1. Relying on Qur’anic words
The series is characterized by its reliance on Qur’anic words as a basis for building its texts. This option was adopted for two main reasons:
The first reason is that the target group of students is those who memorized the Qur’an or parts of it, or at least read it and forgot its terms, and they were impressed by the tones of the Qur’anic words. Therefore, even if they did not understand the meanings of these words, it was easy for them to pronounce and memorize them, and they were ready to know their connotations.
The second reason is that the target group is eager to learn the religious “shari’a” sciences that are based on the Holy Qur’an, and that is because they needed its vocabulary to get prepared to understand those sciences that served them and tried to bring its meanings closer to learners. In this context, the adoption of the Qur’anic words is a distinctive feature of this series. This feature served as a real need for the students, along with other needs that are well known for the Arabic learner, such as the uniqueness of the Qur’anic words in comparison with the rest of Arabic words which were written about in our heritage. Thus Arabic students get used to select the words with their favorite tones and support their vocabulary repertoire with the words of the most important reference for learning this language, the miraculous book with its language and eloquence, and students the Qur’anic sciences know is the status of the Qur’anic words in the structure of this miracle.
The Qur’anic words were explored with all their interpretations and expressions, and they were grouped alphabetically into one matrix, having been arranged in terms of ease and difficulty, and distributed among the three levels of the course with their six books. In the following table, there is the number of words in the Holy Quran, which are arranged alphabetically:
i. Opening the Units with Qur’anic Vocabulary Lessons
One of the manifestations of reliance on the Qur’anic words in constructing the course is making the first reading lesson in each unit designed to display a number of relevant Qur’anic words, with explanatory images, in a way appropriate to each level. The first level begins with these words, along with related pictures. In the second level, students are asked to match words with the explanatory images. In the third level, the use of some of the Qur’anic expressions in addition to the vocabulary, and then the sensory images in the last book are turned into a linguistic explanation which explains every single word, and students have to connect each single Qur’anic word with its explanation.
ii. Listing the Qur’anic words with the verses in which they were mentioned
To add to the benefit, we have prepared a list of the vocabulary of the unit that separates the Qur’anic words as mentioned in the Book of God the Almighty and the vocabulary in the Qur’an with suffixes or prefixes; such as the definite article in Arabic (Al-) and words derived from roots of the Qur’anic words. The list also includes the group of vocabulary which is not Qur’anic. Then the verses of the vocabulary mentioned in the first two parts are listed, so that students can revise the words they study in the unit and know their Qur’anic contexts. Thus they become more able to understand and learn them, and their repertoire of Arabic increases.
2. The dependence of the course on the integration of the linguistic skills and the sub-skills
The course takes into account the integration of the Arabic language teaching from the minimum linguistic knowledge needs to the level that qualifies learners to continue their studies in the university in Arabic, by providing the educational content in a spiral and accumulated way. It also considers the integration of skills. Eight basics were adopted to arrange the course: they are the four linguistic skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), and the sub-skills (such as grammar, composition, dictation and handwriting), making the importance of the skill a basis for how far it should be focused on. Thus it notices that they are needed differently in each of the three levels of the course.
3. The adoption of the fields of knowledge as a basis for selecting the content topics
Those who explore the series of teaching Arabic for foreign learners find that most of these series depend in building matrices of degree and sequence on making the concepts a longitudinal basis for designing the course. If the content of the course expands, according to the required level of knowledge, it expands within these concepts. Meanwhile the course provides the linguistic skills which should be mastered by learners. This is actually manifested in these series in the designing of the units, so that these concepts formed the titles of the units, and this method is, on the educational level, suitable for teaching the mother tongue to young people because they need to learn concepts and their names, in the sense that they have a cognitive need and linguistic need.
When it comes to teaching the Arabic language to foreign learners, learners know the concepts but do not know their names in Arabic because their basic need is a linguistic need. Therefore, this series depends on the four linguistic skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and the sub-skills (such as grammar, composition, dictation and handwriting) as a longitudinal basis through which the course expands to meet the linguistic needs of the learners. As for the subjects of the content that will carry the linguistic skills, they were selected based on the fields of knowledge which are called by some courses scholars as the (methodological knowledge). Accordingly, the difference between the method used in this series in ordering the content and the style common to most other strings can be determined as follows:
In this series, language skills and the sub-skills constitute the vertical basis of the order of the course. According to that, the topics of the course are distributed while most of the other series constitute the concepts chosen by the authors of the curriculum for the vertical basis of the arrangement. According to that, the language skills and sub-skills are distributed.
