Fifteen teachers of Arabic have completed the first online Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) module for educators in Qatar, developed by Qatar Foundation International (QFI) in partnership with the Education Development Institute (EDI).
The four-month TAFL module, launched in December 2016, provided the teachers with 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 23 following a two-day in-person workshop hosted by QFI in Doha.
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, an expert in the field of Arabic language education. Through the TAFL module, Qatar Foundation (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 with the opportunity for hands-on experience and guidance to implement what they learned online. The focus of the two-day workshop 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, 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. 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 held at the Qatar National Convention Centre on April 22.
Based on the success of the first module, 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. 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.