Frequently Asked Questions

What is MSA?

MSA stands for Modern Standard Arabic. This is the mainstream Arabic program designed for native and near-native speakers of Arabic. It is a standard based sequenced Arabic program from Nursery to Grade 8. After that, MSA students may either join the Lebanese Baccalaureate track (LB) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) High Level B Diploma courses.

What is AFL?

AFL stands for Arabic as Foreign Language. This a program designed for foreign language learners. The term “foreign” indicates that the students are non-heritage learners whose mother tongue or dominant home language is other than the Arabic. AFL program offers four level of proficiency from grades 1-12. Students in this program may join IB B Standard Level Diploma courses in High school.

How will my child be placed in one of the above Arabic programs?

New students will be placed in the above Arabic programs depending on their background. A placement test will be given to all new students during admission to check their level in Arabic.

Students enrolled in Modern Standard Arabic, the mainstream at ACS, may not join AFL as it is not designed for heritage learners. However, AFL students will be encouraged to stretch up to join MSA. Please refer to ACS Admissions Arabic policy for further details.

Is Arabic taught as first language at ACS?

Arabic in ACS is taught as a second language in the sense that no other content area is given in Arabic.

How is the MSA curriculum designed?

The MSA curriculum is standard based adopting the AERO (American Education Reaches Out) Language Arts standards and benchmarks and the Lebanese national curriculum. A process of adoption and adaptation took place where a task force of Arabic teachers developed the ACS MSA Arabic Curriculum based on the above mentioned resources. The task force accomplished its work in 2012. Full implementation of the program has started in 2012-2013.

How is AFL curriculum designed?

The AFL curriculum is standard based adopting the AERO + World languages standards and benchmarks. A process of adoption and adaptation took place where a task force of Arabic teachers developed the ACS AFL Arabic Curriculum based on the above mentioned resource. The task force accomplished its work in 2011. Full implementation of the program has started in 2011-2012.

How many sections of MSA and AFL are there in each grade level?

  • All Early Years Arabic classes are MSA classes.
  • In Elementary, 4 sections of MSA are offered in each grade level (except when there are only 3 sections of the grade level). 1 AFL section is offered in each grade level.
  • In Middle School, 3 sections of MSA and 2 AFL are offered in each grade level.
  • In High School, 4 Lebanese Baccalaureate classes are offered (grades 9-12), 2 IB prerequisite classes (grades 9 and 10), IB Standard Level and High level (grades 11 and 12), and 2 AFL levels (grades 9-10). Some classes in HS may not be offered due to low enrollment.

How is my child placed in the MSA sections?

To maintain a balance in number of students in the MSA sections and in number of boys and girls in each section, few elementary MSA students may join an MSA section that is not their homeroom. It is important to confirm that all MSA sections in EY, ES, and MS offer the same curriculum (content, learning activities, assessments and homework).

Lebanese Brevet students are tracked in grade 8 only to start getting them ready for the Lebanese official exams requirements. This includes teaching them social studies in Arabic.

What is the duration of the Arabic classes in 2016-2017?

  • 30 minutes daily in Nursery
  • 40 minutes daily in KGI & KGII
  • 60 minutes daily in grades 1-8
  • 70 minutes, 4 times/cycle in grades 9-12

Decision on duration is made to meet the duration of the Arabic classes as dictated by the Lebanese ministry of education, the recommendations set in the AERO + World Languages Introduction, and in line with latest research on best time duration for language acquisition.

Will my child be learning grammar and spelling lessons that are needed for the Lebanese Baccalaureate official exams?

Yes. The Arabic department developed a scope and sequence of the Arabic language conventions from grades 1-8. Students will be studying grammar and spelling functionally i.e. that is in context and focusing on the lessons needed to improve their reading comprehension and writing skills.

What is the Arabic homework policy?

The Arabic homework policy follows the agreed upon philosophy and approach to homework in each division:

Early Years:

No homework

Elementary:

    • Grades 1-2: Duration of homework is not to exceed 10-15 minutes per subject. (A homework folder is sent on Monday with all the homework for the week, students return it on Friday)
    • Grades 3-5: Duration of homework is not to exceed 20 minutes per subject. (Homework is posted on Moodle)

Homework starts in October to give the students the needed adjustment period to settle in the new level of proficiency.

Middle School:

Homework duration is not to exceed 30 minutes per subject. Major assignments are posted on Moodle.

High School:

Homework duration is not to exceed 30 minutes per subject. Major assignments are posted on Moodle.

What are the expectations of reading at home?

Reading at home is always encouraged. Students and parents are always welcome to check out Arabic books from the library. Both Lower and Upper School Libraries have an excellent collection of Arabic books.

In addition to that:

  • Early Years Arabic teachers send stories to students from the classroom libraries every week.
  • Elementary School Arabic teachers send stories, from the classroom libraries, with the students once every week. Students may check out as many books as they like from the Library.
  • Middle School Arabic teachers run reader workshops in classes where students get to read a selection of books from the classroom libraries. Sometimes they take the students to the Library to work on research topics and check out books for pleasure reading.
  • High School Arabic teachers schedule library visits when needed for research projects.

How are the Arabic results in LB and IB?

The Arabic average in the LB official exams has maintained an 11% increase in the years 2011 and 2012. The Brevet Arabic language average at ACS in 2012 was 28 over 60, where the national average in Beirut was 27 over 60. In 2015, the Arabic average at ACS was 30.21 where the national average was 29.86.

In IB courses, all ACS students have passed with scores ranging from 5 - 7 over 7 in all the Arabic courses.

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