Annenberg Learner & QFI: Arabic Best Practices

Annenberg Learner and QFI partnered to create ‘Teaching Arabic in the United States’ – a free online collection of videos to advance best practices in K-12 Arabic language instruction.

These videos demonstrate what good teaching looks like, highlighting many of the effective practices that real teachers use, and provide examples of successful methods and styles used by teachers in real classrooms. The seven videos feature teachers from different backgrounds, based in regions across the US. Elementary, middle, and high school classes are all represented, in both public and public charter schools.

The videos address some of the greatest needs identified by teachers in the following areas: differentiated instruction; using a learner-centered approach; and integrating instruction of culture, content, and language. Support materials with each video provide insights into lesson design, prompts to connect video content to your teaching, and resources to help teachers develop their own lessons, classroom activities, and teaching materials for a range of student competency levels.

For more information please visit Annenberg Learner website

Teaching Arabic Overview

To begin, watch the “Teaching Arabic Overview” video, which includes excerpts from the lesson videos that capture the range of teaching practices shown in the collection. You will also see reflections from teachers, students, and experts in the field that frame the issues faced by Arabic-language programs.


People Who Help Us

Arabic Grade 1: Khamael Alaloom introduces her class to people who help in the community and teaches students a new letter of the alphabet. She projects images of community helpers and reviews their names and what they do.

Comparing the Weather

Arabic Grade 6: Wael Fawzy’s class learns about weather in the Arab world and practices speaking and writing using dialects. Mr. Fawzy shows slides of the weather in Chicago and Egypt and asks students about the weather in each place and then has them develop questions of their own.

Vegetables We Like

Arabic Grade 2: Rita Lahoud’s Art and Arabic students draw pictures of vegetables they like and don’t like. Students discuss in pairs what they drew and then present their drawings to the full class.

How We Spend Our Free Time

Grade 8, Arabic I: In a unit on hobbies, Katie Quackenbush’s novice-level students practice asking and answering questions about what they like to do in their free time. In a small-group activity, each student picks a card and asks their classmates whether they like doing the activity pictured. Students then poll one another about their free-time activities.

Making Sales Calls

Grades 9 and 11, Arabic I: Eric Bartolotti’s high school class of novice and heritage speakers use basic greetings and express likes and dislikes through a role-playing activity. Students pair off, assuming the roles of telemarketers and prospective customers.

Making Plans

Grades 9–12, Arabic V/VI: First in pairs, and then in groups of four, students converse about what they will be doing in the future. Belal Joundeya presents a scenario in which two celebrities negotiate their busy schedules to agree on a dinner date, and then he role plays a similar situation with a student volunteer.

A Place I Call Home

Grades 9 and 10, Arabic II/III: In a lesson rich with music and visuals, students learn vocabulary to describe the rooms and exterior features of modern and traditional houses in Arab countries. Manar Mayalah introduces the lesson with a song about a “dear little house,” then shows videos of a traditional house in Syria and a modern house in Lebanon.

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