it`s raining scripts (Teaching right-to

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‘Juma Tez Barish Thee’
It’s raining scripts
Naeema B. Hann
Leeds Metropolitan University
[email protected]
This session
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Overview of right to left script features
Creating experiences to convince students of
the value of learning the script
Gap between materials and students’ needs
Encouraging students to write more and more
often
Your comments and questions
Languages with Right To left Scripts :
an overview
World statistics
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Arabic – 280 million native speakers
Arabic – fifth most spoken language in the world
60 – 70 million native speakers of Persian
104 million speakers - 60 to70 million native speakers of Urdu + diasporas all over
the world.
Urdu speakers can communicate with more people – Urdu gives access to Hindi,
Punjabi
Urdu-Hindi the fourth most spoken language in world, twentieth if we look at native
speaker figures
UK statistics
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Urdu most widely spoken
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Arabic fifth most spoken
Right To left Scripts : an overview
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Arabic – 28 letters, Persian – 32 letters, Urdu - 36 letters and
no capital letters
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For most of the script, only consonants are written
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Special signs for short vowels but these are rarely used
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Many letters have the same root shape and are differentiated
by dots above or below the shape
Cursive script – letters change shape as they join each other in a
word. Shape depends on position in word but consistent
otherwise.
Most letters have 4 forms – independent, initial, medial, final.
Written as it sounds but ‘s’ can be represented by more than one
letter
Key to right-to-left scripts
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Letter families e.g.
b ‫ب‬
t ‫ت‬
th ‫ث‬
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Non-connectors
cannot join up with
letters which follow
Urdu
‫ا رد و‬
Nor can their families
Enabling students to read and write
right-to-left
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Getting students to
value the script
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Using authentic sources
Relate to their lives eg. emails
Success
Explicit teaching
- Letter families
- Non-connecters
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Establishing Script
Directions
- Total Physical Response
- Visual reminders
Acquiring Writing (Literacy) Skills:
Stages
Reading:
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Writing
Initial sounds
Decoding
groups of sounds
(words)
Sentences
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Meaning
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Reproducing sounds as
shapes
standard shapes for
each sound
decodeable by others
copying?
Meaning
Strategies for 2 sets of learners
Beginners
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Initial Sounds
objects around the room
Post beginners
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brainstorm - learners name
objects
beginning to write single
clause sentences
story bag - packs of pictures,
learners weave story
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Jigsaw texts
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differentiation?
match initial sounds to letters
of alphabet
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story bag - packs of objects +
words on card
- extension - learners bring in
pictures for each letter family
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noticing for learners at earlier
stage
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match initial sounds to pictures
Encouraging students to write
more and more often
Meaning
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Models of narratives
Mechanics
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Practice with word
recognition
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Practice with writing/
copying
- cartoon strips
- audio and video
narratives
Google transliteration
http://www.google.com/trans
literate/Urdu
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- songs
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Purpose e.g. sense of
audience
Gap between materials and
students’ needs
Why do adults learn Arabic, Persian, Urdu ?
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To communicate with family and friends
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Number of native speakers
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It’s cool
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Access to another culture in own neighbourhood
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For work
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Gives access to other languages
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Travel
The gap ……
What do materials offer?
What learners need ..
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Greetings, introductions
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Where’s the bank/ toilet?
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Where are you from?
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‘I am going to be late’
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Around the house
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Religion
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Daily routine
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Politics
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Weather
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Swear words
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Persuasive language/
romance ……
Eating out
Safe topics …..
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From song to script
mera Joota hai
Japapni
……. to script
After listening to and singing the song
Beginners:
- Jigsaw text with
options for
substitution and
transformation
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Sing each others’
songs as a group
A2, A2+
- Transform song to
change items of
clothing, nationality
etc.
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Sing each others’
songs as a group
Acknowledgements
My and my students’ deepest gratitude goes to
Hitomi Masuhara and Professor Brian
Tomlinson, the gurus of materials
development.
Some Resources
The 100 Word Exercise Book.
G-and-W publishing, 47 High Street, Chinnor, Oxfordshire
OX9 4DJ. www.g-and-w.co.uk
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Mixed-ability Teaching in Language Learning, includes
photocopiable materials. Susan Ainslie and Susan
Purcell. CILT publications. www.cilt.org.uk
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Elementary Communication Games. Jill and Charles
Hadfield. Forest Books. Used versions available on
internet, just google Jill Hadfield.
For resources specific to Urdu, Arabic or Persian, please
email [email protected]
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Bibliography
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Alawiye, I. 2001. Gateway to Arabic: A Foundation Course in Reading and Writing Arabic.
Middlesex, Anglo-Arabic Graphics Ltd.
Hashmi, M. 1986. Urdu Kaisay Parhai Jaey ? (How to teach Urdu?). Bradford. Directorate of
Educational Services.
Hedge, T. 2009. Writing. Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. OUP pp.299 - 322
McPake, J., I. Sachdev; T.Carroll, T. Birks and A. Mukadam. 2008.Community Languages in
Higher Education: Towards Realising the Potential. Routes into languages and HEFCE.
Masuhara, H. 2007. Materials for Developing Reading skills. Ed. B. Tomlinson. Developing
Materials For Language Teaching. Continuum pp.107-129.
Nabi,R. ,A. Rodgers, B.Street. 2009. Hidden Literacies. Bury St.Edmonds.Uppingham Press.
Nation, P. 2007. Materials for Teaching Vocabulary. Ed. B. Tomlinson. Developing Materials
For Language Teaching. Continuum pp.107-129.
Mirdeghan, Mahenaz. 2010. Persian, Urdu and Pashto: A comparative orthographic analysis.
Writing Systems Research 2 (1) 9 – 24.
Sassoon, R. 1995. The acquisition of a second writing system. Oxford. Intellect.
Tomlinson, B. 2007. Developing Principled Frameworks for Materials Development . Ed. B.
Tomlinson. Developing Materials For Language Teaching. Continuum pp.107-129.
Wightwick, J. and Gaafar, M. (1990) Mastering Arabic. London, MacMillan.
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