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Arab Thought Foundation Signs MoU with Diglossia to fund development of Arabic Beginning Reading Assessment

The MoU aims to promote literacy skills in young learners

Beirut, Lebanon, May 01, 2016 --( As the leading organization supporting Arabic culture and language across the MENA region, the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Diglossia to fund the development of an Arabic beginning reading assessment to promote early literacy skills in young learners.

The ATF was instituted in Beirut in 2000, where the Founder and Chair of Board of Trustees HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal called for a solidarity initiative that joins finance and intellectual competencies to promote Arab renaissance and solidarity. Education is an integral part of the ATF’s development and cultural mission, and the Foundation is focused on Arab educational and teaching reforms by sponsoring a variety of innovative projects that address the needs of the region. The MoU came as part of the Foundation’s efforts to improve the teaching and learning of the Arabic language throughout the Arab World.

The assessment will be funded by the Arabi 21 Project, created by the ATF with support from King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. Arabi 21 is an Arab culture, education and renaissance driven project that envisions a future where any Arab citizen can acquire some education level throughout their life. The project is presented in five fields: Promoting reading and readership; An electronic website and two social media websites; Training teachers; Research; and Curriculum assessment and evaluation.

Mimi Jett, Diglossia Co-Founder and CEO, is excited about the partnership. “It is a special honor to be working with the visionary people of the Arab Thought Foundation on this innovative development project. The MoU helps to further our commitment to partner with like-minded regional educational organizations in achieving our shared goal of supporting Arabic language literacy throughout the world. Early literacy skills are critical in preparing children for success in school and in life, and the new evaluation tools will give educators the data and analytics they need to ensure the success of early language learners.”

Experts agree that early and frequent measurement of young learners’ progress toward the acquisition of early literacy skills is an essential element for developing successful readers and writers.

Building on the experiences of researchers and educators who have developed similar tools in other languages, combined with the innovative use of evolving capabilities in mobile computing, the MubakkirArabic beginning reading assessment will give teachers and administrators a powerful and easy-to-use tool for the systematic gathering, recording, and interpreting of student data to inform effective instruction and intervention.

As a progress monitoring tool, the assessment will make it easy for teachers to maintain a running record of every student’s progress towards meeting the benchmark requirements for each of six to ten pre-reading and early reading skills that have been identified by experts as essential to the development of reading fluency in young learners.

As a formative assessment tool, the detailed data obtained from regular administration of the test will give teachers the diagnostic information they need to provide every child with meaningful formative feedback, and to develop personalized, evidence-based remediation and intervention strategies tailored to each child’s individual needs.

To fully monitor progress, the test should be administered no less frequently than once every six weeks, while more frequent administrations will provide more meaningful information, particularly where reliable Response to Intervention (RTI) data is desired. The test will be available on mobile devices, and from the cloud a full range of reports and visualization tools will be available on a customizable dashboard.

The project will be developed over a period of two years and is expected to be complete in November 2017. Once it is released, the new assessment program will provide an array of short tests that measure growth across the fundamental skills required for reading, and reporting with data analytics to help teachers understand each student’s progress.
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Diglossia FZ LLC
Bo Shettle

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