Uncovering the hidden gems in daily routines for Arabic teaching

Another great opportunity to promote learning the Arabic Language

I have read that we need to be exposed to a new word 30 to 40 times before using it in our communication. How to accelerate this process the conscious and structured way? Our guest contributor will give you the key in her article:

“I understand what’s going on”, “I have done this before”, “I know what’s coming next”;

this is a sample of the internal dialogue children make during daily routine and familiar activities: eating breakfast, washing hands, taking a bath, reading a story, nap time…

The effect of this positive dialogue is very important; it limits their frustration, makes them feel powerful, increases their feeling of security and creates a positive and stimulating opportunity for learning.

Learning Sequencing: Routine by definition is “a sequence of actions regularly followed” and it’s usually incorporated and performed as part of a regular procedure or schedule. Your child will learn sequencing while performing her routine activities, and adding a visual support is one of the great techniques to help her better understand the tasks, memorize the timing of the routine in her daily schedule as well as its steps and correspondent order.

Visuals can range from the actual object, to a picture, a symbol, a word or a gesture.

P.S.: Having the actual words written stimulates literacy skills too: You can use a board and a pen, cards, labels or even letter cubes to write the words with your child.

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Does this sound complicated? Let me give you an example:

Routine: Washing hands

Visuals: Actual soap/towel ; picture of hand washing action; symbol of hand washing action; adding the gesture of washing hands (by rubbing the hands); or the written word “wash” in Arabic.

Early Language development is all about catching and creating learning opportunities. While daily routines are already established in a child’s everyday life, it’s important to make use of this time with all of its aspects by making a plan for what might be taught during such activities:

Pairing words with actions is one of the greatest strategies to help your child build their Arabic vocabulary because language needs to be functional. Moreover, knowing that repetition is key element in every learning procedure, routines provide us with the chance of using the same words over and over again. Once your child is able to understand and starts using these words, this gives you the green light to expand your language and push her language skills further (e.g. if your child is able to point to the water or make the gesture of rubbing hands, say “water, yes it’s time to wash with water”; if your child is able to say “wash” say “wash, yes wash with water”, then expand it to “wash with cold water”…).

Always remember to keep it fun: If your child is very familiar with her routines and is able to perform most of the steps on her own, surprise your child by adding something new and fun to keep her engaged. How about adding a melody? Creating songs for routines makes them really fun and helps your child getting excited to transition from a task to another.

And last but not least don’t forget to always provide options for your child to include their interest, it can be as simple as choosing between the yellow or the green towel!

Happy Learning!

Vanessa Abou Sleiman

Speech Language Pathologist

Our guest contributor is Vanessa Abou Sleiman, a Lebanese consultant Speech and Language Pathologist, with 9 years of experience in the field. She is currently living and practicing in Dubai, UAE., Vanessa strongly believes in the importance of parents’ involvement in the development of children and in the progress of every therapy; she translates her belief by delivering talks and workshops for parents as well as writing informative and practical articles to provide parents with the needed information and tips to help promote their children’s social communication, speech and language skills.
 

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