Although English, French, and Spanish have occupied a large share of foreign language learning, other languages are gaining ground. A typical example is Arabic. More schools, institutions, recruiters, and individuals are taking great interest in Arabic and are creating teaching and learning opportunities for native and non-native Arabic speakers.
Given the increasing demand and popularity, it is safe to say that Arabic has a bright future in foreign language learning and is an asset that should be invested in.
So, how do you utilize this opportunity? How do you become a certified Arabic teacher? Where and how can you fine-tune your Arabic speaking? The essence of this article is to answer these questions and many others that you may have asked while considering this career path.
Know Your Arabic Level
Arabic isn’t just a rich and historical language; it is also a unique and broad one. This, you would discover as you learn the language and grow in your career as an Arabic teacher. The comprehensive and diversified Arabic language comes in different dialects – Egyptian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Lebanon, Saudi, and Middle East Arabic and the conventional and modern Arabic taught and learnt in schools. These dialects have varying word pronunciations, spellings, and phrases, etc.
Most individuals who speak Arabic are more familiar with the Arabic vocabulary in the Qur’an than they are with the spoken dialects in different parts of the world. However, only a few of them know this, especially non-native Arabic speakers. Although this is good and commendable, it isn’t enough if you intend to become a certified Arabic teacher.
Native or non-native, before you can begin your journey to becoming a certified Arabic teacher, you need to know the specific dialect you speak, whom you can communicate with, countries that speak similar dialects, and how well you speak Arabic. You can access your fluency level by taking assessments or tests online. Through these online test platforms, you can accurately assess your proficiency in spoken and written Arabic.
Teaching the Arabic Language in the US and Canada
There are various foreign language teaching and learning opportunities in countries such as the United States and Canada. Although these countries offer more options for English, French, and Spanish language teachers, they still give room for language teachers who teach difficult and less popular languages such as Arabic, Japanese, etc. These opportunities are available to you, regardless of whether you are a native or non-native Arabic speaker.
With the increasing demand and popularity of the Arabic language, more and more people in the US and Canada are developing a huge interest in learning and understanding it. However, with this increasing demand, there are only a few Arabic teachers, instructors, and professors in these countries leaving you with more job opportunities.
As an Arabic teacher in these countries, you can take private lessons, teach as a private or public-school teacher, teach in universities, volunteer your service in large organisations, or teach Arabic in special foreign language schools. You will also enjoy the freedom of choosing your rate.
Individuals who would opt to learn Arabic in the US and Canada are expected to be non-natives, and teaching them Arabic may be a bit difficult for you. To effectively teach your students, you may need to adapt to their culture, study their learning speed and capacity, and adopt new teaching strategies and approaches. Adjusting these strategies would make your teaching experience smoother and better, depending on your student’s age group and level.
Arabic Qualifications for Various Levels
Just like any other foreign language, learning Arabic doesn't come about quickly. Regardless of the institution where it is taught, it takes an average of 4 to 5 years to attain fluency and complete studies to earn a degree in Arabic or become a certified Arabic teacher.
Whether you intend to become an Arabic instructor, teacher, language assistant, or professor, you need to acquire a certain degree of training to become qualified to hold any of these positions. This training involves taking courses and acquiring degrees that would enable you to obtain your Arab teaching certification.
- Bachelor's Degree
As an Arabic teacher, you can find opportunities to teach beginner, intermediate, and some advanced level Arabic courses to students. This allows you to teach majorly high-school students, in religious institutions, special language schools, and volunteer associations. If you want to become an Arabic teacher, you should earn yourself a bachelor's degree in Arabic studies or foreign languages.
Obtaining a bachelor's degree in Arabic studies, foreign and regional languages and civilization is one of the best and fastest way to obtain your teaching certificate. By undergoing this course (acquiring the degree), you will learn Arabic's oral, grammatical, and written aspects. Also, you will be taught Arabic literature, phonetics, linguistics, and the culture and history of Arabic (its civilization).
