Hayya Natakalam Maan Program
Aldeen Foundation participated in creating an outstanding Arabic Language program for young children: the Hayya Natakalam Maan Program. The Program was launched in September 2006 and has since been adopted by over 100 schools both nationally and internationally. Developed using the techniques and methods of teaching Arabic as a foreign language, Hayya Natakalam Maan is based completely on a communicative approach, which is the best way to teach a foreign language at this level, when students develop their oral skills.
Using age appropriate content and material, the Program uses story-telling, which is the most interesting method for young students. Puppets and other interactive materials are used to attract students’ attention and develop their interest in learning the Arabic language. The students’ working vocabulary consists not only of single words and their meanings, but also of “functional chunks,” memorized and unanalyzed phrases of high frequency. These functional chunks start as short fragments, then develop into longer sentences.
Using chunks is an important part of language development as they allow students to participate more fully in interpersonal communication. Additionally, functional chunks are a first step towards later grammar acquisition.
As vocabulary expands and children become more sophisticated language users, the functional chunks they have stored become the basis for discovery and grammar. These memorized chunks of language are the best building blocks of grammar. Through the Hayya Natakalam Maan Program, students will acquire a low/medium level of accuracy that equips them for the upper grade levels.
Standards for Level I
Level I is the stage of listening comprehension. Students will be able to show their comprehension of the language through their body and head movements. They will be able to repeat the vocabulary words and short sentences after their teacher. Students in this stage follow simple instructions in order to participate in age-appropriate classroom activities.
Standards for Level II
At Level II, students will be able to produce longer sentences. Their comprehension and listening skills are higher than the previous level. Students will ask and answer questions about topics such as family and school. Students will be able to share likes and dislikes with each other and to exchange descriptions of people and tangible products in their daily life such as toys, dress, food, and animals. Students will also be able to exchange essential information about each other through greetings, speaking words, and using appropriate gestures and oral expressions.
Standards for Level III
At the culmination of Level III, students will have acquired a low/medium level of oral language accuracy (listening and speaking) that will equip them to develop reading and writing in the upper grade levels.