The subject of teaching Arabic language is often raised in bilingual families where one of the parents is an Arabic speaker (which is our case) and / or in Arabic-speaking families who are living abroad and wishing to teach their mother tongue to their children. In both cases, parents must be ready and determined to complete this challenge. In this article we will reveal our tips to help you to teach Arabic language to your child more easily.
1- Talk to them early…very early !
It is said that the fetus begins to hear the sounds, the intonations and the voice of his parents from the 5th month of pregnancy! Your baby starts learning Arabic sooner than you thought. Do not hesitate to talk to him and to sing to him in Arabic even before the birth. Of course, we must continue to speak to him in Arabic from his earliest days and this is a very important point because your child associates your image with a number of criteria including the language, and it is strongly discouraged to start talking to him in another language thinking it is too early to speak to him in Arabic.
2- It’s difficult at the beginning. Persist!
Learning Arabic for a child is a long and tough mission that requires a lot of patience, motivation and perseverance when living far from Arabic-speaking countries. You must be aware of this so you do not give up too early.
Be patient, learning Arabic to a child can sometimes take time. But believe me, it is worth it!
Personally, I found it complicated to “chat” with someone who does not answer yet and all that in a language I no longer use in my everyday life.
Finally, if you are parents and it’s been years that you try to learn Arabic to your child, and that it has not yet spoken a single word in Arabic, especially do not give up! The miracle can be very very close. This is the case of many bilingual children, after some “blockage” they begin to speak fluent Arabic overnight (this is the case of my eldest son).
3- Read stories in Arabic !
Start reading Arabic stories to your children and make it a daily habit. Reading is essential for the development of the child’s language. You can start reading albums and very small stories in Arabic to your baby from the age of 6 months, and little by little, increase the richness of your sentences, enjoy reading more and more stories from different styles.
Have fun with your child!
It is true that the subject of reading in literary Arabic arises in some families because reading is often more difficult and sometimes even boring. It’s up to you to use your imagination: you can simplify the sentences, explain the words, translate the texts into dialect, or even get stories written in dialect from publishing houses like Ossass Stories in shami and Egyptian, “Les petites histoires tunisiennes” from “Arabesque editions” that you can order from your booksellers or here.
The favorite story of our children right now is “The wheel of Tarek “ published by Le port a jauni.
4- Listen to Arabic Music.
Music is a great way to learn Arabic for kids, who are usually very receptive to music from an early age. You can introduce Arabic music to your child by singing lullabies, traditional songs in Arabic, or by putting Oum Kolthoum’s CD when he is playing next to you at home. Enjoy listening to Arabic music during your car trips or any time of the day. Make your child listen to the same songs regularly because repetition develops his/her hearing memory. Your child becomes familiar with the sound, discovers a new vocabulary and unconsciously learns the Arabic language.
To go further, download the lyrics, and try to sing with him his favorite song while explaining to him the meaning of the lyrics
5- Play in Arabic!
“Old-fashioned” Arabic classes can be boring for students. Learning Arabic while playing is easier, faster and more fun for young children (and also for adults).
At the Daradam publishing house, we have all focused on this method of learning and we continue to create games and fun tools to learn the Arabic language. Our “Arabicubes” the Arabic alphabet blocks are the best example. This learning kit has become a must-have tool for Arabic teachers and parents who want to teach Arabic to their children in a fun and entertaining way.
The game also facilitates speaking and writing. This is exactly the goal of our game Arabicouples that encourages players to chat by playing and interacting during their search for couples from different countries.
6- Watch videos in Arabic!
We advise parents to avoid as much as possible screens (TV, computer, phone, tablet, etc …) because we all know their negative influence on the health and development of our children. It is for this reason, that we encourage through our simple games in wood or cardboard to play, to learn and share pleasant moments with family and friends.
However, if you watch the screens from time to time, we advise you to watch videos or movies for children in Arabic. Choose good Arabic content and take advantage of it to teach your children Arabic vocabulary.
7- Travel with your child ( to you country of origin or to other Arab countries)!
To teach Arabic to your child in record time, nothing beats a good linguistic immersion, with grandparents and cousins. You will see that after a week or two, your child will speak Arabic without even realizing it. If he has always refused to release his first words in Arabic, such a stay will release him! For having this experience with my oldest son, I can promise you that you will be proud and deeply moved, when you will see your child “open up” and speak in Arabic with confidence with his cousins and new friends. This is the long-awaited fruit of all the efforts made for two or three years!
If you have the chance to travel to other countries, from time to time choose Arabic-speaking destinations. It will be a great opportunity for your child to discover other Arabic dialects and motivate him/her to use the language.
8- Meet other Arabic-speaking families
It is important to understand that your child will be more determined to learn Arabic as soon as he/she would feel the usefulness of this language.
Meeting other Arabic-speaking families and forming a group of friends with whom we discuss, play and have fun in Arabic is a very effective way to encourage your child to learn the language. It becomes a necessary and useful means of communication and will allow him a better integration.
9- Suscribe your child to an Arabic lesson
Whatever the age of your child is, we advise you to register for Arabic lessons, whether in a language school or online. Depending on their level, the courses allow students to improve their Arabic and to progress in an educational way in reading and writing. The presence of other students of the same level can also motivate the child and boost his confidence.
If you live near Massy, we recommend you Malac school which offers Arabic lessons that are suitable for all ages and all levels. Its teaching method relies exclusively on fun activities in order to arouse the interest of the child through play (bodily awakening, musical, nursery rhymes, role playing, board games, sports, training workshops). body language, creative activities …)
10- Make playful workshops in Arabic
Register your child for a playful workshop in Arabic. Whether painting, cooking or drama, this type of workshop allows the child to discover and learn Arabic in a group and in a different way. Such workshops exist in Paris and London, for example the workshops offered by the Awledna association which allows children of Tunisian origin to learn about the culture of their parents and their grandparents and to speak in Arabic through activities of music or theater.
In conclusion, whatever is the level of your child in Arabic, continue to encourage him/her!
Remember that transmitting the Arabic language to our children is a noble mission that will allow them to maintain family connections and can open doors for them in their future professional life.
Yallah! Keep up the good job! They will thank you later.
And you? How do you do at home? Do your children speak, read, play in Arabic?