Arabic Sample Curricula by One World Now!

These Sample Arabic Curricula are designed to provide guidance and inspiration for camp directors and instructors undertaking Arabic STARTALK camps for different age groups and at different proficiency levels, and both heritage and non-heritage populations. There are four sample curricula for elementary-age students, three for middle school-age students, and four for high school-age students. All vocabulary lists have been translated to English in order to provide a resource for non-Arabic camps as well.

Additionally, the Summer Camp Handbook is an English-language guide to best practices in critical language camps focused on the elements that make a successful camp outside of instructional time, such as creating a positive learning community and integrating language use into camp outside the classroom.

Handbook of Best Practices in STARTALK Student Programs

Handbook of Best Practices

The purpose of this handbook is to serve as a resource for student STARTALK summer language programs in their needs outside of the classroom. This handbook is separated into four chapters that address the concerns and needs we have experienced outside of the classroom. From recruiting students for the program, to finding the most effective camp staff; from activities that help immerse the student in the target language and culture, to culminating activities that demonstrate what students have learned in a brief period, we have made note of what has worked and what has hindered a student’s’ progress in our program. We hope that the practices we offer support the process of recruiting new students and maintaining their motivation to learn the target language and culture.

Title My Arabic Playlist
Grade 6 – 8
Proficiency Level Novice Mid
Targeted Performance Level Novice Mid
In this camp, students will explore the concept of identity and culture through the lens of Arabic music. They will imagine that they have the ability to take a trip with friends around the Arab world, and have the ability to attend a few concerts by some of the greatest performers from the Levant, the Gulf, Egypt, and North Africa. They also may have the opportunity to use technology to explore that region’s music on their own, and they practice identifying a few high-frequency vocabulary items in songs. At the end of their trip, they act as cultural ambassadors from the Arab world by creating a personal playlist of ten Arabic songs that they like and sharing it with the class. As they learn about Arabic music from different regions and genres, students understand the diversity of the Arab world and some of the many facets that make up Arab identity.
Title: My Celebrations and My Community
Grade: 6-8
Proficiency Level: Intermediate Low
Targeted Performance Level: Intermediate Low/Mid
The program My Celebrations and My Community is designed for heritage learners of Arabic with an intermediate low proficiency in the language. Over the course of a 90-hour summer camp, students investigate the role that their celebrations play in the formation of their community and identity. Through in-class activities and discussions, interviews with community members (Interpersonal Communication), and authentic materials (Interpretive Listening and Reading), students investigate the diversity of holiday celebrations within the Arab world and within the Arab-American community. Through interviews with community members about how holidays were celebrated in community members’ countries of origin, they understand that the ways they celebrate holidays are impacted by their home country as well as traditions that originated in the Arab world. Students also investigate how celebrating holidays from more than one tradition—for example, celebrating both Ramadan and Thanksgiving—contributes to a rich hybrid identity that can be a source of strength. Throughout the camp, students strengthen their literacy skills through a variety of reading and writing tasks, including writing a blog post about a holiday celebration and writing formal holiday event invitations. Toward the end of the camp, students create, write, and illustrate short children’s stories reflecting some of their holiday traditions. At a final, culminating event, students invite community members to the camp and hold a story-telling hour for young children from the community that speaks the target language.
Title: At the Souq
Grade: 9–12
Proficiency Level: Novice Mid
Targeted Performance Level: Novice Mid/High
A role play will be the focal point of the camp story: Students imagine that they are part of a group of Arabic students who are extremely excited to have been selected for a study abroad trip to Cairo, where they will be hosted by Egyptian host families. During their stay, students enroll in an intensive Arabic program at the American University in Cairo where they study for several hours each morning. In their free time after class, they 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. Through their time at the souq, they encounter authentic cultural products and practices such as music and calligraphy. 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. At the end of the program, students realize how far they have come in just a few weeks when they plan for a visit by their American families to Egypt, when they must introduce them to Egyptian food and clothing..
Title: Arts and Identity
Grade: 9-12
Proficiency Level: Intermediate Low
Targeted Performance Level: Intermediate Low/Mid
Throughout this program, 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. The student experience culminates in the creation of an artistic product that reflects both their own identities as well as what they have learned about Arab artistic traditions. As they consider the implications of their own backgrounds, experiences, and power, students are challenged to connect and contextualize both Arabic language and their artistic output within cultural and historical contexts.
Title: Jobs and Opportunities
Grade: 9-12
Proficiency Level: Intermediate Low
Targeted Performance Level: Intermediate Low/Mid
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. Students engage with a variety of authentic readings, ranging from online recruitment sites to advice columns–all centered around matching candidates with appropriate positions. Ultimately, students have the opportunity to consider the challenges of the job market for Arab workers and the reverberations of those challenges in current world events.