I attended a Teaching Arabic Grammar workshop for university and school teachers at Leeds University on 22-24 July 2019. We were 25 participants from the UK, Europe and the USA. Our excellent facilitators were Rasha Soliman and Amanda Howard. Read about Day 1 here.
We started with a lively warm up game. One person sat at the front and the teacher wrote a sentence on the behind the student, which the student couldn’t see. The rest of the class had to make them say the sentence written on the board, as it is, using anything but the words on the board. It was a great activity that can also be used at the end of a lesson.
6 Principles of Exemplary Teaching
Next, we learned about the 6 principles of exemplary teaching:
- Know your learners
- Create conditions for language learning
- Design high quality language lessons
- Adapt lesson delivery as needed
- Monitor and assess student language development
- Engage and collaborate within a community of practice
Introducing Hollow Verbs
Then came my favourite and most memorable task in the three days. It was to introduce the hollow verb rule. It starts with the present tense, which works like a regular present tense verb.
We were asked to write about Abdul Qadir’s routine, using all or most of the verbs given.
After we finished writing the story, we were presented with the teacher’s version:
The teacher then told us that Abdul Qadir sadly passed مات and read his obituary, which was his routine in the past tense. We noticed what happened to the verbs in the past tense. Students would then be asked to rewrite their own versions in the past tense.
You can also get students to drill in pairs, with one student saying a verb in the present tense and the other repeating it in the past tense.
You can introduce the first-person vowel-shortening rule in the next lesson. Students can write their stories in the first person.
Remember to always integrate the four skills. After planning a lesson, go back and check if the four skills have been covered.
Flipped classroom model
Instead of asking Ss to read a text before class, set a research/reading task related to the topic (resistance at first then they see the benefit), combine with collaborative approach i.e. divide into groups to research/discuss together
If you follow the PPP (Presentation-Practice-Production) model, don’t forget about the final stage, Production. It’s easy to prepare and deliver the first two stages, Presentation and Practic, but it’s often the third stage, Production that gets overlooked. It is also the stage that helps students consolidate and remember the target language the most.
Why deliver the Production stage in this way? Studies have shown that we learn better this way:
And in order to learn better, we discussed some great ideas for engaging practice activities (note that Practice is different to Production!)
Have you heard of Dictogloss? It’s sort of an updated version of dictation but with quite different aims. It’s a great activity for teaching the masdar:
Other ideas for specific grammar points include:
- Spot the difference speaking activity for teaching Haal: use pictures and describe people doing things in certain ways
- Active participle: brainstorm verbs that describe moving from one place to another and verbs that have no physical movement. Then explain in Arabic they are AP not verb, and finally describe a picture.
All in all another interesting and informative day, introducing lots of practical examples of activities for practicing new grammar!
What do you think? Leave a comment or question below!