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Give Your Students Immersive Language Practice And Cultural Exchange With NaTakallam

5.10.2018 | BY LAUREN WILSON

NaTakallam ("we speak" in Arabic) connects forcibly displaced people with language and cultural exchange students around the world. This innovative organization not only provides displaced people with economic opportunity, purpose, and regained dignity, but gives young people an invaluable window to the wider world. 

​​NaTakallam provides a lifeline to displaced people, who have self-generated over $400,000 through their work with the organization, while also offering a unique opportunity for global learning in the classroom. The organization connects teachers with guest speakers for a single session of Marhaba Madrasa (“Hello School”), which puts a personal lens on the refugee crisis, connecting students with a displaced person who will share their story and the impact displacement has had on their life.

One testimonial from Paul Fischburg, a social studies teacher from Seattle, WA, describes how inspirational the experience was for his students. During the session with guest speaker Hadiya, students took responsibility for moving the conversation forward and one student even used his Arabic skills for the first time in front of his classmates. Fischburg reflected, “Hadiya’s humanity, her willingness to tell us the details of her personal story, her strength and positivity in the face of staggering life challenges, were all so inspiring to me and to my students. I can’t wait to have another Skype with my students and to spread the word about NaTakallam to my teacher colleagues." 

For schools that want to go deeper, there's also the option of a 3- or 10-part series, any of which can be integrated into an existing school class or an extracurricular club activity. A brief curriculum includes discussion questions and reflection activities exploring topics related to Middle Eastern culture and migration, while programs can be conducted in English, Arabic, or a blend of both.

There's even a 10-week, curriculum-based program that develops students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in colloquial and formal Arabic (MSA) and dialect. This program can be run as a foreign language independent study or an extracurricular activity. 

Now, schools worldwide can apply to receive help for funding thanks to a partnership between NaTakallam and the Qatar Foundation International (QFI). In creating a scholarship fund for schools worldwide, NaTakallam hopes to ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing unique language learning and cultural exchange programs.

Ready to bring NaTakallam to your school? Contact schools@natakallam.com