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Non-Arab students in Dubai top global online Arabic language competition

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on November 16, 2020
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The competition held between November 4 and 11, saw students respond to more than 11 million questions across four skills — reading, writing, speaking and listening.

A Dubai school with mostly non-Arab students topped 324 schools worldwide in a global online Arabic language competition.

JSS Private School was declared the global winner of the seven-day Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Languages Perfect Competition 2020 where 744 students (all non-Arabs) from Grade 4 to Grade 9 were tested on four different skills in Arabic language.

The competition held between November 4 and 11, saw students respond to more than 11 million questions across four skills — reading, writing, speaking and listening. JSS School students secured the highest total score of 174,110 points. The school managed to beat a number of Arab schools, some of which are located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Dr Marwa Ali Maher Mahiaa, head of department for Arabic at JSS Private School, said: “This is a huge achievement for our school as all the participants were non-Arabs and we did not have a syllabus to follow for this competition. It was purely based on the fluency of the students that they topped the various levels. I am proud of my staff and students who have shown their love for the Arabic language by practising and excelling in it. Participants spent up to eight hours a day clearing various difficulty levels of the competition and earning points.”

“Thirty-four of our students got the highest scoreboard rating; followed 116 in the second-highest category; 128 students bagged the gold rating; 179 silver, 577 bronze and 1,103 in the last category,” she added.

The British International School Abu Dhabi was placed second and Al Rabeeh Academy came third in the competition.

Toppers share love for Arabic

I’ve always wanted to master UAE’s native language, said Indian student Nathan Peter D’Mello, who topped the competition. “I spent eight hours a day at the online competition. I am grateful to my class teacher Anuradha and Arabic teacher Sarah for motivating me to participate in the competition. I love this concept of learning Arabic through competition.”

Another Indian student from Grade 5, Shivaani J Nair, who came third in the competition, said: “Arabic is the language of the country where I live and consider my second home. Moreover, leaning Arabic provides me with a good understanding of the culture here. I started learning Arabic in grade 2 since I came to Dubai. I woke up early morning with full enthusiasm to answer the questions online and also sat on it after school hours. I have learned a pile of new words that I have already started included in my daily vocabulary. My listening and speaking skills also have improved very much after this competition.”

saman@khaleejtimes.com





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