On Saturday, November 2, 2019 Choate Rosemary Hall hosted the annual New York Arabic Teachers' Council (NYATC) Fall Conference. The NYATC provides a forum for Arabic teachers to network, collaborate, and share innovative approaches to teaching with the goal of strengthening and professionalizing the field of Arabic language education. The Council is made possible by the generous support of Qatar Foundation International.
Co-hosts for the conference were Georges Chahwan, Choate Language department head and Arabic teacher, and Susan Hanna-Wicht, chair of the executive board, Global Language Project. More than 21 participants from 15 sister institutions attended the event.
The fall conference theme was "Finding Arab Voices through Arabic Literature." Says Chahwan, "The focus of the conference was the necessity and importance of highlighting different voices and perspectives through literature and other learning mediums to empower students to reflect on their identities and build interest in their language learning."
Keynote speaker, University of Notre Dame Professor Ghada Bualuan and author of Stories from the Arabian Nights, spoke about teaching Arabic stories through the integration of literature into language learning. Attendees also had the opportunity to view the work of NaTakallam, ("we speak"), an organization that brings attention to refugee voices, and to hear from filmmaker Holly Carter, founder and executive director of BYkids, NYC, and former executive director of The Global Film Initiative.
Notes Chahwan, "Thanks to the Qatar Foundation International, Choate was able to offer NYATC members an innovative and collaborative space to brainstorm, share ideas, and discuss best practices with extremely passionate educators whose goal is to always provide students with the most meaningful experience to become globally competent citizens and enable positive change in their lives and communities."
Choate Rosemary Hall will host the NYATC Winter Conference on February 8, 2020.