Like learning any language, learning Arabic can be a long and rigorous road that requires motivation, hard work, and perseverance; however, studies have shown that the earlier a person learns a language, the easier it is for that person to retain the language. This is because, at the age of seven or eight, the brain of a child creates between 700 and 1000 new pathways every second. As person ages, however, creating these new pathways slows and around the age of 40, human beings actually start losing some of these important pathways. As a result, you can easily see why learning Arabic at a young age is important.
There are many benefits to learning Arabic at a young age, as well. First, it helps keep their brain stimulated, not only for learning Arabic, but for learning other things, too. Second, it will help develop their curiosity about other cultures, their languages and their history. Third, learning Arabic will help teach your child that learning is a lifelong activity. So, as you can see, your child will highly benefit from you teaching him or her the Arabic language at a young age.
Teaching a child Arabic can be a rewarding but very difficult task. Here we must assume that one or both of the parents speak Arabic and will teach the child the language, so here are some tips for parents (as well as new and aspiring teachers of the language):
- Always be positive and motivate your child
- Speak Arabic everyday
- Be creative!
- Include plenty of books with photographs
- Try to contact other parents with children who are learning to practice speaking Arabic
- Make learning fun for both of you!
Of course, you’re going to have to start with the basics of Arabic: the alphabet, reading, writing and counting. One way to do this is by taking 28 slips of paper and writing the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet on each one. Show each letter to the child and have him or her repeat it out loud. Next, have the child choose three of his or her favorite letters and memorize them until all of the alphabet is memorized Not only is this a great way for children to learn the Arabic alphabet and their sounds, but it’s also a terrific way for them to learn the short vowels and the three forms of every letter: the first, middle, and final form. They can them learn to form words with these letters, move on to sentences, and the next thing you know they will be able to read Arabic.
Another incredible way to teach children the Arabic language is through reading to them before they go to bed at night. This will increase their vocabulary and get them used to Arabic phrases and their meanings. Some research has shown that nighttime reading allows the child to memorize and practice the language in their sleep without them being conscious of their learning.
Remember that the key to teaching children is to make learning Arabic fun! Laughing and playing games will make a child more curious about the Arabic language, and they will want to learn more and more. Thanks to modern technology, this has become much easier for both parents and teachers.
For children learning Arabic, the internet has an abundance of websites that make Arabic language learning for children fun including memorization, and role playing games. Just do a Google search for some of these websites and find out what extra fun features are available for your child.
Let’s not forget that you can also use your tablet and smartphone to provide an opportunity for children to learn Arabic as they play. Simply search for an Arabic game or an Arabic language learning app using your I-phone or Android device and the next thing you know, your child will be learning how to greet people, ask for directions, talk about food, and many other topics. Because it’s user-friendly, your child will feel as if he or she can succeed and find out for themselves just how easy Arabic can be to learn.
And while you are on the internet or your smartphone, head over to kaleela.com to learn more about the Arabic language and Arab culture. Also be sure to keep an eye out for our soon-to-be-released kaleela Arabic language learning app. Available for both I-phone and Android, this app is fun for both children and adults.