Category Archives: Arabic Teaching Tips

Teaching Arabic to Kids

I’ve been busy updating TJ’s Arabic department. Still not done and have bits and pieces of things (still haven’t completed the Alphabet books yet, I get so sidetracked), but insha Allah there are still some helpful resources, so please stop by and take a look:

Getting Started Teaching Arabic

Need tips for getting started teaching Arabic? Check here.

Sample Arabic Class Teaching Routines

Need tips for organizing your Arabic class/learning sessions for more productivity and consistency? Check here.

TJ’s Beginning Arabic Reading & Writing Curriculum (work in progress)

Need a teaching outline or free lessons for teaching the alphabet, numerals, and beginning reading? Check here.

Arabic Alphabet

Learning aids for teaching the Arabic alphabet

Arabic Conversation


Arabic Environmental Print

Learn some Arabic with Arabic packaging/labels.

Arabic Grammar


Arabic Vocabulary

Posters, flashcards and other learning aids to aid in the teaching of Arabic vocabulary.



Posted by on February 14, 2009 in Arabic Teaching Tips


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Arabic Routine


This is a revised outline of our Arabic class routine. Now, we don’t do everything everyday, but its a guide to keep us on track, to keep consistent and be sure that we review key concepts.


And here is our English one. This is for my 6-10 year olds.


I printed these out on cardstock (the pdfs) and then I place them in the plastic cover of my homeschooling binder so its handy. I’ve pretty much always used routines like these from the beginning of my homeschooling, but this is probably the most comprehensive that I have gotten. And now that I have them handy on the cover of my binder, I find that I use them even more. 

Hope you find them helpful.

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Posted by on December 18, 2008 in Arabic Teaching Tips, Teaching Tips


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Ideas for making Arabic (or anything) stick..Use Repetition and make it fun..

A TJ visitor asked for some ideas for helping her son who attends Arabic class in weekend school. He was having trouble distinguishing between the tanweens. I brainstormed some ideas from things I have used in the past or have stumbled upon and want to try and thought I would post them here.  Although I had Arabic in mind when I compiled this list, many of these activities I have used for English as well.

 So here was my response:

Daily Review

This may be pretty obvious but I thought I would mention it. In addition to the class, do you sit down with him each day and practice the material learned? I find that my kids do much better when something is introduced and then I have them practice it daily (and then maybe weekly once its mastered) instead of just following the lesson in the book (or lessons I have prepared), its just usually not enough practice.

If I can, I like to try to drill after each pray to help remind me or set up a specific time (one or two) each day to review.


Review  can come in many forms, here are just a few  (I’ve tried to tailor most to the tanween problem you have mentioned but they can be adapted to probably any concept, Allahu ilm)


I use games very often to drill the material. Sometimes the kids have so much fun they forget they are learning/drilling. Some things I do include:


On my blog, I have several game boards for the short vowels.  Most of the time we just end up reading the words along the path instead of using markers to move, but I think this is more interesting then reading the exercises in the book.  So if he is having trouble with tanween, you might include words along a path that include tanween. (We are on sukoon right now, so insha Allah, I may soon have boards with tanween on my blog). Or you just might have the tanweens written along the path and he has to name them.

      The ladder/step game

      I think this is one of their absolute favorite games. I draw a ladder or steps and write words (or letters if we are doing alphabet or math facts for math, etc) on the steps. I draw a treat at the top (or put a real one there) and they must read the words to go up the stairs. I may make them go back down if they miss a word after correctly reading it for them (but it depends, some of the kids get frustrated if they have to keep starting over so I use this sparingly and according to the child). I usually do this on the whiteboard and then make several different sets of stairs with the words in different order.

      Instead of words, you can just put fathah tanweens, dammah tanweens, and kashrah tanweens on the steps as well and he can say the name or the sound of the endings.


Tic Tac Toe

      Write the endings in the tic tac toe spaces, he must name the ending to place a mark; or write words with the endings in the spaces.


1.      Place several cards of each of the endings. in a can.

2.      Place one or two cards with the word “Bang” on them in can with the other cards.

3.      Child picks out one card at a time and says the ending. If he reads the card correctly, he continues.  If he gets a “Bang” card, he must put al cards back and start over.

