In a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Dr. Al Baz said that the training of teachers will be at the heart of strategies for modernising teaching strategies of Arabic.
He added the report on ”The Modernisation of Teaching Arabic : Arabic for Life” focuses on building the capacities of teachers as the driving force of the learning process. ”A teacher, who commands his profession, will definitely raise a good pupil,” he said.
The report reviews the current state of Arabic language teaching based on five main themes: curriculum development, culture of reading, teachers, the role of the media in supporting teaching of Arabic and finally, teaching Arabic to non-native speakers.
The commission was formed by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as part of an integrated strategy to establish the UAE as a global “centre of excellence” for the Arabic language and to promote the language as a key enabler of national identity.
Speaking about highlights of the report, Dr. Al Baz explained that use of proper, simple Arabic in the media is one of tools to promote fluent Arabic. He noted that one year is not enough to put the report recommendations in place but any education institution can adopt such recommendations as a guide to overhaul their methods of teaching Arabic.
He regretted that the state of Arabic in many fields, especially in the media, is perceived as ”clumsy”. Dr. Al-Baz went on to say, ”Reform will not revolve around school and teachers only, it will require all hands on deck from school, teacher to home, media and other key community actors.” Answering a question about contributions of foreign educators to the report, Dr. Al Baz said his commission had sought assistance from international high-profile linguists and academics from Europe and the US, as these countries have rich experience in teacher-training.