Conference: FIKRA: IDEA — Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility in Arabic Language and Cultures.


The North Carolina Arabic Teacher Council is pleased to host a conference for Arabic language educators this fall: FIKRA: IDEA — Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility in Arabic Language and Cultures. Held Oct. 22-23, 2022, at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this gathering will convene K-16 Arabic educators from diverse institutions to explore and expand the ways in which we teach Arabic language and cultures. Featuring grade level-specific sessions as well as keynote presentations, the conference will generate discussion and action steps to more closely align our classrooms and teaching content with IDEA principles for the future. 

The conference will highlight such topics as multilingualism and translanguaging, linguistic inclusion in the language classroom, navigating Arabic as a historically gendered language, the exploration of less commonly taught Arabic dialects from the SWANA region, Arabic speakers in diaspora, and how to engage students in relevant, social justice issues from the region. Attendees will discuss methods, curricula and pedagogy with colleagues to critically evaluate if our current efforts truly represent IDEA.

Marhaban bikom (Welcome to all!)

NCATC Spring Webinar: Exploring Playaling: Using Digital Resources in Your Arabic Classroom


The NCATC is pleased to welcome Lena Krause to lead a workshop on using Playaling in your classroom. She will not only discuss the relevance of culturally authentic and level appropriate digital resources, but will also lead teachers through envisioning how they might easily and effectively employ Playaling in their classrooms!


The beauty of is its simplicity: imagine a glorified Arabic YouTube with clickable subtitles. But how to use it in the classroom? This 90-minute interactive virtual workshop will demonstrate several ways to use the Arabic learning website and guide educators in deciding how it can fit into their curriculum. Some of the activities will include identifying objectives, analyzing text genres, and developing listening strategies. Through Playaling, we will also explore questions such as how to expose students to the dialect spectrum and what constitutes an authentic resource. Come with your headphones and mics on for a collaborative discussion on using digital resources in the Arabic classroom!


*Note: Workshop will be conducted primarily in Arabic.


Lena Krause teaches Arabic and French at Beacon Academy, a Montessori high school in Evanston, IL. She founded the Arabic program in 2019 which now includes levels 1-4 and also offers the International Baccalaureate. In her classroom, she experiments with an integrated curriculum that includes both Fusha and elements of Moroccan Darija. The curriculum also includes an annual exchange with Moroccan high school students at the American Language Center in Tangier.


Outside of school, Lena was the first Darija translator for which is central to tonight’s talk. Last summer, she also began developing an online Darija curriculum called “derrej m3aya” and tested it with a small cohort of foreigners living in Morocco. In June, she will be returning to Morocco as Resident Director with the Critical Language Scholarship in Meknes.


Wednesday, April 27 at 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. EST



Hosted by the NCATC and co-sponsored by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies


Cumberland International Early College High School Establishes North Carolina’s First Arabic Honor Society

North Carolina’s first Arabic Honors Society chapter has been established in Cumberland county. The chapter was started by Rana Nasser, who teaches Arabic 1, 2, and 4 honors at Cumberland International Early College High School where she also serves as the World Languages Department Chair. “I wanted to create a sense of belonging for my students,” Nasser explained.

Dedicated to helping high-achieving students of Arabic excel at the high school level, the national Arabic Honor Society, launched and supported by QFI, provides financial support, academic direction, and career guidance for its members. “Students will also have tassels to wear at their graduation ceremony to show off their achievements,” Nasser added. Qualifications to be a member are rigorous, including earning a 90% or higher in Arabic courses and completing 1.5 years of Arabic.

Honor societies have long existed for other major world languages taught at the secondary level. For example, Cumberland International Early College High School already has a Spanish Honor Society. With the need for cross-cultural understanding of the Arabic-speaking world as well as increased enrollment in Arabic language classes across the country, an Arabic Honor Society is a needed addition.

AHS chapters across the nation offer opportunities for students and teachers to engage their communities and bolster their local Arabic language programs. “I started this chapter because I wanted to promote the Arabic language in my school,” Nasser shared. “My goal is to increase visibility about Arabic language learning and provide motivation for students to stay engaged.” Nasser even arranged t-shirts for the group with a unique logo.

Cumberland’s AHS has plans to grow in the coming years by inducting more students and becoming more engaged with the local community, promoting Arabic language along the way. The AHS has already volunteered for the Light the Night campaign, a fundraising event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Future plans include participating in the annual Cumberland International Early College High School cultural night as well as other school-wide Arabic language and culture activities.