Expanding Minds and Stretching Language Skills with Arabic Yoga

Qatar Foundation International Names Winners of #ArabicYoga Contest and Releases Arabic Yoga Lesson Plan

May 22nd, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC – And the winner is…. Kalimah Programs for Arabic Language, Culture, and Arts, in Rockville, Maryland! After receiving almost 50 percent of the votes, Qatar Foundation International (QFI) declared Kalimah Programs the winner of its #ArabicYoga contest. The program received $500 for additional classroom resources.

The first Arabic dual-immersion program, which is based at Arabic Immersion Magnet School (AIMS) in Texas, teaches basic Arabic vocabulary and is sponsored by QFI. The practice of yoga is a fun and effective way to teach the language.

Across the U.S., students and teachers have uploaded photos and videos of themselves to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, describing their favorite word in Arabic with a yoga pose.

“For the contest, the kids were excited to come up with a new pose that involves group work,”said Layali Eshqaidef, Founder and President of Kalimah Programs. ” Just like the letters, we work together to make Arabic come to life and integrate it into our everyday lives. We plan to use the money as scholarships for families with limited income to help them access programs and opportunities for learning Arabic.”

QFI also released a lesson plan on Arabic Yoga in Arabic and in English. The lesson plan, written by Eden Bass of the Arabic Immersion Magnet School in Texas, helps elementary Arabic teachers. The lesson plan is available for use and adaptation in English and Arabic here.

Maggie Mitchell Salem, QFI’s executive director said, “QFI is proud to support new and creative methods in Arabic pedagogy. Combining physical education with language learning is essential to keep students engaged in the classroom! Innovatively incorporating language in early education is a seamless way to integrate a critical 21st Century skill.”

Arabic is the fastest-growing second language in the United States, and has helped American students pursue careers in business, journalism, diplomacy and national security. QFI sees language as a fabric to connect cultures, and has partnered with 24 K-12 schools across the country.