We are a UK-based social enterprise and Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) set up for the benefit of Arabic-speaking families. Our activities include:
- Arabic classes with a focus on learning spoken Arabic in an environment which provides a positive image of Arabic culture and identity
- Training teachers and managers and supporting them in planning and delivering high-quality Arabic classes
- Developing dialect-based resources to support learning Arabic, using sound pedagogical research and practice
How does it work?
Our classes are divided into stages based on age. Our youngest learners learn with their parents in a play and singing group environment. We sing new and traditional songs, read stories, colour and play games in spoken Arabic, before starting to learn the alphabet. By the time the children are confident using their spoken Arabic, we start our Arabic Phonics programme and start to bridge between spoken and Standard, formal Arabic. Our oldest children are working towards sitting for GCSE Arabic exams.
Why Spoken Arabic?
It’s the language we use to communicate with family and friends, listen to songs, and watch films and shows. And we realise there is a lack of support for bilingual Arabic-speaking families trying to teach their children everyday spoken Arabic so we provide high quality classes for children and adults to learn about Arabic language and culture. We use singing, storytelling, drama, crafts, games and more! Our fun, engaging activities are designed to do the seemingly impossible – make Arabic learning fun.
Social events and gatherings add to our sense of community as we realise we are not alone in the struggle to raise bilingual children, and children make friends and realise they are not alone either – so everyone wins!
What about Standard Arabic?
We believe the best way to learn Standard Arabic is by learning spoken Arabic first. Once we master everyday conversational language, we can make the bridge to reading and writing formally in Standard Arabic. We have developed our own curriculum to do this based on current research and teaching methodology.
A dream come true for me and my children (aged 6 and 3). I am so happy they can finally learn Arabic in such a fun and stimulating way, we have been attending since January 2015 and I can honestly say Ahlan classes have now become the highlight of my daughter and son’s weekend!
Founder, Director & Teacher
Saussan is an experienced Arabic as a Foreign Language teacher, with a PhD in Arabic Studies and MA by Research in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) from the University of Leeds, and a Certificate of Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (CTAFL) from SOAS, London. Saussan teaches at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and is a Cambridge Research in Community Language Education Network (CRiCLE) School Research Advisory Board member.