The British Council and Qatar Foundation International are working together to promote the teaching and learning of Arabic language and culture in the UK, aiming to make Arabic a realistic choice for UK Schools.

With over 400 million native speakers and a further 100–200 million people across northern Africa and southwestern Asia, for whom it is their second language, Arabic ranks as the fourth most widely spoken language in the world and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations (UN).

However only around five or six percent of secondary schools in England teach Arabic, the majority of which are Muslim faith schools (figures for other parts of the UK are not available). If Arabic is taught it is often only as an extracurricular subject or in the supplementary sector.

By developing Arabic to the same standards expected of the other major world languages in the British school system, the British Council and QFI are working to make Arabic a viable option for students of any background to explore.

Our programme aims to:

  • Increase the number of schools in the UK teaching Arabic language and culture
  • Provide professional development opportunities, mentoring and modern resources for Arabic teachers
  • Produce fresh research into Arabic language and culture teaching pedagogy and initiate a key stakeholder committee to pave a strategic way forward to meet the UK Arabic needs.

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