When Amira Halabi recently became the Arab language instructor at Queen’s, she came up with a new name for the Arab program to reflect her approach and philosophy.
“Suffana is the Arabic word for ‘our class.’ I chose it because the program brings people together into a common unit. Suffana also fits with a lot of the goals that I have in mind for the program,” Ms Halabi says.
After teaching Modern Hebrew language courses last year, Ms Halabi has shifted to Arabic language instruction. She has developed several new initiatives that expand the program beyond the two six-credit Arabic courses that are offered.
“The Arabic language is the main avenue for understanding the Arabic culture that is rich with history and customs. As a language instructor, I am opening a door for people at Queen’s to understand some of that culture,” she says.
Ms Halabi has planned activities to enrich the classroom experience. Each week students will have the opportunity to practice speaking Arabic during informal conversations over coffee. They will also have the opportunity to share meals with Arabic speaking guests from the community during the school year.
Several events will also be open to the broader Queen’s community, including Arabic film screenings and guest lectures by Arab speakers.
Ms Halabi is excited to share with students her passion for the language.
“From my experience as an Arabic teacher, I enjoy integrating the four skills of the language: reading, writing, listening and speaking. I love the first few weeks of a course when students start to connect letters and read words and sentences,” she says.
Source: Queen's University, News Centre