The Arabic Club for Kids started in 2007 as a weekend Arabic language school in London. Stirred by seeing the lack of standards in weekend provisions for Arabic for children when searching for Arabic courses for my own children, I decided to start my own Arabic school and classes for children; but with a difference, with a change of tack. Just as we expect expertise, standards, and fun for all other extracurricular activities, it seemed imperative to me that this had to be the case for Arabic too! Thus, through consultations with language teacher trainers at SOAS university, and literacy specialists at the Institute of Education, UCL, grounded in evidence informed theory, we developed a new, child-centric, fun filled vision and programme, with Arabic teachers with qualifications in education and childcare, as well as Arabic itself. Children who come to our school love learning with us, and this translates into their love for Arabic. Our standards and joy in learning yields manifold outcomes in learning!
A few years on, we apply this approach, driven by the same evidence informed, research driven strategies and training and putting emphasis on teacher training as part of our goal to provide children with the best Arabic learning experiences, to an expanding range of services and broader field of work. As well as weekend Arabic courses for children that now operates at two branches in London, North London and South London which we soon hope to be extending the availability of these children’s Arabic classes to West London, Oxford, and the Midlands. In addition to the weekend Arabic classes, we now also host a range of other Arabic teaching and learning materials, courses and classes for children on different platforms, These include: researching and publishing further Arabic resources and books for children; a soon to launch Arabic YouTube channel for toddlers and babies, embarking on our ’ AlMaeeyah’ programme, - an exciting new curriculum vision and mission for After School Arabic Clubs in London and the UK; launching online Arabic classes and courses for children; opening Arabic summer (and other holiday) fun filled immersion camps in London and the UK; and also at times offer private tuition for Arabic for children on request.
We have also extended our services for consultancy as we hope to implement our expertise, resources and methodologies in other schools and teaching institutions.
Activities are fun and involve collaboration, learners invest more radily and more effectively. Having fun has a positive effect on levels of motivation levels, shaping what we learn and how easily we remember.
At TACK, we plan to make learning fun so that learners will want to keep coming back for more.
As decreasing numbers of children wanting to learn Arabic are reported across the world, it is clear that an innovative approach is needed.To develop an innovative approach, we asked questions about hove children learn and what approaches could be reconstructed in Arabic to build a learning environment involving choices, autonomy and motivation.
We set aside preconceived ideas, to look at teaching Arabic from a new point of view. That is how we came up with something new.
By asking questions about what is possible, TACK has established the principles at the heart of its practice.
We have invested time and effort in designing something that works. Our work to get to this point has involved collaboration and co-research with experts higher education researchers in language and literacy.
As staff join one of our settings,they receive training and mentoring into the role to ensure consistency of approach to our brand promises.
Teachers at TACK are engaged in regular professional development. They come together to review and evaluate their practice and continue to build their expertise by working with outside consultants and agencies. This is fundamental to our approach. We see ourselves as a 'learning organisation' .