Frequently Asked Questions
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 or Language (A): Language and Literature IB Course.
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.
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.
Arabic in ACS is taught as a second language in the sense that no other content area is given in Arabic.
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 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.
- All Early Childhood Arabic classes are MSA classes.
- In Elementary, 3 sections of MSA are offered in each 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), IB Language and Literature Arabic (A), and 2 AFL levels (grades 9-10). Some classes in HS may not be offered due to low enrollment.
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 EC, 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.
- 30 minutes daily in Nursery.
- 40 minutes daily in KGI.
- 45 minutes daily in KGII.
- 60 minutes daily in grades 1-5.
- 60 minutes, 6 times per 10-day cycle in grades 6-12.
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.
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 Childhood 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.