It is always hard to learn another language. Yet for a young child, the frustrations of foreign words and grammar can quickly boil over into a mental roadblock. What’s more, teaching Arabic to an English-speaking child becomes much more complex due to the massive differences in letters, writing styles, syntax and pronunciation. Many parents wonder how to teach their kids Arabic. Look no further, here are creative, fun strategies that can keep your children engaged.
The first followers of Prophet Muhammad could not even use paper to write down his words and deeds, as it was too expensive, requiring them to commit his life to memory. We’ve come a long way since the days of the revelations, however. No child should ever be held to the same standards as the followers of Muhammad.
In a world of iPads, smartphones and e-readers, technology can simplify teaching Arabic letter and word structures. Apps such as Duolingo can make it fun and easy to learn different languages — doing plenty of work on your behalf.
Have Adventures in Arabic
Teaching Arabic to a child doesn’t need to be something done intensely and with great scrutiny. Find a favorite activity for your child, whether it is a board game, drawing book or playtime with a pet. Insert Arabic vocabulary into the activity. Teach your child the basics as you go, having him or her replace English-language words for Arabic-language words (e.g., qut instead of cat). Encourage your son or daughter to ask which vocabulary words are which.
Create Colorful Words
One of the reasons so many parents put letter magnets on their refrigerators is because children love to play with them. Playing with Arabic letters is just as simple and entertaining. You can make Arabic words and letters with your children out of colorful paper, then spend time moving them around and asking them how they create new sounds and sentences. This helps build vocabulary, furthermore, by matching ideas to colors: blue for water, yellow for sun, brown for chocolate!
Sharing the Education
While parents are of vital importance to their children’s lives, they need not be the only ones actively teaching Arabic to their kids. Friends, relatives, teachers and community members can all play a major role to help advance a child’s education. If possible, connect your children with other Arabic speakers as a further resource. For example, Skyping with out-of-country relatives who are fluent in Arabic can be an excellent way to not only practice, but confirm that pronunciation is correct and to add interesting regional terms and sayings.
IQRA and Arabic Education
Parents who want their children to succeed in reading, writing and speaking Arabic can rely on IQRA instructors to reach their goal. IQRA’s Arabic tutors not only have native mastery of the language but a wealth of experience teaching to all ages and backgrounds. Contact IQRA today for a free evaluation to see how we can help you and your children take the next step toward fluency.