4.      Child wins when he has read all cards.

Note: for smaller children, I would only put 1 “Bang” card in the can.




Perhaps you can write the same word three times, but with fathah tanween one time, kashrah tanween one time and then dammah tanween the last time in a line (e.g kataabuun, kataabiin, kataabaan and then having him read the words. You point to the ending in each before he reads to draw visual attention to the ending he is about to pronounce. You might read the drill yourself first several times pointing to the ending and then have him read. After doing the drill with the same word, try a different word.

For trouble just distinguishing between the endings, you can do this drill with the endings written instead of the words. 



Make 3 paper tiles, one with kasrah tanween, one with dammah tanween, one with fathah tanween. You read the words with the ending and student must select one of the paper tiles with the ending that matches the ending you said. Or you can write a word without the endings and then say the word with the ending and he puts the correct paper tile on the end to match. You can make it more engaging by having him hold up the correct card instead of just pointing to/placing  it.

You can also do this dictation without the tiles by having him write the correct endings that are dictated or have him write the whole word with the ending.


 Or, write the same word three times with the different endings written, you say one of the words, he circles which one you said.


Good old flashcards.

Make a deck of flashcards based upon the concepts he is learning in class. Add a new flashcard as a new concept is introduced in class. So if he’s done fathah, kasrah, dammah, sukoon, fathah tanween, dammah tanween, and kasrah tanween so far, put cards with these symbols each on  its own card. Each day, go through the cards and have him give the name of each symbol and its sound (if applicable).  Give him a word (katabaan) or word part (ka) and tell him to name the vowels or the word ending.  Sometimes I make up games with the flashcards like hold the card in the air and slowly lower it and he has to answer what I’ve asked before the card reaches the ground.



Insha Allah the key is to just give him more practice with the concepts he is learning in class. As I said earlier, most of the time, I feel that the lessons in books do not provide enough practice typically so I try to find fun, simple, and varied activities to practice the concepts.  The ideas above can help reinforce concepts, insha Allah through the use of listening, speaking, reading and writing disguised in fun activities.





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Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Arabic Teaching Tips


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Arabic lesson outline

Alhamdulillah as I have mentioned before, our Arabic, at least for the younger ones is sailing, masha Allah. But even still, I felt that our sessions could be more productive so I made up a little outline for us to follow:



                                                Numbers 1-20 review  (15 minutes)

o        Recite and look 10x(write on board or look at chart)

o        Read random numbers

o        Write dictated numbers

o        Sequencing, what comes next, before, inbetween, series

Alphabet  (15minutes)

·         Recite and look 5x (standalone)

·         Read random letters (standalone/connected) – flashcards/game

·         Write dictated letters and two letters connected

·         Sequencing

Reading: (15 minutes)

·         Review questions: How many letters are there in the alphabet? How many short vowels are there?  Name them. Visually ID them on board or in a quick game.; write them as dictated. What does a sukoon mean? Write a sukoon.

·         Read from reader (or just use example words of the concept we are learning)

o        Do letter name, vowelling drill on some words in book

o        Read some blocks or lines

o        Have student choose from 4 blocks (or from words in a sentence), which one says what is dictated, point to it Who can find it the fastest?

·         Writing (15 minutes)

Practice connecting two letters


We more or less stick to the routine that I have laid out above. Some days we don’t accomplish everything, but it has helped me to not feel so frazzled when I sit down to teach.

Also, I have found that little games have emerged on their own without my planning. I had started to write (one at a time) a connected form of a letter on the board and the kids had to tell me the name of the l letter and its position (first, middle or end). Well, everyone was blurting out answers and the next thing I know we had a boys’ team and a girls’ team competing.  They had so much fun, masha Allah that they asked to keep going and when I told them we had to move on, they asked if we could play again tomorrow  So if you find that your lessons are dull, use board games (whiteboard or printable) to liven things up. And as I said, many times, games will just evolve on their own. 

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Posted by on November 24, 2008 in Arabic Teaching Tips, Teaching Tips


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Getting Started Teaching Arabic

Ok, so Arabic’s not your first language, but you know you should teach it to your kids so that they can read the Quraan and authentic Islamic texts.

If you’re just starting out, you may be scratching your head, wondering where to begin, and how to teach.

Insha Allah, TJ tips and resources can help.


