x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Adec teachers share best practices

About 750 teachers from Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Al Gharbia listened as 30 of their colleagues presented creative teaching ideas

ABU DHABI // Arabic language teachers are setting aside textbooks in favour of games, technology and competitions to help pupils learn the language of the Quran.

About 750 teachers from Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Al Gharbia listened as 30 of their colleagues shared creative ways to engage pupils in Arabic lessons from kindergarten to Grade 12.

The presentations were part of the first Abu Dhabi Education Council forum for best practices in learning Arabic, which was held on Thursday.

“We should protect our Arabic language. Nobody else will protect it if we don’t,” said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Adec’s director general.

Adec organised the forum after teachers and parents said more needed to be done in classrooms to improve Arabic education.

It rounded up the best and most innovative teaching examples from across its public and private schools, and invited the teachers to share their ideas at the forum, said Dr Karima Al Mazroui, Adec’s curriculum manager.

“We shifted totally from the old style of teaching, from having one textbook, into a plethora of resources,” said Dr Al Mazroui. “We are trying to upskill the teachers to use these new types of teaching.”

The ideas presented included using computer games and inter-classrooms competitions to get pupils interested in Arabic.

“As you saw from the presentations, none of them were using the textbook,” said Dr Al Mazroui. “All of them were trying with resources and games.

“Many of the teachers have to design their own materials because the market does not cater for students, it does not cater for the new kind of teaching.”

Adec is in talks with a local university to develop an Arabic language centre, said Dr Al Khaili.

“This is how to support the education system: studying the social impact, cultural impact, the technology impact, education as pedagogy, how to teach – there’s a lot of dimensions,” he said.

“But we need to set the implementation plan according to the development of the centre. You cannot do everything at the same time, you have to start slowly.

“We started the discussion. We haven’t signed yet, but I hope we will announce it before the end of the academic year.”

Saleha Mohammed, a cycle-one Arabic-language teacher at Ammouria School in Al Ain, said the forum had helped to promote ideas.

“It’s a good idea to give teachers a chance to see their colleagues and what they do in other schools,” said Ms Mohammed.

rpennington@thenational.ae