My son attended kindergarten at a public school in west London. To this day, I still remember and greatly appreciate his British teacher who used to urge us to help him learn his mother tongue (Arabic) at home, and trust that the school environment will be sufficient for him to pick up English.
Only in this way will the child be capable of learning both Arabic and English, with no special attention needed in either; Children are able to learn languages and master indigenous dialects with ease if they study them early in life.
Learning and teaching the Arabic to our children in the West is not only a religious, cultural and social duty as parents, but it is also a practical way to support them in their future and increase their chances of obtaining better jobs.
I have already met a young man of Arab origin in a Western country who has been promoted to be a regional director of a company in the Arabian Gulf, but the company later backtracked on the employment contract upon learning he did not speak Arabic language despite his Arab origin!
Learning Arabic to chase job opportunities
So learning Arabic is not only a moral and valuable interest; Rather, it has become necessary to find career opportunities in the future, as a competition among graduates in various disciplines intensifies and distinctive opportunities are scarce.
Learning Arabic in Britain and other Western countries even helps students to achieve more academically and guarantees them an advanced mark in Arabic in the GCSE and A-Level exams.
This is supported by the British Council’s statement that Arabic is the second future language students need in Britain after Spanish, surpassing French and other western languages.
As I mentioned earlier, employment opportunities are directly related with the competence in Arabic as well as English.
Ensuring that Arab children speak Arabic at home – by encouraging children to do so, and preventing usage of other languages – will preserve the family’s identity, strengthen children’s connection to their nation and civilization, and encourage them to upkeep the principles and morals on which they have been raised.
Mastering the Arabic language helps our children truly immerse themselves in the words and teachings of the Holy Qur’an and books of Arabic literature, providing them a literary, educational taste, as they enjoy the aesthetics and genres of the Arabic language…
The mother tongue reinforces the Arab and Islamic affiliation
Once again, teaching the Arabic to children is a religious and national obligation of parents, and whoever does not perform this duty is negligent towards his religion, country and children; who will be separated from their values, especially when they reach adolescence, and at that point some parents would regret not teaching their children the Arabic earlier.
For people who really care to teach their children the values and ethics of their nation, they should also focus on teaching their children Arabic , to provide them more opportunities in the future, as this will also be a credit and an ever-flowing charity (sadaqah jariyah) for the parent.
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