Peace be upon you,
I submitted my papers in the center of the university in which I teach to take part in teaching Arabic. I understand that teaching Arabic to native speakers is not like the non-native speakers, therefore, I wish you could guide me by giving me some ideas that will help me to deliver the lessons easily.
Let it be known that those who will learn from me will learn basics, such as letters, the pronunciation of words, diacritics, deictic words, and other stuff.
Peace be upon you, `Abdullah.
Thank you very much for your communication with Al Alukah.
First of all, I would like to greet you on that great job you did because the field of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers actually opens the gates of good for Islam as well as Muslims.
We - the teachers of non-Arabic speakers - have often admired the increasing demand to learn Arabic from non-native speakers, which proves the beauty, attractiveness, and dignity of the Arabic language that do not exist in many other languages. Accordingly, teaching the Arabic language to native speakers must be different from teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. It is also important to be ready to receive those new students who are aspiring to learn Arabic in order to give a true picture of the great civilization of the language they hear about and to the countries which they come to see.
Of the things that of great help to you, my dear brother, while you are heading to that great job are the following:
1 – You must know that those who know that teaching Arabic to non-native speakers is different from teaching it to native speakers are few.
Therefore, teaching books should be different. In fact, as Dr. `Abdul-Rahman Al-Fawzan, said: Many of those who are interested in the spread of the Arabic language had neglected many of these fundamental differences for a long time. They were and still send the book we use in our Arab countries to teach Arabic for native speakers to be taught in the non-Arab countries that request our help in teaching Arabic in their schools; which is not true at all.
2 – As a teacher of the Arabic language for non-native speakers, you must be aware of the stages which students pass through from the beginning level to the high level in order to achieve the best possible results. In this context, it comes the efficiency indicators that were laid by the American Council for teaching the foreign languages (ACTFL) in 1986, which were reviewed and accredited in Cairo in 1999 as one of the most important indicators we had witnessed in this field. These indicators divide students into levels: the beginners (low, medium, and high), medium (low, medium and high), advanced, higher advanced, and excellent; the latter is the highest degree that a student can get. Then these efficiency indicators distribute the four skills: (writing, reading, listening, and speaking) to these levels in terms of the degree of students’ understanding, ability, and what can a teacher give the students in each level. It is worth mentioning that these indicators presuppose that all these skills that students should pass had been held in a real environment at a normal speed, and a standard or semi-standard language. This division was accredited by many institutions and educational centers in Cairo; and of the most important institutions that promoted these indicators, made them the basis and fundamentals on this process, and designed its entire educational program on them is "The Arab Academy."
3 – It would be better, but rather important, that a teacher should be aware of some methods of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. It is enough for you, dear brother, to know that there are two followed methods:
A – The analytical method, which begins with teaching sentences and through these sentences students learn the language structures as well as the alphabet and the vocabulary through analyzing these sentences to the basic elements: voices, letters, words stems, expressions, and structures.
B – The synthetic method in which a student starts to learn:
- Voices: including all attempts to gain access to the best way of correct pronunciation.
- Letters: including all forms, images, diacritics, and how to connect these letters together to form words and the rejected connections between letters.
- Words: including all forms, pronunciation, and other topics related to words and common phrases.
- Sentences and their grammatical and semantic rules that govern these combinations of words in order to form sentences as well as the cohesion of sentences to form themes or texts.
Teaching the Arabic language in Egypt - in most educational centers - depends on the second synthetic method; where they consider it the most organized and easy way for a student and for teachers alike, and through which we can measure easily the degree of student’s understanding of the language.
4 – You must keep in the mind that the preparation and choosing of the educational materials are the most difficult matters that face those responsible for educational programs in general because both processes need a set of standards, regulations, conditions, and specifications without which they will be unscientific processes. A book is one of the most important tools in teaching Arabic for non-native speakers. It is important and useful to remind you of some books that will help in teaching Arabic and they are available, thanks to Allah, they are as follows:
1- Uhibul-`Arabiyyah (I like Arabic), (4 volumes), the Arab Bureau of Education for Gulf States.
2- Ta`allam Al-`Arabiyyah (Learn Arabic) (2 volumes), Dr. `Abdul-Rahman ibn Ibrahim Al-Fawzan, the Islamic Waqf.
