Arabic Language for Expatriate Parents in Dubai: An Innovated Unit of Learning from an Andragogical Approach

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Since the Arabic Language (AL) is a compulsory subject in private schools in Dubai for non-Arabic-speaking expatriate pupils, AL training is being offered to expatriate parents by volunteering school-teachers to foster learning Arabic and promote parental engagement in their children’s Arabic learning. However, without a properly devised unit of learning based on parents’ needs, specific course design models and adult learning approaches, parents' motivating factors could be hindered which, might discourage them from further pursuing this learning journey. Therefore, this paper aims to design an innovative Unit of Learning (UoL) based on identifying expatriate parents’ language needs through a needs analysis tool, in one of the British private schools in Dubai. The needs’ analysis reveals that expatriate parents expect to learn Arabic language and culture through experiential and functional learning that link to their roles in life. Thus, this paper presents a designed UoL entitled, ‘Arabic Language for Expat Parents,’ which aims to involve parents in their children’s learning of Arabic as an Additional Language (AAL) in Dubai private schools. The designed UoL is underpinned by three theories: progressivism, andragogy, and authentic learning. Ultimately, this paper aims to encourage schools to increase their engagement with expatriate parents and act as catalysts for Arabic language and culture learning in Dubai and the UAE context at large.
andragogy, Arabic Language (AL), United Arab Emirates (UAE), authentic learning, course design, innovation in education, language learning, parental engagement, progressivism