innovative approaches to teaching.  These councils will serve to strengthen community support for Arabic programs by building consensus around approaches to Arabic and a means of outreach to school principles, teachers, and parents. The councils are an essential step in furthering QFI’s goal of strengthening and professionalizing the field of Arabic language education by helping teachers support other teachers and their communities.

In partnership with QFI, the following organizations are establishing Regional Teacher Councils:

George Mason University: - Washington Metro Area

GMU/Qatar Foundation International Teachers’ Council is designed for Washington Metro Area pre and in-service Arabic teachers (K-16) who will be engaged during a calendar year in carefully structured learning sequences including face-to-face and online blended communities of practice that provide critical methodological training. These will include learner-centered approaches to language teaching as highly effective tools for addressing pedagogical issues inherent in less commonly taught languages. The Executive Committee of the GMU teachers' council is comprised of volunteer teachers from public, private, and parochial schools in the DC Metro Area

Western Michigan University: - Michigan

With support from QFI, Western Michigan University has established a Michigan Arabic Teacher’s Council which will serve more than 300 teachers of Arabic concentrated in the Detroit metro area including Dearborn. Dearborn is in the heart of Detroit area, has the most concentrated Arab population outside the Middle East. The council will serve teachers of Arabic in Michigan and specifically Detroit area schools. Partner schools will include: Dearborn Public Schools total 31 schools, 20 Public Academies (Charter) schools, King High School, Detroit, and other community schools. All activities of this council will be determined by the mentioned school teachers of Arabic themselves and based on their own defined professional needs.

DePaul University & The Center for Arabic Language and Culture - Chicago

QFI's Chicago teachers' council is collaboration between the Center for Arabic Language and Culture (CALC) and DePaul University. The Teachers’ Council is organized to serve the needs of K-12 Arabic language teachers and administrators throughout Chicago. The Teachers’ Council will continue to support teachers from all across Chicago to include Islamic school teachers, church teachers, and teachers from the Chicago Public Schools, which is one of the largest groups of public schools in the United States that teaches Arabic. It will provide training, professional development and networking opportunities, while supporting teacher certification in Arabic and encouraging others to join the field of teaching Arabic.

Last year’s QFI grant enabled the Teachers’ Council to reactivate and expand the Arabic teachers’ network in the Chicago area and to reach out to neighboring districts and states, including teachers from Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Both CALC and DePaul collaboratively support the Teachers’ Council in its commitment to enhancing the teaching of Arabic language and culture in K-12 schools by providing curriculum resources, offering teacher professional development, and serving as a clearinghouse for cultural activities.

Read about DePaul's Teachers Council in Newsline

Occidental College Foreign Language Project
- Los Angeles

The Southern California Arabic Language Teacher’s Council (SCALT) is funded by Qatar Foundation International and hosted by the California World Language Project at Occidental College. The goal of the project is to support the teaching of Arabic in Southern California and to provide Arabic language educators from a variety of institutions K-16, private and public, full time and weekend school with a forum to meet, network, share resources and ideas, assist schools that would like to start new programs, reach out to communities and educate them about the Arabic language and culture, and advocate for Arabic language and culture programs in the schools.

SCALTC is led by an Executive Committee that represents a wide variety of institutions and regions at public and private elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities as well as non-profit and public service organizations. The Southern California Arabic Language Teacher Council successfully completed its first year with over 217 members, delivered multiple activities and services for Arabic language teachers across Southern California.

To learn more and apply for the Teacher Council Grant, visit QFI's Schools and Institution opportunities page. 


Teacher Training

... In the United States

For U.S.-based teachers, QFI holds a series of training institutes each year. While we focus on teachers from QFI-supported school programs, we also provide opportunities to teachers from other schools.

In summer 2012, QFI sponsored a unique summer professional development institute in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota and Concordia Language Villages. Teachers participating in the institute took part in graduate-level classes focused on cutting-edge language teaching practices and methodologies. In addition to coursework, participants observed and participated in the Arabic language and culture immersion program at Concordia Language Villages.

QFI also conducted its own 3rd Annual Summer Training Institute for teacher’s from QFI’s school programs. The institute, held in August 2012 in Washington, DC hosted 31 teachers from around the country for a series of hands-on workshops over five days. In addition, since teacher training in the United States in generally restricted to the summer, we are finding innovative ways to bolster training during the academic year as well, such as biweekly online mentoring sessions with master teachers.

QFI regularly offers education and travel grants to outstanding teachers involved in Arabic language education. For example, QFI grants Dora Johnson Awards annually for K to 12 Arabic teachers who wish to attend the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Stay tuned to this page for upcoming opportunities.