The concepts and topics of language skills in this series were selected based on knowledge fields (objective knowledge), which is an objective criterion, in addition to the fact that priority was given to the concepts needed by the learner, while in most other series, concepts were chosen based on the authors’ opinions regarding estimating the priority as needed by the learner.
Ten fields of methodological knowledge have been identified to serve as a basis for the arrangement of lessons, where the knowledge required by the language learner has been adopted, and some knowledge has been merged with its specialized spectrum, since it is less important than an independent determinant of textual choice, either because the student does not need it, or because it is a specialization that can be focused on in the future of the specialized student. Based on the above, the following fields were selected: Culture, Science, History, Social Studies, Religious Studies, Civilization, Economics, Geography, Health Studies, and Nature. The percentages were as follows:
4. Taking benefit from the local environment in choosing the content:
It is important that the course with its content includes elements of the Turkish culture because the target is the Turkish student, and that attracts the learner to the Arabic language, and makes it more simulation of reality, especially that our student will use it in the environment. It is clear that Arabic is a tool for understanding the Turkish culture and history:
The Turkish culture is known to be an extension of a culture that was geographically covering Anatolia and the Arab World which is ten times the area of Anatolia. It is an Islamic culture although its spirit is Turkish. The role of the Arabic language in both Islamic culture and Turkish is known.
As for the Turkish history, many of its previous and contemporary events are closely related to the events which took place in the Arab World. The strong link between Arabic and Turkish cannot be forgotten.
As for determining the texts for the course, it depends on the selection of some of the texts from the Turkish environment as based on for the reasons mentioned above. The following table shows the percentage of this:
5. The diversity of the methods of exercises between essays and objective ones
Many of the Arabic language teaching series rely on the objective questions, which is a must because it is the most appropriate method to measure the student’s abilities and the development of his linguistic performance, but it sometimes lacks diversity. Therefore, the Bayan series avoids that as it tries to diversify the methods of measurement and evaluation in the student’s book as well as the exercises book. However, this diversity of questions focuses on the aspects that should be measured by the questions, so that the evaluation is not limited to memorizing or understanding, but includes testing the ability of the learner to analyze, synthesize, criticize and evaluate. This has been manifested through the levels of knowledge matrix that was one of the course’s standards.
6. Supporting the course with an educational and interactive website
The technical team has developed a website for the series, which provides multiple services to the series customers. It is also considered a qualitative supporter of the learning process that is targeted. Services offered by the website include the following:
Interactive e-learning services,
The possibility of learning in different circumstances and environments (in transportation, in the waiting areas, at night, on holidays…),
Measuring performance and achievement at all levels (exercise, lesson, unit, and level) and sharing results on social networking platforms,
Additional activities which are supporting of the book,
Standard electronic tests for teachers and students at all levels of learning,
All audio files through the Internet quickly and easily,
Joining learning groups for easy communication and multimedia sharing between teachers and learners, and
Additional learning resources (videos, audio files, pictures,).
7. Developing the course after testing it in real and diverse educational and training environments:
After the release of the trial version of Al-Bayan, a number of Arabic language schools and centers for foreign students agreed to test the series by applying it in a variety of training environments, accompanied by a plan of action for the course teaching mechanism according to the prescribed hours. A special team was set up to follow up on these tests. The team toured the various centers where it had been agreed to test the course. The teachers were guided to follow the methods of teaching the course, and they were provided with presentations prepared to present lessons accompanied by their audio files. The team prepared periodic tests, and participated in conducting them within the centers throughout different times. After that, students and teachers were in contact, so that they learn weak points and development suggestions. The first issue of the second edition was issued, taking into consideration many notes taken by the team itself and the suggestions of the teachers who taught the trial version. Notes taken by students as well as their results were also taken into account.
