While English and Spanish claim the lion's share of foreign language learning, other languages are emerging and attracting interest from both future professors and recruiters.
The Arabic language is one of the happy few. Learning Arabic is an asset!
But what level is required to teach Arabic? Should we get diplomas? Is it necessary to have a required certification or even the aggregation in Letters to teach Arabic?
Superprof gives an overview to better understand the growing phenomenon of teaching the Arabic language and especially to indicate the means to achieve it.
Checking your Arabic level
Arabic is a particular language, and you will realize this very fast after you start in your learning process. Between the standard modern Arabic (the one you will usually learn in school and teach), and different dialects such as Egyptian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Arabic from the middle east, Lebanon, Saudi, ... there are many different words, phrase constructions, grammar, and accents.
Saying you are learning or teaching Arabic isn't actually good enough: what you learn is a specific Arabic, closer to the one you can read in the Quran than the dialect spoken by the people in the Algerian countryside, for example.
So the first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what is the Arabic you speak, with who you can communicate, and how good your Arabic really is. To do so, you just need to go on an online website and test you level in spoken and written Arab.
The teaching of the Arabic language in the US
In the US you can receive many different types of language lessons.
Of course, you can learn and teach French, English, Spanish, Italian, German but you can also teach languages considered difficult such as Japanese, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese and... Arabic.
Indeed, although America isn't known for its knowledge of foreign languages, more and more American people are interested in this language and wish to learn to speak or just to understand it.
Faced with this demand, what about supply? Are there many Arabic professors in America?
The answer remains negative because the training to become an Arabic teacher is reduced as a rate of knots.
This is why many professors or people who want to teach this idiom turn to associations or to a body dedicated to foreign languages.
In these alternative structures, Arabic often appears in the list of choices.
How to become an Arab teacher?
The three types of teaching of the Arabic language.
There are 3 kinds of teaching of Arabic (written and oral) in the US. They are:
- A teaching stipulates the need to learn not only the Arabic language but also culture and history.
- A specifically language-focused teaching, as you would get in school.
- A teaching organized around religious associations that are mainly based in mosques or in places devoted entirely to this teaching (Arabic Koranic, literary Arabic).
These various methods of teaching the Arabic language are undervalued by the school system because of a lack of involvement in the culture of today's children and teenagers.
It should not be forgotten that teachers of Arabic aren't much integrated with the teaching staff of the institution, as are the teachers of Japanese, Chinese. It is only at university that they seem to be a little more recognized. But is it difficult to learn Arabic? Is it even better to teach it?
In this context, it isn't rare to encounter teachers of Arabic teaching their language using the system of special Arabic courses, enrolling on educational support platforms.
The tutoring system allows the teacher to propose a personalized program to the student in Arabic: having full knowledge of the various school and university programs, knowing the needs and expectations of the juries in Arabic examinations and competitions, the Arabic professor will be able to adapt its course optimally according to the needs and expectations of its pupil.
By registering on a school support platform, he will be equally valued and recognized for his skills as if he taught in a private institute, within an association or simply in a college or high school.
However, there are basic criteria for giving Arabic courses:
- Having experience in teaching
- Being a teacher
- Having a diploma recognized by the State
- Being accessible and available
- Accepting to work and be paid at the rate of $20 to $30 per hour on average.
For more information on rates and the cost of Arabic lessons, read this article here.
Courses and diplomas for Arabic courses
Whatever the outlets, whatever the way you teach the Arabic language, you should know that foreign language studies such as Arabic are never short, they even come a long way.
It takes at least 4 to 5 years of studies at least, ie to obtain a Bachelor's degree or even a Master's degree to become an Arab teacher.
This Bachelor's Degree in Foreign and Regional Languages, Literatures, and Civilization is particularly aimed at literary lovers.
This degree is often the best way to obtain a teacher's certification.
It's similar to studies of Letters but in a foreign language, in Arabic in this case.
You will learn Arabic grammar, written and oral expression, but you will also learn Arabic phonetics, literature and civilization (Arabic culture and history) and linguistics.
Please note that during a degree, other courses can be offered to help you to specialize: teaching professions, translation trades, documentation, etc.
The Language Degree
The Bachelor's Degree in Applied Foreign Languages is more oriented towards the business world.
This degree focuses on a practice of the language in the professional context, that is why part of the program deals with masters of application that vary according to your university: economy, law, commerce, tourism, IT, translation, etc.
It is an excellent opportunity to learn Arabic and to teach it in these levels while benefiting from a solid training.
Being a certified teacher
So you want to be a teacher? In the United States, each state has a different method for teacher certification. In general, you need to get a bachelor’s degree, in the subject matter which you are planning to teach. Most states require advanced training of some sort and in most cases a passing grade on a certification exam.
So you really need to get the information of each state's website before you consider being a teacher there and thinking of which certification to get. Often however they're more or less the same and do not require to pass new tests if you've already taught successfully in another state.
For anyone who wishes to teach Arabic at high school or public college, a certificate is the Sesame to be obtained.
Being an Associate Professor
For professors who want to teach Arabic but want to maintain a level of excellence in knowledge, practice and reflection on the Arabic language, aggregation is a kind of Grail that opens up all the ways for you.
Agrégation allows you to teach the Arabic language in high schools but especially in higher education such as universities.
It should be noted that secondary school teachers work 15 hours per week (presence in the institution) with regard to literature and languages.
Teaching in video
Thanks to the Internet to channels like Youtube or Dailymotion, you can propose your own Arabic lessons to all Internet users interested in learning the language.
You can cut out your course as you see fit, offer Arabic grammar points, a fun way to learn the Arabic alphabet or even to discover Arabic calligraphy. Your videos can be sequenced in chapters, to learn specific points.
For those who love Arab history and culture, video lessons are an excellent alternative with the possibility of offering direct links to illustrate what is said.
With this type of teaching, there is no need for a particular diploma to be displayed to give courses but a certain mastery of the language, and a sense of pedagogy will undoubtedly be appreciated.
You earn a small living this way since Youtube will pay you after a certain amount of views on your videos. Try to keep you videos simple and concentrate on one point at a time: this will help the learner to work progressively and also go on to watch the next videos.
So you can go for the certification, but if you feel like you have a gift for teaching then try to go for the alternate solutions and find the students that fit your needs!
Read our complete guide on how to become an Arabic teacher here.