Teachers of Arabic in Qatar Receive Professional Development Support Through a Partnership Between Qatar Foundation International and the Education Development Institute
Arabic language teachers in Qatar receive professional development opportunities via a new online asynchronous module on teaching Arabic as a second/foreign language followed by in-person workshops.
QATAR/WASHINGTON D.C. – April 23, 2017: Qatar Foundation International (QFI), in partnership with the Education Development Institute (EDI), developed and launched the first online Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) module for educators of the Arabic language in Qatar in December 2016. Over the course of four months, the module provided 15 teachers of Arabic the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and expertise in strategies for teaching Arabic as a second or foreign language. The online courses concluded on April 20th to coincide with a two-day in-person workshop hosted by QFI in Doha, Qatar, ahead of the EDI Teaching and Learning Forum.
The TAFL module consists of seven units dedicated to topics that help teachers enhance their knowledge and understanding of key strategies to implement in teaching learners of Arabic as a second or foreign language. The courses consist of interactive presentations, prompts for reflection, readings, links to external resources on the arabicalmasdar.com site, and an online discussion forum supervised by Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal, a premier expert in the field of Arabic language education. Through the TAFL module, QF high school teachers of Arabic 2 learned critical topics such as integration of assessment and lesson planning, providing learners with comprehensible input, learner-centered instruction strategies, and approaches for meeting diverse learners’ needs, integration of culture, and more.
The in-person workshop served as a follow-up to the online module, providing the teachers the opportunity for hands-on experience and guidance to implement what they learned online. The focus of the two-day workshops was applied aspects of pedagogical strategies addressed in the module topics. At the end of the second day, the teachers left with a strong grasp of the strategies learned, as well as their own long-term professional development plan focused on Arabic language education, created by their own self-assessment and with guidance from the facilitators.
QFI Arabic Teacher, Katie Quackenbush, of Boston Arts Academy, and Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal, QFI’s language expert and advisory board member, guided the teachers’ reflections on each chapter of the module and also facilitated the in-person workshops. Additionally, Dr. Al-Batal was selected as one of the speakers for EDI’s Teaching and Learning Forum.
Based on the success of the first, a second phase of the TAFL module will be developed to provide a deep-dive into some of the larger topics explored in the first module. The purpose of the second phase is to impart the educators with further refined teaching expertise to take back to their classrooms and schools in Qatar.