8. Building the course basing on educational matrices:
A professional team prepared the Al-Bayan series document throughout several months. Then the books matrices were built upon this document based on the criteria of achieving the skills and outputs built on them. After that, the matrices of scope and sequence were extracted from these matrices, and details of topics, educational activities, text types and target vocabulary were added separately. The special principles of the course, including the identity of the texts, their fields of knowledge, the vocabulary and the Quranic methods that are commensurate with the level of each unit of the course, were taken into consideration.
9. Additional Characteristics:
a. Illustrations was adopted in all the visual means in the course, while photography was excluded, depending on just the abstract artist’s drawings, in support of the instinctive human taste. That was in line with the characteristics of the course based on the use of good instinctive taste, and receiving the language for the development of the natural use of the language away from affectation.
b. As for the audios of the series, specialized technical radio voices were adopted, with special attention to the letters’ places of articulation, the purity of the voices, and making use of the latest recording techniques to help students understand the words and even taste them.
c. In order to encourage students to accept the Arab culture mostly based on composing poetry, and to contribute to reducing the aversion to poetry by some foreign learners of Arabic, the series contains poetic pieces in early stages, which are proportional to the topics and vocabularies of the units. These pieces of poetry were recorded for students in the first books with beautiful voices in a favorable rhythm. They were not exhausted with many exercises, so that understanding the piece in general would suffice. Thus, students are trained to taste this authentic Arab art.
The course consists of three basic levels: the beginner, the intermediate and the advanced. For each level, there are two books. Thus the total number of books in the series is six books. Each book is accompanied by an exercises book. The three levels are followed by two professional books for specialists. These books are preceded by a founding book of Arabic sounds and letters. It has easy words and basic structures. There are a CD for the phonetics part of the series, and a special supportive, educational and interactive website.
Each of the six books is divided into six units, each of which forms an independent construction unit. The four language skills are: reading, writing, listening and speaking, and the sub-skills, such as grammar, composition, dictations and handwriting, are the basis of each unit. The topics of the units are different basing on the need of students and the targeted partial level, with a general spirit linking their components.
Each unit consists of a number of lessons ranging from four to five lessons, depending on the number of reading activities in the unit, as the reading skill is the most important basis for lesson planning.
Each lesson is divided into many activities under the skills they are targeted at. In the first and second books, for example, the lesson consists of five parts covering five basic skills or sub-skills, such as speaking and listening as well as reading.
The exercises book is divided in a way that serves the student’s book because the student’s book is full of exercises, but they are educational exercises aimed at improving the intended skill for the recipient, while the exercises in the exercises book aim at measuring what the student learns in his book, and they serve as a feedback which guides the teacher to the points that need to be reinforced regarding what the student studies in the unit.
The series was written based on the learner’s need for hours of education and training sufficient for mastering the foreign language. Experts’ estimates ranged from eight hundred to one hundred and twenty-two hours. Accordingly, the curriculum with its first three levels was distributed at 914 hours
The educational platform on the Al-Bayan website gives all those who have accounts the opportunity of self-learning and testing the linguistic ability of every trainee after obtaining sufficient training hours at the level of the unit, the book, the level, and then the linguistic proficiency obtained through mastering the three levels. After signing in to his account and scratching the code of rapid response attached to each book, a student adds the book he will study to his own library. There are twenty-five questions for each unit. If a student answers sixteen questions out of them, he can move to the next unit. At the end of the book, there are 60 new questions (10 questions for each unit). The student who answers 40 questions out of them can print his own certificate that certifies he has mastered the book. Then, there are 100 questions for each level. Answering sixty-five of them automatically entitles the student to obtain a certificate proving his study of this level and passing its exam, with the possibility of sharing the result on the social media.
The educational platform allows teachers to discover how well their students are doing by asking them to answer the tests and communicate their results through the social media. The teacher also finds questions for him or someone who he believes in his good understanding of the book or level. Answering these questions enables the teacher to know his ability to teach the book or the target level.
The teacher and student find, on the educational platform, the audio files of the series, both for the student book or the activity book. They also find a number of services and activities in support of the course. Anyone who has a code of rapid response can enjoy all the features available on the platform, while those who have accounts on Al-Bayan website find a number of free learning and training benefits without the need for the above-mentioned code.