We see language and culture as inextricably connected. So when we offer access to Arabic language programs for primary and secondary school students, we also ensure that their teachers have resources on the history, societies, and cultures of the Arab world that enhance their students’ understanding. Our support provides opportunities for students, offers ongoing professional development for teachers, and develops the institutional capacity of organizations that teach Arabic.
QFI’s teacher professional development promotes the STARTALK-endorsed Principles for Effective Teaching and Learning. These principles include student-centered instruction, use of authentic materials, incorporation of Arab culture in the classroom, alignment with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, and adoption of student tasks situated in realistic contexts.
Teachers in QFI-supported Arabic language classes teach communicative skills that prepare students to function effectively in the real world. This means focusing on the various modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational, as well as intercultural communication. To realize these goals and allow students to develop their communication skills, we encourage teaching Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and colloquial varieties together in the classroom, from first-year Arabic onward. This is line with ACTFL National Standards for Foreign Language Education.