VALS celebrated its 30 year anniversary in 2012 and has not only grown in these years with the number of enrolled students, but it has also grown in the structure we offer in the curriculum. We've provided an overview of the curriculum below, if you have any questions or require more detail about a particular level or age group please let us know.
Students aged 5 to 18 learn about Islam and the Arabic language and culture. We teach conversational Arabic in fus'ha as well as reading, writing and grammatical rules in a fun atmosphere. As part of our curriculum, all our students have the opportunity to grow in their appreciation and knowledge of the Islamic and Middle Eastern culture as well as the history of Middle Eastern countries. We focus on approximately six cultural customs during the school year, giving our students the opportunity to appreciate handicrafts, graphic arts, poetry, dance, music and foods of Arab countries.
In Islam, our goal is that students grow to appreciate their religion and to practice good morals as young Muslims. Teachers encourage Quran memorization and recitation. All classes need to memorize and understand a minimum of 4 Surats during the year (simple verses for the younger ages (Level 1 to 4) and more difficult verses for the older ages (Level 5-8)). Teachers will discuss stories from the Quran based on class level and the book being used in the class. Teachers will educate students about our Prophet Muhammad’s life based on class level. For Levels 1 through 8, teachers shall emphasize core Islamic values (Moral education, pillars of Islam) based on the age level of the class. Teachers will educate on good behavior such as honesty, kindness, helpfulness, modesty and truthfulness. VALS is using the "My Book of Islam" series to supplement the teachers lessons. Each volume includes age appropriate surats, Islamic stories, and lessons.
The Goal of VALS Arabic Studies is for students to develop the ability to communicate about themselves and their immediate environment using simple sentences containing basic language structures. This communication is evidenced in all four language skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing - with emphasis on the ability to communicate orally. Each class level has an end of year objective as well as a topic list that the teacher uses to guide the lessons throughout the year. VALS is using the IQRA Arabic Reader Textbooks and Workbooks to supplement the teachers lessons in reading, writing and grammar.