Resources for Arabic Language Teachers

Book spines with arabic textArabic ClassroomSTARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland which supports teacher professional development, student language learning, and instructional resource development for critical less commonly taught languages in the United States.

For over a decade, STARTALK has developed a robust collection of resources to support language teachers across the United States. On this page, you will find different categories of resources specifically for Arabic language teachers and programs. Whether you are teaching now, preparing to become a world language teacher, or training and mentoring teachers, we feel certain that you will find these resources beneficial to your work in the field of world language education.

Model Curricula

STARTALK has created model curricula to provide support for Arabic language programs in the curriculum development process. These model curricula are intended as examples. Teachers will have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of their students. The model curricula available for download below provide include each stage of the backward design process (Learning Outcomes, Assessment Tasks, Learning Experiences) and may be adapted to any language.

Each of the model curricula here identify and describe Key Learning Experiences for teachers and learners. Defining the Key Learning Experiences for a language curriculum allows instructors to take large program (course) learning goals and key performance assessments and use them to develop lesson plans and episodes—further unpacking each learning goal into daily lesson can-do statements, identifying the check(s) for learning that will take place, and outlining the vocabulary and language chunks that correspond to each lesson can-do statement.

▼ Click to view Model Curricula

Let's Go Somewhere
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Students will explore authentic products and practices that relate to traveling to an Arab country (Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, etc.). They will travel to get to know different regions/cities in the country and to investigate a significant aspect of the culture or country. Before leaving on the trip, they will learn about the geographical features and climate of the area. They will also practice greetings so that they can address people they meet using appropriate register, titles, courtesy expressions, and gestures. They will pack their backpacks with items they must take along on a virtual or classroom fieldtrip to a region they have chosen. Once they arrive at their location, they will investigate the area and get to know the people and their customs. At the end of the program, students will use their Arabic language skills to share with their parents what they have learned about the region.
Grade Range: 3-5
Performance Target: NM- NH
Personal Identity
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This curriculum captures best practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment in a backward design process. It is meant to guide the discussions that will take place as teachers plan quality programs. It identifies the connections between learning goals (program Can-Do Statements), performance assessment tasks, daily learning targets (lesson Can-Do Statements), and key learning experiences. STARTALK model curricula are intended to be examples. The intention is to offer representative samples of learning experiences, with the understanding that teachers will adapt the sample experiences to meet the various linguistic and cultural requirements of their individual classrooms. A program will still have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of its students.
Grade Range: 6-12
Performance Target: NM- NH

Sample Curricula

STARTALK has collected curricula utilized by STARTALK programs to serve as samples and provide support to other educators in their curriculum development process. These samples were provided to STARTALK Central by programs serving a variety of age groups and proficiency levels and were recommended for sharing by STARTALK team leaders. These curricula are intended as examples only. They have been collected over the course of several years and may not utilize current STARTALK curricula formats or models.