... In Qatar

The Supreme Education Council (SEC) has asked QFI for assistance in improving the teaching of Arabic in schools in Qatar. QFI’s ALCI Program Advisory Group, which consists of leading experts, is making recommendations to the SEC. One of the advisors, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal (University of Texas), author of the leading U.S. textbook on learning Arabic, and Dr. Carine Allaf (QFI) travelled to Qatar in March to confer with the Supreme Education Council and the language institute that will be part of the new Interpretation and Translation Institute at Education City.

... In South America

In Brazil, there is little professional development or infrastructure available for teachers of Arabic, rendering QFI’s role in teacher training unique and indispensable. ALC provides professional-development opportunities to Arabic teachers seeking innovative methods of instruction and new developments in their field. In Brazil, QFI runs weekly training sessions via teleconference and arranges for consultants to observe teachers in their classrooms and offer suggestions. QFI also funds professional-development travel, allowing teachers to attend training programs, observe other teaching styles, and work on curriculum-development projects. 



Profiles in Courage: United For Syria

17-year-old QFI Community Service Grantee, Abdulhassib Al-Jandali, sheds light on the humanitarian crisis in Syria through his campaign United For Syria. For more information about the campaign: fb.com/united4syria | @unitedf0rsyria

Profiles in Courage: An Interview with UNHCR

While visiting refugee camps in the Beqaa Valley, QFI spoke to Lisa Abu Khaled, Public Information Assistant at UNHCR Lebanon. Lisa spoke about the challenges and hardships of being displaced and everyday life in the camps.

The Road to Doha

QFI's Road to Doha program helped train and bring together youth from Qatar, the U.S., Brazil and Argentina to better understand and develop solutions to critical global issues and to more effectively raise environmental awareness.

The Future We Want

In June 2012, Youth Ambassadors for Science and the Environment traveled to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Caravelas and Abrohlos National Marine Park before heading to Rio+20 Earth Summit.

YALLAH: Commit to Action, Minnesota

QFI selected 36 students from Brazil, Qatar and the U.S. to participate in the National Service-Learning Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Madeleine Albright Visits Lindblom

On April 10, 2012, Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited QFI's partner school, Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

Concordia Language Villages

In summer of 2011, QFI established a partnership with Concordia Language Villages. 31 youth from 20 different schools attended 2 or 4-week sessions at Al Waha, the Arabic Language Village.

QFI / WeVideo Behind the Scenes

The video that launched SXSW Film, highlighting QFI student filmmakers who collaborated on short water films.

QFI Celebrates Foreign Language Week

QFI's Executive Director speaks about the importance of learning another language.

BtoQ Compilation Video

Check out all five "Brazil to Qatar" National Geographic student videos in one compilation.

"Women" during the BtoQ Exchange

Brazilian and Qatari students worked with National Geographic instructors during the Brazil to Qatar exchange to create a short piece on women.

"People and Nature" during the BtoQ Exchange

Brazilian and Qatari students worked with National Geographic instructors during the Brazil to Qatar exchange to create a short piece on people and nature.

Behind the Scenes at Brazil to Qatar: One World, Many Stories

A behind the scenes look at the #BtoQ exchange program that brought 22 high school students from Brazil to meet their counterparts in Qatar.

From Chicago to Doha: Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science

Learn about students from Chicago's Lindblom Math and Science Academy who went on QFI's exchange trip to Qatar.

Chicago2Doha Media Projects

39 students from 3 schools in Chicago and Qatar came together for the Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science trip. Students told their reflections of the trip through images, video and sound.

Glass Blowing at Chihuly's Studio: YALLAH 2011

QFI students in Seattle as part of the YALLAH cultural exchange trip in 2011 were invited to world-renowned glass blower Dale Chihuly's studio.

Sir Richard Branson speaks to Earth Day Qatar 2011

Earth Day Qatar 2011 was the premier event in the region, featuring speakers, discussions, workshops, and a special video message by Sir Richard Branson.

Meet our Brazilian students

Arabic Language and Culture in Sao Paolo - meet the Brazilian students and administrators of this program.

Crossing the divide

Watch as students from QFI partner schools in Washington DC and Boston tell their story of language learning and cultural exchange.

Our mission and the astrolabe

With its rich and varied history, the Astrolabe represents education, science, innovation and diversity. Highlighted in this video, these values underscore QFI's vision and programs.

The Universe: BYU-based Arabic language program receives grant

The National Middle East Language Resource Center at Brigham Young University, in collaboration with the Utah Arabic K-12 Teacher Association, has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Qatar Foundation International.

Read Article

QFI Blog: Ilaa al-liqaa’

In the fall of last year, BAA introduced an Arabic language and culture class with support from Qatar Foundation International (QFI), a US organization devoted to promoting cooperation across boundaries through education.

Read Post

Social Feed