Asma Ghanem

Instructor, Studies in Islam

Educational Background:

  • Post Graduate Diploma: Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages (TASOL)
  • Selected Research Project: “Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages, Including Arabic Language, in Asia: Issues and Points of Views”Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
  • MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo
  • Selected Research Project: “Research Analysis of Article in Psychology Graduate Course Related to Mind Wandering in the Educational Environment”
  • “Methodologies Used in Studies about Dyslexic School Children”
  • BA in Field Teacher of English/ Faculty of Education from the University of Jordan

Teaching Philosophy:

As an instructor, my objective is to help and support my students reach a level of independent study wherein they can confidently apply their knowledge to think through new concepts, and in confidence to become capable to develop a desire to learn and think for themselves. To reach this goal, I rely upon many creative interactive methods that encourage active participation and the desire to practice communication such as theatrical games, role plays, demonstrations and connecting the material with the everyday-life events. Creating a supportive learning relationship with students from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds is essential in my teaching style. To build these relationships, I routinely meet my students outside the classroom to answer their questions and to provide them with additional materials related to specific concepts. I also moderate extra conversational practice sessions to make students more comfortable with the new language they are learning.  Additionally, I design various activities to clarify concrete concepts for the students such as group activities, peer reviews, showing relevant YouTube videos, creating discussions among groups, playing card games, using questions and answers games, PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and magnetic cards on boards.

My main three principles in teaching Arabic are: repetition, relating the knowledge with the everyday practices of students, and fun. Repetition is key for the memorization of vocabulary in a new foreign language. The new knowledge should be strongly connected with the previous knowledge the students already have in their mind and, also connected with their daily interests. The planned and well- designed entertainment in the educational atmosphere that is directly associated with the lessons’ goals is an essential element for creativity and motivating positive critical thinking the students must be motivated to master.

Learning a foreign language is a wonderful challenge. It requires the employment of many techniques to reach the maximum level of learning within a limited period-of-time (e.g. a university semester). The Arabic language is one of the most dynamic languages on the planet, and learning this highly metaphorical and musical language will enrich one’s thinking about oriental societies.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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