Posted on July 31, 2016

This summer, Qatar Foundation International (QFI) will be hosting three professional development institutes, known as the Arabic Summer Institute, with forty-eight teachers of Arabic in three cities across the United States. QFI's Arabic Summer Institute provides an opportunity for teachers of Arabic to come together and discuss pedagogy, curriculum development, and cultural awareness in the classroom. 

The institute for middle and high school teachers will be hosted in partnership with the Arab American National Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan from August 1st to the 5th. Fifteen middle and high school teachers from QFI-supported schools in the U.S. & Canada will convene in Dearborn and learn more about integrating the teaching of Arab culture in the Arabic language classroom. QFI’s most experienced teachers will also be leading sessions for their peers, and participating teachers will have dedicated time each day for curriculum development.

A new addition this year, the Elementary School and Immersion Summer Institute, will be held in New York City--from August 1st to the 3rd.  QFI is bringing eighteen Arabic elementary school and Arabic immersion teachers and administrators to New York City for the three-day workshop. Attendees will include teachers from Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, and Edmonton, Canada. Dawn Samples and Liza Speece of the Lexington School District One in Lexington, SC will be presenting and working with the teachers on language immersion strategies in the classroom.

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Additionally, the Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) course will gather QFI's Teacher Fellows, in Minneapolis, from August 8th to the 13th. Fifteen fellows from the US and Brazil will learn more about foreign language teaching methodology and pedagogy. Dr. Salah Ayari will lead the course as well as guest speakers from the Center for Advanced Research on Language (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota. The Arabic Summer Institute was founded six years ago to meet the needs and interests of Arabic language educators and to equip them with best practices in curriculum planning, classroom management, and integrating culture in the language classroom. It brings together new and experienced teachers from QFI’s Arabic programs across the US and Canada, providing a forum for them to share activities, resources, curricula and experiences in teaching Arabic as a foreign language.

Maggie Mitchell Salem, Executive Director of QFI, said: “The demand, and importance, of Arabic language education in US schools is growing every year.  Yet language and culture are inextricably connected. QFI is committed to supporting language and non-language teachers as they explore Arab culture and society in their classrooms – whether math, art or Arabic.”