#Arabic4Good©: Raising global citizens while empowering local teachers!

December 29, 2020

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We are very happy to shed the light on small business such Alefb, a non-profit organization that showed resiliency and was able to adapt to the new covid-19 era. They were also capable to support the wider community!

At Alaabi, we had the pleasure to discuss with Alefb their journey in teaching the Arabic language and culture, and how they managed to grow during these difficult times. Alefb also expanded their greater good footprint by employing teachers from Lebanon and the MENA region who are suffering from a deep economic crisis.

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  • What is Alefb?

Alefb is a non-profit organization that has pioneered teaching Arabic as a foreign language to children the playful way, in the DC area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Paris region in France, since 1994.

With this know-how, Alefb offers the first 1-on-1 online playful and purposeful Arabic classes, available for all ages and levels, anytime and from anywhere. Our programs are suitable for all curious minds, heritage and non-heritage alike.

Today, more than ever, Alefb is responsibly creating job opportunities in Lebanon and MENA, and raising the new generation to make the world a better place #Arabic4Good

Alefb has benefited more than 5,000 children, and 100 teachers. We have a 90% retention rate, and 100% satisfaction from parents and students.

  • What needs does Alefb cover?

It all started with this necessity: how to be able to communicate with your children in your native language, as an Arabic heritage expatriate parent. Basically, how to say a spontaneous ‘Ya Habibi’ to your child and be understood!

Parents are eager to find quality resources and skilled motivated instructors to share the riches of the Arabic language and culture. Students of Arabic as a foreign language are looking to learn with a purpose, so that the language becomes the communication tool they need.

With Alefb, all kids will learn the Arabic language and culture while having fun and developing 21st century skills.

All our programs lead to immediate gratification with the completion of a communicative multimedia project that our learners can share with pride, together with their own certificate of completion. They will certainly be proud to share their final projects with their loved ones!

  • How did you manage to keep going through the pandemic?

We decided to add an online offering early on, in 2016 to make our classes more accessible to all, everywhere. The pandemic was an accelerator for us, as we had to close all our US based on-site classes, and replace them with individual online classes to all students instead. In the process, and with the economic crisis worsening in Lebanon, we were able to hire our teachers directly on the ground. We found great support in the Alefb community. Parents, teachers, students and Alefb management worked together to get through the challenges of the all online process. Teachers’ hiring and training was delivered using online tools. Project-based customized curriculum and methodology were developed to meet the needs of every student. The change was managed and communicated in a timely manner.  All in all, we consider the pandemic to have been a positive challenge for Alefb, eventually leading to a new chapter for our growth.

  • We understand that the language is the bridge towards the culture and traditions, how are you making sure that the cultural aspect is maintained. Do you diversify beyond pure language courses?

Culture is essential to language learning, in Alefb classes. Our promise is to provide culture infused classes, always using authentic material and cultural references.

We do not offer pure language classes, for us learning a foreign language is a tool to communicate, and a way to better understand the Arab world’s lifestyle, customs and traditions.

We hire only native Arabic-speaking teachers, who naturally represent cultural practices and perspectives.

In addition, we offer regular one time group workshops, to raise awareness about the Arabic culture, such as cooking workshops in middle - eastern cuisine, storytelling by famous Lebanese children writers, virtual trips in the Arab countries, and more.

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  • What social impact is Alefb developing?

As a non-profit organization, Alefb lives by its motto: #Arabic4Good © : Raising global citizens while empowering local teachers!

We strengthen generational ties between our children born abroad and their families back in our native country, we raise awareness to the Arab culture for a better comprehension among the people.

For 25 years+, we strive to encourage and support all initiatives that complement our offering.

We hire locally for all our needs: illustration, curriculum development etc.

We financially support causes that are in line with our mission, such as helping rebuild schools, replant the Cedar Forest, promote Arabic children's literature and Arabic films.

More recently, in the process of hiring Online Arabic teachers, we chose to use the Jobs For Lebanon,a non-profit platform, created by young Lebanese in 2019, and were happy to offer job opportunities for a wealth of talented candidates.

After the August 4, 2020 explosion in Beirut, we launched a new initiative #Sawa4Good. It is a free pen-pal program that connects children inside and outside Lebanon. We reached out to SOS Village and Assabil public libraries in Beirut to help us recruit candidates for the program. Both were very enthusiastic to partner on #Sawa4Good, where kids on both sides of the ocean, can connect and freely share their interests, concerns, and daily routine in a secure environment while practicing their language skills. Inshallah, one day, these kids will meet face to face either in Lebanon or abroad!

Overall, we aim to build a network of like-minded people who speak the same language of peace and human development. 

alefb online community arabic teach greater good alaabi

  • What tips do you have for parents!

To learn a foreign language as difficult as Arabic (it is classified as level V ) the essential tip would be to make Arabic a priority, and to commit to it over a decent lapse of time.

As a parent, the best choice is to select engaging  tools, and high quality classes combined with fun educational resources.

If your kids are heritage kids, be a role model to them, and just be yourself! Give them the gift of the Arabic language and culture, by speaking with them in your native language, celebrating the traditional holidays and keeping the customs and traditions alive, on a daily basis.

For all parents who know that learning a foreign language as difficult and enriching as Arabic is a tremendous asset, our tip is to keep it playful and motivating.

More concretely, it would be a good idea to set a specific moment in your daily routine, a fifteen minute window where you all speak in Arabic only, you could watch short movies in Arabic, read stories in Arabic, visit exhibits about the Arabic world, and share your own experience with Arabic whether recounting fatigues of your childhood or reflecting on the beauty and relevancy of this language.

Eventually, you will be using Alaabi games that are the perfect continuity to Alefb online private classes with native Arabic teachers from Lebanon and Mena.

If you are reading this blog post, you are already on the right track! Ultimately, you are raising the global citizens of tomorrow, and they will thank you for this.

USE ALAABI10 to benefit from 10% discount on online classes!

#Arabic4Good, #Sawa4Good

Looking to teach Arabic to your kids?
Try Alefb Online private classes, from anywhere, anytime with local teachers in Lebanon and MENA.
Check www.alefb.org - 25+ years of experience, teaching the Arabic language and culture the playful way.


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