Bahrain, February 2021 – The American School of Bahrain (ASB) has introduced a comprehensive Arabic language and Islamic Studies program as a way of imparting and upholding Bahraini cultural values amongst its students. With a mission to build a holistic educational structure that represents the culture and values that set Bahrain apart, such as family, character, relationship, trust, integrity and excellence, the school, through the introduction of the two learning programs, aims to promote those ideals that are central to the Kingdom of Bahrain while reinforcing its commitment to furthering the interests, wellbeing and growth of its students.
Since its inauguration, ASB has partnered with parents to develop a community culture that invokes pride in its students and allows them to flourish as individuals. “At ASB, we pride ourselves to be able to teach Arabic to all our students, be it first or second language learners. We have deployed various teaching strategies within our classes to include a range of learning and skill-based activities that focus on language building and acquisition.” said Dave McMaster, ASB’s Founding Director. “We aim to ensure that all our children develop a general awareness of Islamic traditions and culture so as to better understand the context in which they live in the Kingdom of Bahrain and become more well-rounded contributors to society as a community member,” added McMaster.
The school follows the Ministry of Education’s syllabus for native language students while offering a variety of courses i.e. Oheb Alarabiya “I love Arabic” and other resources for non-native students paving the way for IB international certification. With technological advancements and socially distanced arrangements in place, a range of role-plays, conversations, drama, and various devices such as apps and tools have been implemented throughout the learning process, to allow students to be more independent and in control of their learning. Topics include identity and culture, local areas, holiday and travel, school and future aspirations in addition to vocabulary learning, grammar, complex structures and creative writing as part of a wide-ranging strategy to incorporate Arabic listening, speaking, reading and writing into the curriculum. Although ASB is an international school, the importance of equipping its students to become responsible and respectful members of the Bahraini society is well recognized and actively pursued, since it contributes to the holistic development of the students.
ASB’s Head of Arabic Language and Culture, Fuad Al Anzarouti said, “Languages are the bedrock of the world’s cultural heritage. Every language offers a rich and unique insight into different ways of thinking and living as well as into the history of the myriad of cultures and peoples across the globe. Arabic unifies the Arab and Islamic world in a perfect blend. Without language one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.”
In addition to Arabic, Islamic Studies is also being taught as one of the core subjects by specialist teachers from Grade 1 onwards as per the curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education. While short Surahs, Hadiths, Dua'aa, personal attitude, environmental issues and socializing skills are all integrated into the course for the lower school, for higher grades, longer Surahs with interpretations, Islamic history and culture expand the breadth of study, showcasing the school’s pillars of Academic Excellence and Community Leadership. All topics are ultimately aimed at addressing various areas of a child’s learning and development.