Diwaneyat Online for Adults and Kids
Practice Arabic speaking and understanding in a natural and spontaneous setting, by speaking and listening to various engaging topics. Discussion groups and creative activities online ensure engagement while connecting to similar age groups in a safe environment.
- The Objectives
- Arabic Diwaneyat
- French Diwaneyat
- Experimental Arabic Diwaneyat Online
- Strategies and Methods Used
The Objectives of
- Establish a safe environment for similar age groups to connect and discuss relevant topics.
- Practice the target language speaking and listening skills naturally and spontaneously.
- Build connections with others while supervised by a professional moderator.
- Have the chance to directly ask questions to experts in various fields.
Arabic Diwaneyat online was established to practice speaking and listening Arabic skills naturally and spontaneously by speaking and listening to various engaging topics through online discussion groups while connecting to others of similar age groups. The language used is a simplified formal Arabic language, similar to the practical Arabic version used in the media today. Arabic Diwaneyat are run by Mrs. Manal Al Farkh who has established this project based on her experience and expertise in the field of education and language learning.
History and Background of the Traditional Diwaneya:
The traditional Diwaneya refers to the reception area where Middle Eastern men received their business colleagues and male guests in the past. Today, the term refers both to a reception hall and the gathering held in it. Visiting or hosting a Diwaneya is an essential feature of a Gulf Arab man’s social life.
Upper Elementary Diwaneyat:
Fun and relevant topics are particularly chosen by Mrs. Al Farkh to create an interactive discussion. Games, as well as fun activities, are introduced to the sessions to create a happy and natural environment for the younger students. The length of the Diwaneya for the younger students is forty-five minutes, unlike the youth and the adult Diwaneya which lasts for an hour.
Middle School Diwaneyat:
The importance of friendship and the social connection at the middle school level is respected in designing the session for the middle school students. The activities, as well as the topics, are carefully chosen by the students as well as the moderator to match the needs of this age group.
Youth and Adults Diwaneyat:
High school students and university students are placed with professionals to allow an exchange of learning. In these Diwaneyat the high schoolers get to discuss topics relevant to their daily lives with university students as well as professionals. They also get to ask more experienced adults about different subjects. The adults reflect on their ideas as well as practice the language while listening to different perspectives. Depending on the interest of the group, an expert guest is often invited to add a new perspective to the conversation. Through these natural and relevant discussions, the target language speaking and listening skills are practiced.
French Diwaneyat are run by young professional moderators who share the same vision as Mrs. Al Farkh in practicing and growing in language skills. So far our moderator for the French youth and adults discussion groups has been Bijan, who has received his education at a French school and completed his undergraduate degree at one of the UK’s reputable universities.
Being a third culture student raised in Dubai, Bijan brings a wealth of experience in discussing various topics that the youth can enjoy, all while practicing their speaking and listening language skills in French. His passion for learning and continuous development is a trait that inspires the youth in his discussion groups.
Experimental Arabic Diwaneyat Online
Since September 2019, we have been experimenting with the concept of Diwaneyat online. The enthusiastic participants were young adults in different countries who come from a family with at least one Arab parent. Their first language and the one they use in school predominantly is English.
The conversations during the online sessions were in Arabic (simple classical Arabic). The moderator sent the topics and main vocabulary to the group ahead of time so that students could practice. Feedback from the groups has been the driving force for the refinement of the Diwaneyat Online project.
Apart from the general discussion groups, we have had specialized hosts speak to our young adults about their experiences and views on a specific subject. We also had events when the participants themselves could present to others a topic they are passionate about or a project they worked on.
In Januaury 2021 we have started our first online upper elementary as well as middle school students Diwaneyat. We made sure we closely worked with the students as well as the parents to get feedback. Our younger age Diwaneyat required different strategies and adjustments to the adults discussions sessions. After analyzing the feedback of the kids and the parents, we feel that we have been successful in creating a positive environment and engagement amongst our elementary as well as the middle school students. We therefore will have more sessions catering to this age starting in September 2021. We are all learners, so we believe we will continue to learn and adjust to our participants’ learning styles.
Strategies and Methods Used
- We use coaching strategies such as paraphrasing to give participants the chance to hear the correct structure and pronunciation. This way, the conversation flows naturally and the speaker does not feel judged or feel as though he or she is in an exam.
- We plan our sessions based on the level and the interests of the participants.
- For the high school sessions, we often invite a professional to share a real-life experience with the students.
- In our middle school sessions, we use simple strategies to start discussions about their school life and activities.
- We also understand the challenges that are involved in holding sessions for elementary students online, therefore we use fun games and activities to help create a discussion.
- Feedback from participants is collected regularly since we believe in a growth mindset.
Manal Al Farkh - an educator and a coach, has a wealth of experience in teaching the Arabic language and other subjects to students of various age groups at the American School of Dubai.
Her interest in the Arabic language started about fifteen years ago when her own children were young and began to learn the language. She always believed in progressive and natural approaches to education.
Manal is a passionate educator who is particularly interested in psychology and motivation. She has received training in the field of coaching and positive psychology over the past five years.
Ten years ago, while working in the American School in Dubai, she completed her master's degree in education. Her thesis included action research on the factors that influence students' retention of new vocabulary.
Her Middle Eastern background along with her North American education and experience, helps her understand different cultures and styles of thinking. Manal established Diwaneyat online in January 2020, and before that, she has worked on experimental discussion groups for around a year. After long research on the project, she decided to launch her Diwaneyat online.
Currently Manal moderates adults, students groups of different age groups. Her current discussion groups include upper elementary students, in which Manal uses art, games, and activities to create an interactive and fun environment.
On top of the above, French adult and high School Diwaneyat are currently being moderated by a young and motivated professional who shares the same vision as Manal.
The Arabic Diwaneya online program is a great opportunity to not only meet new people across the globe, but also to connect to the middle eastern culture through the Arabic language. This program has helped me enhance my Arabic skills through thought provoking, constructive, and highly interesting discussions. As a middle eastern woman living in the US, I met others going through the same experiences as me, which has made our discussions even more valuable for me.
Danya Itani (University student,California)
French Diwaneya is a friendly online meeting call where I can practice my french comprehension and speaking, meet new people, and continue to make progress in the language.
Adam Melhem (High school student, UAE, Dubai)
“لقد استمتعت كثيرا بحضور هذه الديوانية و تعلمت و قابلت اناس جدد من مختلف انحاء العالم و كانت المواضيع المطروحة في الديوانية مواضيع عامة و يستطيع اي شخص "المشاركة و التعلم منها
مصطفى علي ( طالب في الجامعة ،انجلترا)
“As a Palestinian student living in the United States, it’s quite difficult to find Arabic programs that are both engaging and educational. Though, Arabic Diwaneya with Manal has been a great experience as it’s not only very engaging because of the many real world issues we discuss and the new people I’m able to meet, but I also learn new vocabulary and continue to improve upon my Arabic.”
Yara Qadan (High school student, San Diego, USA)
I love joining Diwaneya because it’s a fun, easy and interactive way to improve on my Arabic skills, and is an asset for the future. These classes really help me enhance my vocabulary and improve my fluency in Arabic, and they are also very engaging. Thank you Auntie Manal for this experience!
Farah Abu Jaber (High school student, San Diego, USA)
I have been a part of the French and Arabic Diwaneya for over 3 months now. It is a great alternative or addition to traditional methods of learning languages as the Diwaneya creates a stress free environment where one can learn at ease. I have really enjoyed the past 3 months and have learned a lot in such a short time. Also the topics we discuss such as wellbeing, the benefits of vaccines and the different structures of government are very relevant and up to date. I highly recommend the Diwaneya and I will continue to participate for months to come.
Jad Sahyoun (High school student, Dubai)
"My experience with Diwaneya has been an excellent one. The program helped me hone in on my Arabic speaking skills from when Dubai first locked down—which was when the program launched—until now. Not only have I reveled in my learning experiences during a Diwaneya, but I am also grateful for the sense of community that this program fosters. I would highly recommend Manal's Diwaneya for anyone who appreciates a fruitful conversation and seeks to improve their communication skills in a foreign language."
