Songs from Palestine: A Significant Addition to Arabic Language Teaching

As for the type of text, I personally like to use films, literature and music to introduce my students to difficult subjects.

I have to admit, however, that selecting texts that deal with the Palestinian cause is not always an easy task, as several factors must be carefully considered: the interests and backgrounds of the students, their command of the language, the purpose behind sharing specific texts, as well as our own biases as teachers of socio-political identities. Terry Osborn has a book called Teaching Languages ​​for Social Justice which offers useful principles for designing activities that can help educators raise awareness about issues of power, social equity and justice, including the politics of vocabulary and the grammar. While such an approach is not always comfortable, it helps to affirm the identities and backgrounds of all students, it promotes inclusivity and belonging, and it gives voice to those who have traditionally been absent from the curriculum. language.

As for the type of text, I personally like to use films, literature and music to introduce my students to difficult subjects. I find it to be a smooth entry point that allows us to see ourselves as people who share the same human qualities, and the students appreciate them. Recently, the MUBI platform curated a selection of contemporary Palestinian films that includes many award-winning films. Check it out for a truly exceptional collection.

In the literary field, the ArabLit Quarterly has compiled a list of books for young readers and Dar Saqi offers around twenty free e-books, among which you will find collections of poetry and novels.

As for the songs, I asked my friends and colleagues on social media to suggest what works in their classes, and here are some suggestions. Remember that songs can generate a lot of fun in the classroom, even when the underlying subject is tragic. So please don’t use the songs to only talk about the dark side of politics, but use them to sing, to enjoy the music videos and humor on display, to dance, to discuss issues underlying sociopolitical issues and to appreciate music in and of itself. .

Songs to enliven the class

I’ll start with songs that lend themselves to all of the above: