FLTA Grantee Shares Arabic language and culture at Southern Illinois
A Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) from Cairo is sharing her language and culture with students at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Ms. Reham Othman, an English teacher and curriculum development specialist, is teaching introductory Arabic to students at Southern Illinois and has received kudos from her students. “I am … grateful for her patience as we learn a completely new alphabet and writing system,” said one of Ms. Reham’s students. “I was intimidated by what appeared to be a very challenging language, but with Ms. Othman’s guidance, I am already reading and recognizing simple sentences.” Using a variety of materials from Egypt – clothing and currency, pictures and videos – Ms. Reham is turning Arabic culture into a significant element of her curriculum. “One of many positive aspects of this class is the experience of another culture that is so often negatively stereotyped,” said another student. “Not only are the students learning a language that is less familiar to the Western world, but they are also capturing a glimpse into a very diverse and rich culture.” More than two dozen Egyptians are currently participating in the FLTA program, which strengthens Arabic language instruction in American institutions while providing Egyptian teachers of English with opportunities to refine their skills, increase their English language proficiency, and expand their knowledge of American society.The Commission is grateful for Ms. Reham’s contribution to the program.