Based on one of the surveys, it clearly shows that the non-Arab workers are mainly interested in learning Arabic for a cultural reason and to be part of the community.
In this case, the best Arabic course for them would be the one that focuses on teaching techniques that allow them to successfully engage in daily interactions.
This kind of course should avoid teaching them Arabic for academic purpose where acquiring the grammar and writing system of Arabic are the intended goal.
In their case, however, the main goal is to provide them with sufficient Arabic linguistic input that makes them able to converse in Arabic in different social events and understand the cultural value of the common Arabic expressions.
Therefore, IVORY will design a special Arabic course that matches the interests of the Red Sea Company workers.
The materials will include some Saudi Arabic expressions which cannot be found in any published books due to the fact that most Arabic-teaching books were designed to teach Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or Egyptian/Levantine dialects. These kinds of materials will not help us to achieve our goals.
The Pedagogical Perspective:
- The instructor will use the Communicative Approach and select topics that are frequently brought up in Saudi society. The Communicative Approach is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.
- Practicing question forms by asking learners to find out personal information about their colleagues is an example of the communicative approach, as it involves meaningful communication.
- In the classroom
- Classroom activities guided by the communicative approach are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels. As a result there may be more emphasis on skills than systems, lessons are more learner-centered, and there may be use of authentic materials.
Principles of Our Approach:
- Language learning is learning to communicate using the target language.
The language used to communicate must be appropriate to the situation, the roles of the speakers, the setting and the register. The learner needs to differentiate between a formal and an informal style.
Communicative activities are essential. Activities should be presented in a situation or context and have a communicative purpose. Typical activities of this approach are: games, problem-solving tasks, and role-play. There should be information gap, choice and feedback involved in the activities
- Learners must have constant interaction with and exposure to the target language.
Development of the four macroskills — speaking, listening, reading and writing – is integrated from the beginning, since communication integrates the different skills.
The topics are selected and graded regarding age, needs, level, and students’ interest.
Motivation is central. Teachers should raise students’ interest from the beginning of the lesson.
The role of the teacher is that of a guide, a facilitator or an instructor.
Trial and error is considered part of the learning process.
- Evaluation concerns not only the learners’ accuracy but also their fluency.
Main Features and Techniques:
- Meaning is paramount.
- Dialogues, if used, enter around communicative functions and are not normally memorized.
- Contextualization is a basic premise. (Meaning cannot be understood out of context. Teachers using this approach will present a grammar topic in a meaningful context. Example: If the new topic to teach is Present Continuous, the teacher will not mime the action of ‘walking’ and ask: What am I doing? I am walking. Instead, the teacher will show, say, pictures of her last trip and tell the students something like: I have pictures of my vacation. Look, in this picture I am with my friends. We are having lunch at a very expensive restaurant. In this other picture , we are swimming at the beach.
- Language learning is learning to communicate and effective communication is sought. (When learners are Involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.)
Main Features and Techniques:
- Drilling may occur, but peripherally.
- Comprehensible pronunciation is sought.
- Translation may be used where students need or benefit from it.
- Reading and writing can start from the first day.
- Communicative competence is the desired goal (i.e., the ability to use the linguistic system effectively and appropriately).
- Teachers help learners in any way that motivates them to work with the language.
- Students are expected to interact with other people, either in the flesh, through pair and group work.
What we are excepting to achieve in 4 months:
If students come to class three times a week regularly, b. keep their motivations flying high.
- They will comfortably exchange their greetings in Saudi Arabic with their colleagues.
They will acquire the Arabic version of the most frequently used English words in their field of work at the Red Sea Company.
They will be able to fluently place their orders at Arabic restaurants, hotels, and airlines etc…
They will be able to clearly articulate the Arabic sounds.
They will be able to recognize Arabic letters and read them.
- They will be able to express their feelings.
They will be able to comprehend and produce common Saudi Arabic expressions such as invitations, polite refusals and requests.
- They will better understand the Saudi culture through learning the language.