Accelerating the impact of the Online Arabic from Palestine (OAfP) language course
This project aimed to implement four actions to accelerate the impact of the Online Arabic from Palestine (OAfP) language course. The OAfP is the main output of the AHRC-GCRF project “The impact of language” (AH/R004617/1) and was collaboratively designed at UofG and the Arabic Center (Gaza Strip, Palestine). Teaching the OAfP online contributes to alleviate the high unemployment rates for young graduates in Gaza. The actions are:
- Develop a Teachers’ Guide;
- Develop a specific OAfP website;
- Train 20 Arabic language teachers to maximise the potential of the OAfP and use online/mobile tools creatively for language teaching;
- Disseminate the OAfP through workshops, webinar and social media to reach: services working with refugees in the UK (NGOs; statutory, volunteer); NGOs in Gaza; providers of Arabic as a foreign language.
The project sought to accelerate impacts from the Online Palestinian Arabic Course (OPAC) project, funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund by AHRC. Expanding on the impact of the Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages case study (TASOL CS) of the Researching Multilingually at Borders Project, the OPAC designed an innovative online Arabic course that is sustainable, grounded in Palestinian culture and language and adapted for delivery in challenging contexts. This new project “Online Arabic from Palestine - GIAA” developed teacher training tools, invest in the development of new Arabic Language teachers, and expand capacity of the teaching interface in Gaza. The project also extended the global reach of the OPAC through workshops, webinar and social media to connect with services working with refugees in the UK (NGOs; statutory, volunteer) and other providers of Arabic as a foreign language.
For the past 10 years, the Gaza Strip has been under blockade. Because of the blockade, the population of the Strip is in a state of forced immobility, unable to move freely in and out of the Gaza Strip. The blockade has resulted in very high unemployment, especially among young graduates, and in forced cultural and linguistic homogeneity. The design of the OAfP course in collaboration with the Arabic Center aimed to create an innovative language course that would attract international students and increase employment for Gaza’s teachers of Arabic, while also offering them and their international students opportunities to engage in intercultural and multilingual exchanges.
This Impact Acceleration project focused on capacity building and sustainability for the OAfP course, to ensure that it reaches as many potential learners as possible and that it is taught by trained teachers who know how to fully exploit the materials and how to enhance students’ learning experience through the use of digital tools.
PI and Co-Is - International Collaborators
Dr Giovanna Fassetta - Principal Investigator (School of Education)
Prof Alison Phipps - Co-Investigator (School of Education)
Dr Nazmi Al-Masri - Co-Inivestigator (School of Education, Islamic University of Gaza)
Dr Maria Grazia Imperiale - Research Associate (School of Education)
Start and End Date
1 November 2018 – 31 March 2019
Funder and Funding Amount
Grant awarded: £62,448
Fassetta, G. , Imperiale, M. G., Aldegheri, E. and Al-Masri, N. (2020) The role of stories in the design of an online language course: ethical considerations on a cross-border collaboration between the UK and the Gaza Strip. Language and Intercultural Communication, 20(2), pp. 181-192. (doi: 10.1080/14708477.2020.1722145)
For news and updates on the project please see our blog: https://palestinian-arabic.blog/