Resources for learning and teaching Arabic

January 7, 2014

https://i0.wp.com/img.ehowcdn.com/article-new-thumbnail/ehow/images/a05/6m/ih/learn-arabic-writing-800x800.jpgThis semester I am involved in a Calgary Board of Education (CBE) pilot project to teach Arabic in a blended learning course at the high school level. I’ve been working with a fantastic team of educators comprised of an instructional designer, a curriculum development specialist and a native speaker of Arabic who will take on the challenge of helping the students learn. Here are some resources for others who are interested in teaching or learning Arabic online.

20 Free online resources for teaching and learning Arabic

Professional Resources for K-12 Arabic Educators (Harvard University) – http://cmes.hmdc.harvard.edu/files/NEAAT15Oct2011Materials.pdf

Arabic K-12 Teachers Network – http://www.arabick12.org/materials/websites/teacher_sites.html

American Association of Teachers of Arabic (Resources page) – http://aataweb.org/arabic_resources

Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (Arabic) – http://www.coerll.utexas.edu/coerll/projects/arabic

Becker’s Arabic page – http://www.uni.edu/becker/arabic.html

National Middle East Language Resource Center – http://nmelrc.org/Arabic

E-Arabic Learning – http://www.dur.ac.uk/daniel.newman/elearn.html

Arabic Voices (Listening comprehension) – University of Texas at Austin – http://www.laits.utexas.edu/aswaat/index.php

Arabic Online – http://www.arabiconline.eu/resources/

University of London Language Centre – Arabic Resources – http://www.soas.ac.uk/languagecentre/teachers/resources/arabic/

UCLA Language Materials Project (Various entries for Arabic Resources) – http://www.lmp.ucla.edu/Default.aspx

National Capital Language Resource Center (Arabic) – http://www.nclrc.org/teaching_materials/materials_by_language/arabic.html

Comprehensive list of resources from Mohamed Esa, McDaniel College – http://www2.mcdaniel.edu/german/startalk-arabic/ArabicLanguageCultureResources..pdf

National Foreign Language Center – Online Reading Skills Lessons in Arabic – http://readarabic.nflc.org/?page=to_the_learner

Arabic Language Resource website – http://www.azifoon.com/arabic-learners/online.htm

Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE) – Arabic resources – https://sites.google.com/a/share.epsb.ca/languages-epsb-ca/arabic/opportunities-for-parents

Language Acquisition Resource Center – Arabic – http://larc.sdsu.edu/arabic/

Teachers of Critical Languages (Arabic) – http://www.tclprogram.org/TCLP/lessonPlansBrowse.php?cat=233&programCat=1

Arabic Without Walls (UC Davis) – http://arabicwithoutwalls.ucdavis.edu/aww/

We Love Arabic (blog) – http://welovearabic.wordpress.com/

Bonus resources (books)

Ryding, K. C. (2013). Teaching and learning Arabic as a foreign language. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Find out more at: http://press.georgetown.edu/book/languages/teaching-and-learning-arabic-foreign-language

Wahba, K. M., Taha, Z. A., & England, L. (2006). Handbook for Arabic language teaching professionals in the 21st century. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


A Phoenix rises as a new school opens

May 6, 2013

Last week I was honoured to be invited to the official opening of the Captain Nichola Goddard School in Calgary. Located in the North Central community of Panorama Hills, the school is currently home to 560 students, with the capacity for up to 1000.

The children of the school voted on the phoenix as the animal to represent their school. The school opening event began with a student performance about the symbol of the phoenix: a proud, honest animal who rises from the ashes. The ashes represent the school’s namesake, Captain Nichola Goddard, the first female Canadian soldier who was killed in combat. She was killed in Afghanistan on May 17, 2006.

Nichola’s father, Dr. J. Tim Goddard,was my Ph.D. supervisor. Like his daughter, and the rest of the family, Tim is an inspirational leader. With both feet firmly grounded in reality, Tim’s jovial personality is complemented with wit, hope and a no-nonsense approach to life. Even though he has worked in various high-level administrative positions at different universities, such as Dean and Vice-Provost International, Tim is just as comfortable kicking back and watching a game of rugby. He wears his suits with ease, but whenever he sits down, you can see his trademark quirk  — brightly colored socks with a pattern. (On the day of the school opening he was wearing yellow polka dot socks.) Tim’s socks serve a reminder not to take life (or ourselves) too seriously.

After Nichola was killed, her parents and sisters set out to do what they do best… use the resources they have to make the world a better place. They began the Nichola Goddard Foundation, from which they do international work, as well as support scholarships for university students. One of the elements of Tim’s leadership that I have always admired is his ability to leverage resources that he can’t control. Through the foundation, he partners with the Light Up the World foundation on the collaborative Light Up Papua New Guinea project. The project aims to bring solar-powered LED lights to medical aid stations throughout Papua New Guinea. The project makes medical treatment possible during the hours of darkness in regions where there is no electricity. This has a particularly powerful impact on women giving birth during the night hours, as it means that the medical workers can ensure the safety of both mother and baby during the birthing process. The location of the project is significant. It is where Tim and his wife Sally met and where Nichola was born.

During Tim’s speech at the school opening, he shared that the Light Up Papua New Guinea project has now helped two million people in that country.

The students of the Captain Nichola Goddard school are highly aware of their school’s namesake. Her photo is posted in the school and the students know her story. They also know about the good work being done by the foundation that the family has set up. One of the most touching moments of the school opening was the presentation of the cheque from the school to the foundation for over $4000. The students raised the funds themselves through the sale of baked and hand-made goods, as well as a donation campaign they called “nickels for Nichola”.

Logo Captain Nichola Goddard SchoolThe school has been open since last August and its inaugural students are about to finish up their first year of studies at the school. The official school opening date was symbolic. The school had its official opening ceremonies on the Nichola would have celebrated her 33rd birthday. A Phoenix rises.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


German sign language – Resources and tips

August 29, 2012

Did you know that not all countries in the world share a universal sign language? Today’s post is in honour of my friend, Meike Thomesen, who is the Assistant Principal at Bowcroft Elementary, Calgary’s only German bilingual school. Meike just came back from an intensive training program for in-service German teachers. The course was held in Germany. Part of their training involved PD to teach the German language to children by complementing the spoken language with sign language. What a super idea!

If you teach German, here are some resources to help you learn about German sign language:

DGS Korpus – A corpus of German sign language texts. This is a long-term project of the Academy of Sciences in Hamburg for documenting and researching the German Sign Language (DGS).

Basic German sign language – You Tube video with English sub-titles

German Sign Language Numbers – YouTube video

AlphaDictionary – A very cool, multilingual sign language resource site

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Enrollment in Calgary French classes drops by over 10,000 students

October 20, 2011

Today the Calgary Herald reported that 10,517 fewer students are studying French in our city this year. This came after the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) decided to make French an optional subject. (I blogged about it on April 24 of this year.)

As a result, 24 school principals in Calgary decided to cut French from their school’s programs. That meant that even if children at those schools wanted to study French, they could not. There were simply no French classes offered.

As a result, there was a 30% drop in enrollments and the school board is being critiqued by parents, researchers and ordinary citizens for not allowing our city’s children to study our country’s other official language.

What did they think would happen?

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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