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The playful way to learn the Arabic language and culture

Teaching Modern Standard Arabic to children since 1994 in France, the US and Online

Alef,b... Newsletter

Stay on the look-out for Our quarterly Alefbkids Newsletter to include information about our classes as well as tackle concerns that every parent may have about teaching a foreign language to their children, keeping their heritage alive and help build a better future for the new generation.

June Newsletter

Michelle Tager - Sunday, July 19, 2015

info@alefb.org +1 301 9194481 www.alefb.org

Ahlan wa Sahlan To Alefb Newsletter!

Gibran Khalil Gibran wrote about us: 

هم الذين يغادرون لبنان وليس لهم سوى حماسةٍ في قلوبهم وعزم في سواعدهم"
ويعودون إليه وخيرات الأرض في أكفهم، وأكاليل الغار على رؤوسهم.
هم الذين يتغلبون على محيطهم أينما حلوا ويجتذبون القلوب إليهم أينما وُجدوا.
وهم الذين يولدون في الأكواخ ويموتون في قصور العلم
هؤلاء هم أبناء لبنان. هؤلاء هم السُّرُجُ التي لا تطفئها الرياح، والِملح الذي لا تفسده
."هؤلاء هم السائرون بأقدام ثابتة نحو الحقيقة والجمال والكمال.

البدائع والطرائف لجبران خليل جبران، وهو عبارة عن مجموعة مقالات وبعض
القصائد كتبها عام

No one could better express how we feel in "bilad el intichar" (diaspora), and how much we strive to raise Lebanon's name high and proud, wherever we are. It is an honor to be described in such commendable words by a poet, writer, philosopher of Khalil Gibran 's stature. Let's just try hard to live up to those expectations and prove Gibran right, every step of the way... 

We are happy to share that Gibran's world renowned masterpiece,"the Prophet", has been made accessible to children. 
"The Prophet" is now available as an animation movie, produced by Salma Hayek, among others.
Read more here
Watch the trailer here.
The movie has been released in Lebanon, last April and will be released on August 7, in the USA.
Stay on the look out for this timeless enchanting work. 

NEWS from Alefb:

As the school year draws to an end, we are proud to report that we have been working with more than 300 committed Alefb students during this school year. All across our three locations (Paris-France, Washington DC, and the San Francisco Bay area), our kids have enjoyed learning the Arabic language and culture in a fun and efficient way. 

Now is the time to enroll or re-enroll your kids for our next school year 2015-16, and reserve a spot in the right age and level group.
We will be sending reminders by the end of August. 
Early registrants will benefit from the actual fee, others may expect an increase for next year

Per unanimous demand, we finally agreed to launch our professional Facebook page.
Please check it out here, and like it :)
If there is a large number of likes on our main Facebook page,each Alefb location will have its own Facebook group, s
tarting next school year.
On the individual Facebook groups, you will be able to read all about our weekly lessons and see pictures, and videos.
On the main Facebook page, you will be able to post discussion topics, interesting links and read about the actual trends in the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language. We will also post some hints and tips for improving the learning of the Arabic language and culture. 
Stay tuned...and feel free to get involved and post relevant insights...

We are always looking for dedicated teachers, for all our locations. Our training program is available to our potential candidates on an ongoing basis. Please click here to submit your resume. For more  job offers, click here.             


Ms.Farah's hint: Alefb's teacher in Washington DC, suggests that you try to switch one English word for an Arabic word, every week. For example: ask you children to use Min Fadlik/Min Fadlak, instead of Please. The following week, you can add another word. In no time, your children will be uttering full sentences in Arabic!

More hints:

Use a black or white board on your refrigerator as a reminder for grocery. Here is a picture of one we made with my son, for the family to use every time some grocery is missing. 

Did you know about the "Summer Slide"? It is this time of the year, when children are out of school and at risk of falling behind. Studies show the importance of continued practice, especially for students of Foreign Languages. 
Over the years, Alefb constantly offered weekly workshops during the summer, half day and all day summer camps, and even study abroad camps for a complete immersion in the Arabic Language and culture. Unfortunately, none of these were popular enough to be implemented.
Why?  Thankfully, most of our students have the opportunity to travel to their parents home country in the Summer, and /or to host some native family members in their own homes. 
Have your children create a blog or a journal: kids and parents alike will contribute their pictures, souvenirs, and best moments of the summer in Arabic. Send us excerpts of your journals, share your blogs, or post on our Facebook page.

