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About Us

Kalamna C.I.C.

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:

  1. Arabic classes with a focus on learning spoken Arabic in an environment which provides a positive image of Arabic culture and identity.
  2. Training teachers and managers and supporting them in planning and delivering high-quality Arabic classes.
  3. 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.

Testimonials

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 Kalamna classes have now become the highlight of my daughter and son’s weekend!

Mona

Kalamna is such an exciting and encouraging environment for my child to learn Arabic! She looks forward to the class every single weekend!

Nada

I love the blend of practising speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar in Kalamna classes. You are bringing so many levels of language education into it but very subtly through making it all fun – just writing their names or colouring in the sheets or reading the stories etc. Really well done I’m impressed and it’s such a help in trying to keep my son interested in Arabic. Especially on the weeks where by Saturday it’s like he will never speak Arabic again and then Sunday afternoon he’s saying “shukran ya mama” with a smile!

Nashwa

I have been engaged with Kalamna CIC since the beginning first as a volunteer and now my son has been attending the classes since he was 6 months old! I cannot recommend it more as it departs from the ‘traditional’ Arabic teaching style to make it more interactive, relevant and FUN! The teaching material is unique as it is tailored to the children’s interests. The class is also a mix of activities, videos, lessons which renders it super exciting – even for a 6 m old baby! Now at almost 2 years, my son recognizes many words in Arabic and that is thanks to Kalamna! thanks for your excellence!

S

I had the pleasure of attending a couple of masterclasses with Dr Saussan Khalil about her method of Arabic phonics, and I found the classes very informative, well-planned, and with enough time for discussions and answering loads of questions on this very innovative method of teaching Arabic. I recommned it to any teacher or parent who wants to make a breakthrough with teaching Arabic to their children.

Rehab

Kalamna classes have been the highlight of the weekends for us. They increased my children’s interest in the Arabic language and Arabic culture. They are very engaged in the class and look forward to playing Kahoot! At the end of each one. We found it to be a very clever way to gauge their understanding, increase their engagement and celebrate their progress. It is very heartwarming to see the healthy competition between the children. We found the online format incredibly effective and efficient. Children are always eager to join the class..and this is all thanks to the fantastic Kalamna team.

Habiba

My two daughters attend Kalamna for Arabic and Islam classes during the weekend, the style of teaching makes these classes really fun for the kids. They are modern, engaging and friendly. Kalamna also makes use of the latest teaching techniques such as Kahoot to create a competitive and exciting atmosphere.

Alaa

My daughter absolutely loves the classes Kalamna offers online and the teaching style is so engaging and fun for the kids. I can see her progressing and becoming more confident in the language. Such a fantastic business!

N

We’ve been doing so much more Arabic literacy activities since we started with you and the children are having a lot of fun!

Cressida

Saussan Khalil

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.

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