DOHA: The second Renaissance of Arabic Language Forum ended at Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) yesterday with recommendations to develop Arabic teaching methods to address modern linguistic challenges faced by Arab children.
Recommendations by an elite group of academics called for supporting media production targeting children in the Arabic language and creating a ‘Pictionary’ which reinforces language through visual cues.
The two-day event was organised by World Organisation for Renaissance of Arabic Language (WORAL), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), under the theme ‘Linguistic upbringing of the Arab child - The reality and prospects for the future’.
The forum recommended that an updated basic Arabic vocabulary be published for elementary students and a strategic curricula developed incorporating modern technology.
H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson, QF, addressing the forum on the first day had drawn attention to the popularity of electronic linguistic jargons among Arab children and youth, which, she said has done damage to the Arabic language.
She also called for production of electronic games and modern entertainment in the Arabic language.
The forum proposed partnerships with more centres and institutions concerned with the Arabic language and enhancement of Arabic teaching standards and skills. It stressed the need for engaging Arab families and outlining their role in the transfer of linguistic knowledge.
Dr Ali Al Kubaisi, Director-General, WORAL, said: “The challenges facing the Arabic language oblige us all to analyse and study the current linguistic climate to find the best solutions. It is a logical step to start with children, who will transfer this knowledge to many more generations to come.
“On the final day of the event, a committee of educational experts and linguistic professionals proposed solutions to support the upbringing of the Arab child, which I’m certain will pave the road for a bright future, worthy of the Arabic language’s glorious history and in line with its current ambitions,” he added.
The forum brought together over 300 prominent figures from the education field to contribute to discussions under the themes such as ‘Realities of the Arab child’s linguistic upbringing’; ‘The effects of children’s exposure to current Arabic media content’; and ‘Alternatives to develop the Arab child’s linguistic future.’
Through four interactive workshops, the forum engaged with participants to find solutions to the replacement of formal Arabic with its colloquial usage.
The forum noted that the Arabic language is facing multiple challenges, accelerated by technological developments and issues of globalisation, including the popularisation of international linguistic trends stemming from social media. This has led to cultural dilution which threatens ‘modern standard Arabic’, otherwise known as ‘Fus’ha’.
WORAL was established in 2013 to address these concerns. Through the event, WORAL supported QF’s mission to foster a progressive society proud of its culture and linguistic traditions.