3- Ta`allamu Al-`Arabiyyah (Learn Arabic) (3 volumes), Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – ISESCO.
4- Ta`lim Al-Ajanib Al-Lughah Al-`Arabiyyah (Teaching Arabic as a foreign language), Arabic Teaching Institute for Foreigners, Damascus.
5- Al-`Arabiyyah Al-Mu`asirah (Contemporary Arabic), by Peter `Abboud, the Center for Near East and North Africa studies, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.
6- Al-`Arabiyyah Bi Ar-Radio (Teaching Arabic through radio) Mr. Ya`qub Baker and others, Cairo.
7- Al-`Arabiyyah Bayna Yadayk (Arabic for all) (3 volumes for students and 3 volumes for teachers, including glossary), by Dr. `Abdul-Rahman ibn Ibrahim Al-Fawzan, Mukhtar At-Tahir Hussain, Muhammad `Abdul-Khaliq Muhammad Fadl, Arabic edition for all, The Islamic Waqf Institution.
The book of "Arabic for all" is one of the most important books by which you can link between linguistic rules and our heritage, especially the sciences of the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah. I have seen some students come specifically to learn Arabic from this book to the extent that some educational centers in Cairo made it their basic education program.
8- Al-`Arabiyyah Al-Muyassarah (Simplified Arabic) (7 Books) with levels, from the beginners level to the high level, Granada Institution for publication and distribution.
9- Al-`Arabiyyah Lughaty (Arabic is my language), IslamicEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – ISESCO.
The book of "The essential book for teaching Arabic for non-native speakers" is one of the most important and useful books, IslamicEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – ISESCO.
10- Manhaj fi Ta`lim Al-Lughah Al-`Arabiyyah (an approach in teaching the Arabic language), Dawud `Atiyah `Abdu Khayyat, Beirut, 1963.
11- Al-Muyassar fi Ta`lim Al-Lughatul-`Arabiyyah Li Abna’ Al-Jaliyah Al-Islamiyyah fi Al-Mahjar (the easy way for teaching Arabic to children of Muslim community in non-Arab countries", by Dr. `Aziz Al-Husseini and Professor `Abdallah Banany, IslamicEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – ISESCO.
12- An-Nahw Al-`Araby Al-Mubarmaj Li Al-Ajanib (Arabic Grammar programmed for foreigners," `Asufan Al Salka.
13- An-Nahw Al-`Araby Al-Mubarmaj Li At-Ta`lim Adh-Dhaty (Arabic Grammar programmed for self-education), by Dr. Mahmoud Isma`il Siny and others, King Saud University. It is a very important book that is based on an excellent idea.
14- Of the books that will help you in this process is: Al-Lughat Al-Ajnabiyyah, Ta`limuha wa Ta`lumiha (Foreign languages: teaching and learning) by Nayef Kharma and Ali Hajjaj which is available in PDF format on the web (internet).
It is important to be aware of a book that you have in the United States, which is very famous, and perhaps you are already teaching your students from it, which is "Al-Kitab" by Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal, who exerted a lot of efforts in that field; we supplicate Allah to make all his efforts in his scale of good deeds, Amen.
Of the sites that will be helpful and which you can contact with are the following:
1 - The Cairo Institute for Arabic language www.arabicinegypt.com.
2 - The Arab Academy, Cairo www.arabacademy.com.
3 – Al Diwan Al-`Am center, Cairo www.aldiwancenter.com.
4 - Khartoum International Institute, Sudan www.alecsolugha.org.
5 – Easy Arabic, Cairo www.ea4arabic.com.
It is worth mentioning that, currently, there are some courses are given all around the Arab world as well as some Islamic countries, such as Turkey, on this important field. I am sure that everyone interested in this process, like you and me, will be interested in these cultural and educational events and will try to benefit from.
I hope that we communicate a lot to find the best ways to teach Arabic for non-Native speakers.
May Allah reward and bless you.
 I would like to pay the attentions that the appropriate term in teaching Arabic to non-native speakers is to call the one who teaches students a teacher and not an educator.
 Taking into consideration that should be no difference in this matter between the level of Classical Arabic and Colloquial Arabic.