During your study, you can also take other courses to increase your skills and knowledge of teaching and Arabic. Courses on documentation, the teaching profession, translation, and several others can be taken to improve your specialization and boost your performance as an Arabic teacher.
- Language Degree
A bachelor's degree in an applied foreign language is an excellent choice for individuals who intend to work at a professional level. That is, with large volunteer associations, governmental and non-governmental institutions, and organizations. This degree is centered on preparing the students for the practical application of the Arabic language within a professional environment. You can implement or practically apply your acquired knowledge in different industries through this course, depending on the sector(s) you have specialized in.
- Diploma or Doctorate
If you will like to teach all levels, including advanced-level students in colleges or universities, religious institutions, specialized language schools, and large volunteer organizations, attaining a diploma or doctorate is an excellent way to begin your journey.
In addition to a diploma or doctorate, previous experiences as an Arabic interpreter, instructor, or teacher, and obtaining a bachelor's and master's degree boost your chances of becoming an Arabic professor. Attaining this level of expertise exposes you to bigger and better opportunities for teaching the language and its culture and other related necessities.
The level of education you achieve greatly determines the type, age group, and level of students you can teach. It also influences how much of Arabic you can comfortably teach and the opportunities you can access based on your experience and qualifications.
Tools for Teaching Arabic Language
There are several tools you can use to teach your students the Arabic language effectively. The tools used are highly dependent on students' level, course type, teaching environment, or platforms. Technology has also made teaching and learning more comfortable by providing advanced tools for teachers and students to utilize.
Arabic is a complex language and would require more than the conventional teaching strategies, tools, and methods to help your students learn Arabic successfully. Today, learning this complex language has been simplified using apps, websites, and other technologies.
- Music and videos
Music and videos can be listened to and watched anywhere, whether your classroom is online or offline. These tools make learning more exciting and also improve the learning ability and speed of your students.
The kind of music or videos you use will depend on the course type and the level of students you teach. You can make your presentations into creative and exciting videos to enhance learning. Also, videos made can be posted on platforms like YouTube for easy access and also as a way to make some extra cash.
- Apps and websites
Mobile phones, tablets, computers, apps, and websites can be accessed wherever and whenever. Tons of apps and websites offer free Arabic lessons to their users. Depending on your choice, you can study these websites and apps, identify one that you think maybe essential to your students, and recommend your findings to them.
With apps and websites like these, students can learn faster, diversify their learning, take guided practices, and learn at their own pace. Some popular foreign language teaching apps include Duolingo, FluentU, Memrise, etc. Educational websites where your students can broaden their knowledge of Arabic include Quizlet, etc.
- Online lectures
With online courses, you can conduct regular lectures with your students in their various locations. This way, students can learn from other sources and ask questions concerning the Arabic language's literature, customs, and traditions. Also, online lectures come in handy for distant learning programs.
- Collaborative tools
A perfect example of collaborative tools is Google docs. Collaborative tools are flexible, simple to use, and very accessible. With these tools, you can assign individual and group assignments and activities to your students.
They can work on assignments together and receive direct feedback from you upon completion. There are also many other creative ways to utilize these tools to make learning Arabic fun and interesting for your students.
- Language flashcards
The majority of students learning Arabic are comfortable with flashcards and learn faster with them. On these flashcards, verbs, places, things, phonetics, etc., can be represented in the Arabic language. This is especially useful to high-school students and other beginner-level students you teach. See how you can find many students for your language class.
The typical board and marker days are over, and it is time for you to come up with more creative, straightforward, and fun ways to teach Arabic to your students.
Whether you speak Arabic as a native or as a second language, if you would love to pursue a career as an Arabic teacher, then it's high time you acquire the right certification for Arabic teaching. There are a thousand and one opportunities for you, and obtaining your certification as an Arabic teacher open the door to these opportunities.
Learn more about Arabic teaching opportunities in Canada.