▼ Student Language Learning

Travels In Time
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In this curriculum, learners interpret and compare how the lives of teens have changed over time as it relates to school and family life, and social endeavors (including friendships and pastimes). Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
8-10
NH - IL
149
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2014
Hurst- Euless- Bedford ISD
Making New Friends
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“Making New Friends” is a thematic curriculum in which students learn to exchange information about themselves, their families, friends and favorite places as well as compare experiences in the Arabic-speaking world to their own, including clothing, food, families, and culturally appropriate behavior (eye contact, conversational mannerisms, and visiting etiquette). Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9 – 12
NM - NH
180
Non-Heritage
2017
Wofford College
Beginning Arabic Curriculum (Arabic 1)
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This curriculum provides an introduction to Arabic language and culture through a simulated visit to and exploration of a major Arab city. Through this exploration of the city, students will learn and experience Arabic in an authentic cultural context, encountering and analyzing the real, every-day products and practices of their peers in Arab cities and make connections and comparisons with their own lives and experiences in their hometown. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NM-NH
143
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Boston Public Schools
Intermediate Arabic Curriculum (Arabic 2)
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This curriculum provides an introduction to Arabic language and culture through a simulated visit to and exploration of a major Arab city. Through this exploration of the city, students will learn and experience Arabic in an authentic cultural context, encountering and analyzing the real, every-day products and practices of their peers in Arab cities and make connections and comparisons with their own lives and experiences in their hometown. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NM-IL
143
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
Boston Public Schools
My Arabic Playlist
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In this curriculum, students can explore the concept of identity and culture through the lens of Arabic music by taking virtual trips with friends around the Arab world and virtually attending concerts by famous performers from the Levant, the Gulf, Egypt, and North Africa. Music serves as the context for language learning and cultural comparison, connection and community building between students and their peers local and abroad. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-8
NM
90
Non-Heritage
2016
One World Now!
My Celebrations and My Community
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In this curriculum, students will learn how to express like/dislike/preference of weather and food, talking about a particular task, asking for directions, buying and exchanging goods, buying gift for a birthday party and using different transportation in an imaginary language journey on the Silk Road. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-8
IL-IM
90
Heritage
2016
One World Now!
At the Souq
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A role play will be the focal point of this curriculum: During their free time as exchange students in Cairo, Egypt, students “hang out at the souq” with Egyptian friends. At the souq, they explore the different types of shops and establishments found there, shop for clothing and souvenirs, go to restaurants and cafes with their Egyptian friends, and help their host families shop for food to cook later. Students learn to greet Egyptians politely and introduce themselves and others, shop for Arabic food and clothing at the market, and order at a restaurant. Students also acquire knowledge of some customs and cultural values related to the linguistic content they are learning. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
NM - NH
90
Non-Heritage
2016
One World Now!
Arts and Identity
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In this curriculum, students learn about, examine, and discuss traditional and modern Arab art. While students develop the skills to describe the tangible qualities of embroidery, calligraphy, dance, fashion, and interior design in the Arab world, they also consider the development of these arts. In order to do so, students examine and hypothesize about ways in which geography, history, culture, and religion influenced the development of traditional and popular art. Students synthesize their understanding to interact with, reflect on, and create art that reflects both their own identity and a specific tradition of Arab artistic expression. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
IL - IM
90
Non-Heritage
2016
One World Now!
Jobs and Opportunities
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Students delve into the job market in the Arab world and examine their own expectations about opportunities and work in their own lives in pursuit of answers to questions such as: How are job opportunities and social status related? What professions do you and your family value and why? How is your understanding of your opportunities shaped by your culture and experiences? Students ask these questions and others as they mock apply for jobs and hire new employees. These experiences are accompanied by ongoing discussions around social class and opportunity as depicted in fictional and documentary depictions of life in the Arab World. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
9-12
Il-IM
90
Heritage
2016
One World Now!
Arabic in New Mexico
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In this curriculum, students will meet water baby (an imaginary figure from the story of “The journey of water babies,” symbolizing water) from China, and experience water baby’s fun life (friends and family), magic show (three states and water cycle), and adventures (different water bodies and water pollution). Non-heritage students who complete this curriculum will be able to greet each other, exchange simple information about such topics as weather, family members, colors, water-related sports, three states of water, and water pollution in memorized phrases or language chunks, and follow basic scientific experimental directions in Chinese. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
6-12
NH-IM
114
Heritage and Non-Heritage
2017
University of New Mexico
My Arabic Playdate
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In this curriculum, students will have the chance to plan a playdate with an Arab friend and experience Arab culture through the lens of a child. Students begin by learning about the life of Arab children and their cultures. For example, they will learn how children greet each other and adults such as introducing themselves and exchanging personal information such as their ages, birthdays, where they live, likes and dislikes. They will explore what they do for fun, types of food they like to eat, places they like to go, traditional games, TV programs they like to watch, and songs they like to sing. They will virtually visit the Children’s Museum in Jordan and Kids Mondo in Doha and Lebanon. Additionally, they will have a chance to watch segments of children’s TV programs, songs and cartoons that are popular in the Arab world. At the end, students work individually or in groups to plan a playdate in the Arab world. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
K-2
NM
90
Non-Heritage
2017
One World Now!
Journey into My Arabic Heritage
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In this curriculum, through a combination of sharing memories, interviewing family and community members here and abroad, and researching about their heritage countries, students will have the chance to explore, expand their knowledge, and celebrate their heritage. Students will use the Arabic language to explore the various aspects of their heritage countries and their cultures as well as compare them to their friends from other cities, countries, or regions in the Arab world. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
Learner:
Year:
Origin:
3-5
NM-IL
90
Heritage
2017
One World Now!

