Loving the Arabic Language – Challenges & Tips

 

Lately, one of the things that brightens my day is when my kids initiate speaking in Arabic with me. It is truly a joyful moment to listen to their words and see them trying to remember their Arabic letters and numbers. This was definitely not the case a few months ago. It was a struggle to get them to even listen to me in Arabic.

Although we are native Arabic speakers and live in a country where Arabic is the primary language, new generations are speaking the language less due to the ease and availability of English everywhere in their academic and social and even virtual lives. Arabic is perceived as a “difficult” language and I try my best every day to show my children that this is a false myth. We try to make learning Arabic alphabet fun and exciting.

Some ways to help instill a love for the Arabic language worked for my family, while others failed miserably. I will share a few tips to help struggling parents who want their children to speak Arabic happily and with ease.

  1. Learn the facts: One of the most beautiful things about children is their boundless curiosity, especially at a young age. I can safely say I answer about 30 random and spontaneous questions per kid per day! I tried to give them one interesting fact about the Arabic language every few days and their interest peaked. They started asking me questions about it and I knew it was the right time to focus on immersing them in it. Share facts with your kids about the number of countries where Arabic language is an official language, the increasing number of people that speak it around the world (anything with the word million is fascinating to them) and its different dialects. Talk about the richness of the Arabic letters and alphabet and its history.
  2. Start them young: Learning any language at a young age is more productive than learning it later as the brain is like a sponge in the earlier years. As the brain comprehends and absorbs information easier and faster, learning Arabic at an early stage can make a great difference.
  3. Location does matter: Learning Arabic while living in an Arabic speaking country makes the process easier in many aspects, especially if the home environment provides support in having the language presented to the kids in various ways throughout the day. My mistake with my spouse was using the English language around our kids, which created the struggle to use Arabic in the first place. If you are lucky enough to be living in a country where the Arabic language is used in their daily lives, take advantage and immerse them in Arabic music and movies and books every single day. Associating Arabic words with the culture creates a connection that sparks their interest and develops a love for the language.
  4. Make learning attractive: Traditional learning methods are proving to be boring to kids these days. Sadly, picking up an Arabic story and reading it for pleasure is something I have yet to conquer with my kids. A great alternative that appeals to the “tech generation” was using an Arabic Language learning app. Most children today prefer using audio books and reading Arabic stories on their iPad. “I Read Arabic” was immediately a winner as it focuses on reading and improving literacy and language learning outcomes by providing children with hundreds of award-winning books of all genres combined with a gamified experience that kids love. Kids love games and rewards regardless of the language, so I used that to get them excited about it in the first place. Additionally, it was important to find an app that caters to every child’s level while also being aligned with their curriculum (and global curriculums) at school. “I Read Arabic” is easy to use and my kids love reading books and playing educational games on it.

Watch Arabic cartoons with your kids and take them to Arabic restaurants, make the learning journey fun and celebrate their application and understanding of the Arabic language whenever you can.

Try these tips and send an email to info@littlethinkingminds.com with any other tips that worked for you!

 

I Read Arabic app is available on both Google Play and App Store

For more info please visit: https://app.ireadarabic.com

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