Monday, April 1, 2019

Arabic - Door opener to Muslim culture

Language is an important access, not only to other people and cultures, but also to religion. This is as true for believers as it is for others who are interested in approaching from outside, whether it is about understanding believers or God: We use language, read holy scriptures, listen to sermons, participate in theological discourses, etc.

Different civilizations developed different language ways ("language games") , which had the special function to communicate in them with God. This often resulted from the belief that God Himself had revealed Himself to people in this specific language. For Islam this is the Arabic language.

As part of its general dialogue mission, the House of One integrated the teaching of the Arabic language in schools into its educational programme with this school year. Not only pure language competence is to be taught, but also children and young people - with different own, also religious backgrounds - an access to Muslim cultures and the Islamic conceptual world is to be opened. For each Arabic instruction the specific requirements of the schools as well as of the pupils and teachers are dealt with.

So far an Arabic course with this concept has been developed at the Evangelische Schule Berlin Mitte (ESBM), which takes place weekly. Six pupils of the 5th and 6th grades take part. One pupil is a native Arabic speaker, but so far has hardly received any instruction in classical High Arabic or in reading and writing the language. After a few weeks of instruction, the pupils already know the alphabet and can simply read their first words and form simple sentences. The children are highly motivated and interested in the language. With various materials such as vocabulary cards with pictures or children's books as well as excursions into cultural topics, the teachers try to meet the interests of the children.

The Arabic teachers who work for the House of One are funded by the Qatar Foundation International.