More hints: 
Spend time with your children during the summer:
Read with your children here
Play online with your children here.


To make the World a better Place, Teach Arabic, by Brian T. Edward
This article appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Studying Arabic is a moral good and a matter of our national interest. Training a new generation to understand and converse in Arabic may help to reverse the previous generation’s misapprehension of the Arab world, especially as hate crimes against Muslims continue and anxieties about the Arab world fuel misunderstanding. - See more here 

Educational  Resources:

Use this fun website to create art with Arabic words. Ask your child for his or her favorite word in Arabic, or English (you will translate it for them in Arabic), type it in Arabic using a visual Arabic keyboard (learn how to add Arabic to your Microsoft office suite, here) and copy paste the word in the appropriate box. Pick your style and your font and let the magic unfold... Send us a picture of you masterpiece,  and  we will post it in our next Newsletter. 

Cultural and Community resources:

The month of May means it's the Film Festival in Cannes! check out the Lebanese winner of the Palmes d'Or for best documentary, Ely Dagher, here

Share with your children our Arabic culture, go out to the museum, to the movies, or other. Here are some ideas and events coming your way:

If you would like to share an event please let us know at info@alefb.org

- Newseum's exhibit on ethnic media tells The Arab American News’ story. More here

- Wendell Phillips Collection:Through a selection of unearthed objects as well as film and photography shot by the exhibition team, the collection highlights Phillips’s key finds in South Arabia (present-day Yemen), and recreates his adventures and conveys the thrill of discovery on the last great archaeological frontier. October 11 through June 7. Sackler Gallery,Washington, D.C. More here 

I have been procrastinating to write this section of the newsletter for over a month now. I have finally decided to tell you the story of a language and cultural enrichment program, from inception and on-wards.

It is the story of a young woman, in her late twenties, who quits her career as a legal corporate counsel to raise her first child. Alone with her Lebanese husband, in Bilad el Hejra (the wild wide world of exile), she is eager to hang on to her heritage and language. She wants to continue to keep rooted , and to avoid losing balance; she needs a support group. Because of her legal background, she decides to incorporate a legal entity. Because of her social mindset, she decides to run a non-profit educational program, to teach the Arabic language and culture to children.

The idea is welcomed by fellow young parents. 30 families subscribe to the weekly workshops, the first month.This was almost 20 years ago. Teaching foreign languages through games to children was just starting; teaching Arabic as a foreign language to children in a playful way, was a premiere. Finding teachers was the first challenge, developing an adequate curriculum was the second.

Today, Alefb is proud to feature a three level curriculum to be implemented on site and a comprehensive supplemental educational online component, available for free on Alefb's website.. Alefb's work was recently recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon, as well as by the Montgomery county in Maryland. Alefb was awarded grants from the Mairie de Paris 16eme in France, as well as from Qatar Foundation International, in Washington DC.

Alefb: a success story? Not quite... Young mother in her late twenties is now in her fifties, and still holding a great part of the fort by herself. Needs hands, minds and hearts to be able to grow, and sustain the seed she planted. Pressing demand for quality education exists, resources are out there, but solid work force is urgently needed.  

Alefb Alumni, young parents, retired parents, you are welcome to join the effort for the sake of those who Gibran Khalil Gibran calls " the Flame that no Wind can extinct, the Salt that no Eternity can spoil".

If you are interested, please email here, or call +1 301 919 4481.

If you once took part in the Alefb adventure, as a parent or a teacher,  please share your story at info@alefb.org 

  • If you have stories to share, please send them our way at info@alefb.org
  • Please propose field trips in your area that are relevant to the Arabic culture and language.
  • Come to our classes and perform one of your talents or just read a story, tell us about a traditional holiday, or about your job.

Our Team wishes you a
  Wonderful Summer!

Alefb... The playful way to learn arabic language and culture
Phone: 1.301.919.4481
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