Tips and valuable pointers for learning the Arabic language:
1.) Set goals and intentions:
Make and set clear goals for yourself and your children. The main purpose for learning Arabic is to instill love of The Qur’an and to connect to The Qur’an on a more intimate level.
2.) Make Arabic fun! :
Arabic doesn’t have to be limited strictly to a classroom setting. Arabic is a language, and needs to be treated like any other language. Make learning Arabic fun through various activities such as playing games, creating arts, and crafts. Make it creative and your children will enjoy learning Arabic!
3.) How to approach learning Arabic:
Languages are generally learned through the commonly known four language skills: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.
Speaking: Often considered to be one of the toughest skills for some. In order to expose your child to speaking, you can create your own Arabic speaking environments to help your child learn the language through play dates, clubs, classes and at home with the family. If parents are not fluent themselves, do not despair. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and grow along with your child.
Listening: Since classical/ modern Arabic is not found to be spoken, you will need to provide your children with other ways to hearing the language. Arabic cartoons are often highly recommended because they provide your children with the ability to hear the language in a child friendly manner.
Reading: Based on our own journey and experience with raising our children to be fluent in the Arabic language, we cannot stress how much reading books has played a role in nurturing the Arabic language at home. As parents, we ensure that our children read books in English to give them the fluency and understanding of the English language; well the same process must be used for learning Arabic. Reading books in Arabic is one way to help remove the distant gap that many children feel towards the Arabic language. The more Arabic is introduced to your child, the less awkward the Arabic language will become.
Writing: The ability to write in Arabic comes with the more knowledge of the Arabic language one has. This is when having an Arabic curriculum can be beneficial and is recommended. In order for your child to be able to write in Arabic, they will need to grasp the understanding of some basic grammatical sentence structures.
Grammar and Vocabulary: Both go hand and hand. You cannot study grammar without learning vocabulary words and vice versa. I recommend introducing grammar similar to the way it is taught in many Arabic speaking countries. Start with your child learning basic Arabic vocabulary words first then as you are learning more Arabic words begin to add in grammar rules step by step.
4.) Resources: Make sure you have Arabic resources available at home. The more handy and available Arabic is at home, the more you may find your children interested in learning the language inshaAllah.
5.) The 3 P’s ….Practice, Patience and Prayer: This is my motto for pretty much everything and anything in life.
Practice: Practice makes perfect! You can spend an hour a week in a classroom learning Arabic, but if you do not practice and get enough required exposure, you will not reach your goal at understanding Arabic.
Patience: In everything we do in our lives it requires patience. Throughout The Quran, Allah ta’alaa has mentioned Sabr (patience). Learning a language doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to be patient in the time and effort it may take to learn.
Prayer: We cannot do anything without the power of duaa (prayer/supplication). Make sincere duaa for seeking knowledge. As reported by Anas bin Malik – Radi Allaahu anhu – that he heard the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- supplicating:
اللهم انفعني بما علمتني وعلمني ما ينفعني وارزقني علما تنفعني به
‘O Allah benefit me with what You have taught me, and teach me that which will benefit me, and grant me knowledge which will benefit me.’
TMH Homeschooling Resources:
Arabic Readers Book Club: Connecting children to the Arabic language through our Arabic Readers book club. Children read books together while doing many activities to help learn and grasp the language in a Fusha speaking environment.
Alif2Yaa Bookstore: Inspired and created with the young readers at heart, Alif2Yaa, is an online children’s Arabic bookstore offering children proper resources and books to meet and conquer the challenges that our children face living in North America. Raising children to be fluent Arabic speakers can be done with the right resources. Alif2Yaa, is bringing back the importance of the Arabic language to our communities by promoting Arabic literacy as a means to gaining knowledge of the language of The Qur’an.
The best way to select appropriate Arabic books for your child is to go based on their fluency and comprehension level. The Alif2Yaa bookstore makes it easy for parents to select appropriate material according to your child’s fluency, reading ability, and comprehension level as our books are categorized by level rather than selecting books based on age.
Passionately in love with the Arabic language as it is the language of the Qur’an. Dedicated to raising my children to be Arabic speakers so that they will have an immense connection to the Qur’an. Striving to preserve the language while spreading the importance of holding on to a much needed revival of its love.- Ayesha Rahmaan