Getting Started


1. Know why you should teach Arabic

Understand the importance of teaching Arabic to your student and its benefits. Insha Allah, this will help make teaching Arabic a priority for you.


Article: The Status of the Arabic Language in Islam


2. Determine your goals for learning Arabic


Are you teaching your child Arabic so that he/she can read the Quraan and Islamic texts?

Do you want your child to learn conversational Arabic?

Do you want your child to learn Arabic grammar?


I once read an article online that insisted that children do not need to know the Arabic terms for words such as lemon or taxi. The author’s position was that if you were going to read the Quraan, this type of vocabulary was not necessary. Point taken. However, if you are intending on making hijrah or living in an Arabic speaking country, then it may be important to know terms like these.


Both goals have very different means for attaining them, so you need to decide what your goals are because this will affect what type of curriculum you need.


If you are just looking for a program or means to teach your child to read the Quraan, than you don’t need him/her to be bogged down with unrelated material.


If you want your student to be fluent in Arabic speaking, you need a curriculum rich in vocabulary and conversational Arabic and you need to make sure that you try to use that conversation in everyday life, as much as possible. You will want to choose a program that is arranged by topics and not grammatical concepts for conversational speaking. Grammar should be incorporated naturally into the topic, not the other way around for this goal. Also, try to give student plenty of opportunity to hear spoken Arabic from native speakers. Provide lots of real life applications and practice.


If you want your child to learn the rules of grammar, my suggestion is not to mix it into the conversation/oral fluency curriculum. As an Arabic as a second language learner, I have found that I tend to get too bogged down in the grammar aspects when it comes to speaking and thus I think it slows me down in communicating orally. These are two different goals and thus (in my opinion) require two different teaching methods.



3. Choose a curriculum or make your own.


Now that you have identified your goals for teaching Arabic (and it can be all three), set out to find programs that match these needs. This should be easier, insha Allah, now that you have separated them out instead of simply saying, I want my child to learn Arabic.


Two programs/books that I have used with success, masha Allah are:

Out of the two, I really liked the second as it contained over 100 easy lessons. I didn’t get to use this extensively as my son lost it in the masjid, but I really liked the way it laid the lessons out. If I could get it again, I would. There are other books by the same title in different bookstores, so if you are looking for this one, look for this author.


So, we really ended up going with the first one for most of the instruction for my two oldest children. Although it is for ages 7 and up, I felt that more time should have been spent on the alphabet itself, at least for younger children. Once the alphabet is learned, I felt the book was excellent. I think only one word out of the given words for reading throughout the book is not in the Quraan. The book also came with a couple of Arabic alphabet charts, flashcards, and tapes. I do recommend this one as well.


Other than that, having been in Yemen for a while, I have picked up Arabic books from Arabic authors. My only problem (well not really a problem) with these is that I think they present ways of learning that are foreign to American students and I prefer to jazz things up a bit as well as provide more drill.


There is one book called, Iqra Qiratee, that is used a lot here, especially in Damaaj. I like the beginning of the book as it provides what I feel is much needed drill for the alphabet. ( I go for old fashioned ways of learning, I’m a fan of drill) So I usually use the beginning of the book where it teaches the alphabet in drill form, and then switch to the Easy Steps in Quraan Reading or other material to continue.

If you don’t have the means to purchase a curriculum, then make your own. Takes a little more work, but you can suit it to fit your teaching style and your student’s learning style, insha Allah. Resources on the ‘net abound, masha Allah and between finding them and making your own resources, I think you can put together a decent curriculum, bi ithnillah.


I am currently working on pulling together resources for learning Arabic:

Arabic Reading and Writing

So far this is an outline of a sequence to teach students to read and write Arabic. I have also began to place links for related materials. It also includes an outline for setting up an Arabic study session if you want to structure your lessons.


Vocabulary/Conversational Program

Here is a tentative outline of what I hope to cover. I thought it might be handy so I am posting it now (1/2008), even though I have not fully developed the materials yet. I hope to have a lesson completed for the first item soon, insha Allah.



TJ has grammar resources such as lessons, to grammar lessons, and a few grammar related printables.


If you’d like to refer to this article in the future, you can find it here, insha Allah.


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Posted by on January 11, 2008 in Arabic Teaching Tips


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