UAE academic institutions embrace technology to boost students' progress in Arabic

Through digital Arabic reading platforms and apps such as Nearpod, pupils are simultaneously perfecting their language skills and having fun


Nandini Sircar

Published: Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:14 PM

The adoption of technology to enhance students' advancement in the Arabic language is gaining traction across academic institutions in the UAE. Various technologies integrated into the curriculum have increased interactivity, engagement, and improved retention – thanks to algorithms that track progress of the learners and provide them with personalised feedback.

Many enable tailored learning according to each student's specific needs and pace of learning. Through digital Arabic reading platforms and apps such as Nearpod, pupils are simultaneously perfecting their language skills and having fun.

Over time, teachers at GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi, have observed that students' vocabulary has improved, leading to better comprehension of complex sentence structures and enhanced pronunciation.


Yasmin Saadeh, MOE Subjects Coordinator at GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi, said: “We have been using the BravoBravo Arabic reading platform in parallel with other apps and technologies like AR, VR, Lego coding and the Nearpod application.

“Technology allows students to access a wide range of authentic resources, such as videos, audio recordings, news articles, and online libraries in Arabic,” she added.

Developing teaching skills

In another move, GEMS Education and Queen Rania Teacher Academy have entered into an agreement that aims to strengthen the teaching skills of educators teaching UAE Ministry of Education Arabic subjects.

Over the course of the next three years, the partnership will look at upskilling teachers and leaders across the education provider’s network of schools via the most up-to-date strategies intended to build their capacity and improve student outcomes in the relevant subjects.

Dr Osama Obeidat, CEO at Queen Rania Teacher Academy, said: “This collaboration is a powerful testament to our shared dedication to prioritising the needs of educators and working together to achieve excellence in education.”

Under the terms of the agreement, GEMS staff, including heads of Arabic and Islamic departments as well as teachers, will have access to a range of world-class professional development opportunities. These include specialised diploma programmes specifically designed for educators by Queen Rania Teacher Academy.

Dr Saima Rana, CEO at GEMS Education and CEO/Principal of GEMS World Academy – Dubai, said: “Arabic and Islamic Studies are an important area of focus for us as we look to raise the standards and set new benchmarks in these vital subjects, aligned to the priorities of the UAE’s education regulators and the expectations of our students and their parents.”

Diagnostic tool

Meanwhile, The Zai Centre at Zayed University (ZU) in Abu Dhabi recently launched ‘Screening Arabic Reading Difficulties’ (SARD) tool, a cloud-based tool that utilises speed, accuracy of processing, and performance data to predict various reading difficulties, as well as potential developmental and learning disorders like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and spelling disorders.

By using this tool, schools can make well-informed decisions on tailoring their teaching approach to meet the individual needs of students in grades 1 to 6.

The tool generates user-friendly analytical reports and charts, presenting students’ performance data from reading skills assessments.

Dr Hanada Taha Thomure, endowed chair professor of Arabic Language at ZU, said: “Zai is not only about teaching the language itself but preserving and celebrating the rich culture and history of the Arab world. As a country that deeply values its cultural heritage, the UAE understands the importance of promoting and preserving the Arabic language and its diverse traditions. It is our hope that the development of innovative resources, such as SARD, will revitalize Arabic teaching.”


Nandini Sircar

Published: Thu 20 Jul 2023, 5:14 PM

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