▼ Teacher Professional Development

Building Leadership in the Arabic Language Teaching Community

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Participants will revise their curricula and instructional materials in light of the Common Core State Standards, ACTFL’s World Readiness Standards and the following components of 21st Century Skills Map: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Creativity and Innovation, Flexibility and Adaptability, Initiative and Self Direction. They will use backward design with real-world objectives that are age- and stage-appropriate; focusing on culture and content from the core curriculum; including the three modes of communication; providing opportunities for cultural and linguistic comparisons and real-world language use beyond the classroom; and teaching unit segments employing pedagogies that reflect research and best practices.
Year: 2014
Origin:Occidental College
Advancing TELL Online with Comprehensible Input

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This fully online program allows experienced language teachers to refine their skills in designing and delivering online lessons that use comprehensible input strategies to stay in the target language for 90% of instructional time, while utilizing suitable digital tools to implement planning steps and activities.
Year: 2014
Origin:Human Assistance & Development International - CLASSRoad

Videos

STARTALK has collected video footage from a variety of real classrooms and professional development presentations. These videos can be used alone or incorporated into more extensive teacher education materials as samples of a variety of best practices, including both the STARTALK Principles for Effective Teaching and Learning and the TELL (Teacher Effectiveness in Language Learning) Framework.

▼ Click to view Videos

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Novice Arabic Lesson (Kent State University)

This video shows a segment of a lesson in a classroom of high school students at Novice level.
OWN Video
Novice Arabic Lesson (OneWorld Now!)

This video shows a segment of a lesson in a classroom of 10-12th grade students at Novice low level.
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Classroom Activity - Charades

This video shows students participating in a modified version of Charades, working in pairs to provide maximum amount of participation for each learner. The purpose of this activity is to check for learning and build recall of key or target vocabulary for a lesson. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Chat Stations

This video shows students participating in Chat Stations—low-prep, small-group discussions on different topics that allow students to practice asking and answering questions. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Frayer Square

In this video, the teacher models the Frayer Square—a four-section graphic organizer tool that can be used to gain a deeper understanding of vocabulary and concepts. Students then complete their own Frayer Squares. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Give One, Get One, Move On

This video shows students participating in Give One, Get One, Move On. This is a low-prep, kinesthetic brainstorming activity that allows students to move around the room to ask and answer questions about a theme or collaboratively brainstorm vocabulary and language chunks. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Hold Ups

In this video, students are doing an activity called Hold Ups. The purpose of this activity is to build recall of key or target vocabulary at sentence level, to build confidence in learners, and to check for learning for each individual student. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Keep the Conversation Going

In this video, we see Keep the Conversation Going. The purpose of this activity is to allow students to say everything they know how to say about a topic. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Peer Interviews

In this video, students are conducting Peer Interviews. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Peer Surveys

In this video, students are conducting Peer Surveys. This activity allows students to have short interpersonal interactions with as many classmates as possible. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.
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Classroom Activity - Self-Introduction Comics

In this video, students are creating comics to introduce themselves. Comics are ideal because they include both visuals and text, facilitating comprehension of language and allowing the teacher to identify any gaps in student learning related to target structures and vocabulary. For a detailed description along with step-by-step instructions to implement this activity, view this activity's listing in the STARTALK Classroom Activities Collection.

Lesson Plans

These sample lesson plans include multiple learning targets from the beginning, middle and end of various thematic units. Many activities outlined in the learning plans are accompanied by sample authentic resources and teaching materials. Each learning plan also contains videos of one or more activities being delivered in a real classroom. STARTALK thanks Occidental College for developing these materials.

Elementary - Personal Hero

Secondary - Family

University - All About Me


Additional Resources

These additional resources have been developed by various STARTALK projects and initiatives over many years and are potentially of interest to Arabic language instructors, language program administrators, instructional coaches, methods instructors, and others involved in Arabic language teaching and/or the training of Arabic language teachers.

List on computer
Arabic Language Resources

This is a non-comprehensive compilation of resources and materials potentially of interest to Arabic language teachers and learners. This list should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular product, resource, service, or content developer, but we hope it provides a valuable resource for the diverse needs of Arabic teachers and learners.

Icons made by Vitaly Gorbachev from www.flaticon.com

Language(s): 

  • Arabic