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Alaa: High School Arabic Teacher

Educators are sharing the importance of language teaching!

A portrait of Alaa with the text: My favorite word or expression in another language is "Habibi"
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Meet Alaa—an Arabic teacher at Jonesboro High School in Clayton County, Georgia.

Teaching a language means preparing students to become global citizens.

What first inspired you to become a language educator? What motivates you today?

The person who inspired me to become a teacher is my English teacher from when I was in middle school. She supported me as a language learner even though I was not an advanced learner. She believed in me, and I sensed that explicitly because she was extremely patient with me while I was learning English.

Currently, my students are my number one motivators. Their dedication and positive behavior give me a reason to wake up every morning and share my knowledge with them.

What is the best or most fulfilling part of teaching language and culture?

One of the most fulfilling parts of teaching is that my students become more aware of the sociopolitical and socio-cultural aspects of the Arab world: They become more understanding of the social norms and the political conflicts in the region. This makes me feel motivated to stay in my teaching position and equip my students with the necessary knowledge to carry a constructive conversation based on facts.

What advice or encouragement would you like to share with aspiring or early-career language educators?

A piece of advice is that our students show progress when teachers analyze their needs and understand their environments. It is imperative for the teachers to listen actively to what the students want to learn. By including them in the learning and teaching process, the students will produce the target language more freely and the participation will be more noticeable.

Have you got a favorite word or expression in another language? What is it, what does it mean, and why did you choose it?

Habibi literally means "my love"; it is a term used to express endearment.


Complete this thought: My #LanguageDream for the future is...

...for world languages to become one of the core subjects in all public schools, from elementary to high schools.

Check out our Become an Educator and Connect with Arabic pages—or explore another language of your choosing—for information about university programs, scholarship opportunities, testimonials, and more!

Then tell us how you put your language skills to work @LangConnectsFdn on social media.

Know an amazing language educator who we should feature next? Refer them to us for consideration in an upcoming Educator Profile.