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The purpose of this poster presentation is to share the Quality Instruction towards Access and Basic Education Improvement project’s (QITABI) approach in supporting the educational system with Arabic language offline e-resources to help sustain teacher professional development in early grade reading/ balanced literacy approach (EGR/BLA). World Learning, an international non-profit organization, has been implementing QITABI in Lebanon since 2014.
Governments and educators all around the world have recognized the importance of ICT to foster teaching and learning in primary schools. For ICT to enhance teaching and learning, it needs to be supported by e-resources and effective professional development for teachers (UNESCO).
The Lebanese educational public sector is striving to meet all primary grades students’ needs in differentiated classrooms by relying on teachers’ best practices, and ICT integration in education. Lack of connectivity in the classroom, capacity to upload on-line resources and access quality Arabic e-resources for early readers remain a major challenge.
Lebanon public-school teachers are exploring opportunities to improve student learning using offline e-content. To respond to the need of enhancing teaching and learning using ICT and offline resources, QITABI provided the Arabic language classrooms with an ICT simple model and e-content that allow implementing the EGR/BLA program and enhance students’ engagement in reading. For the offline e-content, QITABI worked on two levels:
(1) Provided 3,286 CDs each having an average of 5 high quality leveled childrens’ e-books, organized by themes and aligned with Lebanon Arabic language curriculum in primary grades, to 260 public- schools. E-books impacted the literacy learning of 37,843 grades 1 to 4 students for the year of 2017-2018.
(2) Developed an easy to use teacher e-kit for grades 1 to 3, as an accessible in-class offline digital resource, to support teachers in applying EGR/BLA best practices in classes using ICT. The e-kit, aligned with the Lebanese curriculum, will provide teachers with quick hands-on digital material to support struggling students.
E-Kit Development – QITABI used the Lebanese Curriculum and public-school textbooks to identify the gaps and respond to the literacy needs of emergent and struggling readers using offline material. Teachers successfully implementing best practices were videotaped to enrich the instructional material of the e-content with the EGR/BLA reading techniques identified in class. Sample mini-lessons for most frequently used Arabic alphabet letters were developed as well as templates for teachers to use in developing similar material.
The E-Kit targets differentiated instruction in cycle 1 for beginner and struggling readers. It focuses on developing basic reading skills such as: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and readers’ response in writing. This resource will sustain teachers’ transferred knowledge and acquired skills by providing a teacher friendly theoretical framework. It will impact cycle 1 beginners and struggling students, Arabic Language teachers, and public-school trainers and mentors.