Issam Hamza (High school student, Dubai)
As a Palestinian living in the US, it’s difficult to practice my Arabic unless I’m on the phone with my family. Even then, we discuss personal life more than we discuss global topics (or topics I feel more comfortable discussing in English). Diwaneya has enabled me to practice my Arabic in a safe and pleasant environment and challenges me to expand my Arabic vocabulary - ultimately becoming a better Arabic speaker. I’m so grateful to have come across Diwaneya!
Lina Abuhamdeih (University student, Atlanta, USA)
Diwaneyat is a fun and interactive way to practice speaking conversational Arabic about current events. It’s relatable, useful, and enjoyable, with little effort, I am noticing my openness already to expressing myself more confidently around relevant topics!
Luma Shihabeldin (Professional/ adult, Netherlands)
“ Diwaneya has given my kids a unique opportunity to practice speaking in Arabic in a fun, engaging, and natural setting that not only increased their fluency and enriched their vocabulary but also brought them closer to the Arabic culture. For the first time, they look forward to the Arabic class! “
Mai Jaouni (Mother of elementary and middle school students, Dubai)
The Arabic Diwaneya has been an excellent way for the kids to practice their spoken Arabic. They had engaging topics for each session making it easier for each child to use their vocabulary. I feel practicing spoken Arabic is fundamental to learning this language and for a family like mine where Arabic is not spoken in the house, the Diwaneya offers a great platform for my kids to practice.
Lilia Saimua (Mother of elementary student, Dubai)
I have enjoyed Diwaneya as I’ve been able to practice my Arabic and learn a lot about real life topics. It is engaging and helpful and provides a good environment to practice.
Diala Abuhamdeih (University student, Atlanta, USA)
Diwaneya is a great online discussion to learn and socialize at the same time. Unlike the traditional language learning methods, in Diwaneya different topics from our daily life are selected weekly. Participants discuss and exchange different perspectives in the target language ( French). A big thank you to Bijan for being an amazing and patient moderator!
Sami (Professional/ Adult, Dubai)
My daughter is a in grade three. She is a student in the American school of Dubai. She has joined the Arabic online Diwaneya with Miss manal couple of months ago and she plans to continue. She is really challenging herself during the Diwaneya. She loves it and she wants to prove herself and try to speak Arabic as much as possible, which is somthing I love!
Lina Nahawi Abuseedo ( Mother of an elementary student, Dubai)
I have been enjoying the Arabic and French discussion groups a lot! So many interesting people to meet and always excellent topics- I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their conversational abilities in these languages. Thank you Manal Al Farkh
Selma Shinneb (Professional /Adult, Montreal, CA)
Always looking for new ways to help and improve the quality of our lives as well as our kids' lives! Three of my daughters joined to improve their Arabic speaking skills and they enjoy the topics and meeting new people from around the world. Thank u Manal Al Farkh
Reem Rayan ( Mother of university and highschool students, Dubai)
Diwaneya is a great environment to practice my Arabic, meet new people, and talk about life's events, which makes the conversations very interesting. Lately, I have enjoyed learning about current events, culture, and art in a relaxed and friendly environment. I'm always looking forward to a new session!
Tima Dahnous ( Adult, Dubai)
My 7th grader son joined Manal at diwaneya, and it has been such a great experience for him. What sets a part diwaneya from a normal Arabic class is the casual, natural dynamic that Manal adds to her sessions. My son is learning and practicing how to speak Arabic in a fun, group setting, where he’s also learning about so many different, interesting topics. Not only has his Arabic skills improved, but his knowledge about the world as well. I highly recommend diwaneya!!
May Mansour (Mother of a middle school student, Dubai)
Try one session for FREE
Try an Arabic Diwaneya online and enjoy a rewarding experience.
$200 for ten sessions (groups of two) to be completed within 3 months.
Group Kids Package (10 Sessions)
$120 for ten sessions (groups of 3-6) to be completed within three months.
Group Adults Package (3 Months)
$120 for three months access to two sessions a week.