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AISWA Languages Teachers' Stories

  • Al-Hidayah Principal wins award for commitment to Arabic

    AISWA congratulates Brother Ridwhan Mayze, Principal of Al-Hidayah Islamic School for winning the Modern Language Teachers' Association of WA Principal's Award for 2020. Recipients are recognised for their support and promotion of Languages, support for initiatives that promote student engagement, development of self & staff, and, the promotion of multilingualism within the wide school community. This is the first time that an Independent school and a school offering Arabic has won this prestigious award.

    Arabic is a compulsory subject for all students (P-6) at Al-Hidayah and is taught by two teaching teams comprising of a male and female teacher. Together they co-design and plan a school-based program aligned with the Australian Curriculum: Arabic, and deliver parallel lessons to gender-segregated classes, in line with Islamic guidelines. Such a structure requires strong collegiality within the Arabic teaching team and between classroom teachers. The majority of students attending Al-Hidayah Islamic School are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 93% speak a language other than English at home, such as Somali, Urdu, Indonesian, Malay, Swahili, Turkish, Italian, French, German, Thai, Dari, Malayalam, Bengali and Punjabi. Arabic is only spoken by 18% of students, providing a challenge for Arabic teachers who must meet the needs of a small group of Arabic background speakers, as well as, the needs of the second language speakers who are in the majority.

    Upon receiving the award, Br Ridhwan acknowledged the expertise and specialisation of his Languages team. Over the past few years, Arabic teachers have worked hard to familiarise themselves with the new curriculum, designed interesting and engaging age-appropriate programs and ensured that they make consistent judgments about learners’ language abilities through regular moderation. Br Ridhwan actively supports all his language teachers to attend professional learning such as the AISWA 7-day Many Languages - One Methodology course and the annual CEWA Best Practice Day, which has the Arabic team focussed on designing fun and engaging language learning activities that go beyond the textbook and help to develop oral language and self-expression through role-plays, games and careful task design. 

    “I would like to use this amazing acknowledgement to thank our educators, our students, our Governing Shurah and our parents who have all worked hard in their own ways to show the wider community that our school offers excellent education and is now being recognised by such a long-standing organisation as the MLTAWA for its achievements. In my opinion, it shows that we are blessed by Allah and encouraged to keep moving from strength to strength.” Br Ridwan Mayze

    The Award was announced and a certificate, trophy and $400 prize was presented at the MLTAWA 90th Anniversary Lunch on 28 November 2020.  

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