Nahed Hazaa was born and raised in Egypt and speaks fluent Arabic and English. She completed her undergraduate studies at Cairo University with a major in Civil Engineering, and has a M.S. in the same major from Duke University . Until this year, she taught Arabic using Comprehension-Based Methods at a private school in Albany , NY. Changing from classical teaching methods in Arabic to Comprehension-Based Methods made a significant difference in the ability of the students in carrying on conversations in the classroom and at home. Both the school administration and the parents were tremendously supportive and enthusiastic about applying Comprehension-Based Methods to teaching Arabic as a second language.
Nahed and her husband will now move to Egypt where she plans to teach Fluency Fast classes in English. She will return to the states each summer to teach at the Fluency Fast Summer Language Institutes.
Nahed's students say that the best things about her class are the teacher and the laughter.
"The instructor was very kind and caring. She was also willing to laugh with the class."
"The best thing about the class was the instructor! She really limited our vocabulary and repeated and repeated and repeated. I feel like I know a lot of essential vocabulary. She also went slowly, put pauses between each word when she spoke AND she pointed to the words posted on the wall often." -Shari Miller, Des Moines, IA.
"I took a fluency fast class this summer at the NTPRS conference in Denver. I purposefully chose Arabic because I did not know one word. As a result, I was able to experience TPRS as I imagine my first year students experience it. The experience has profoundly affected my teaching methodology. I learned that repetition is key (For me, this summer,there was no such thing as too much repetition). I futher learned to slow down as I teach. I learned how to teach structures instead of isolated vocabulary. Additionally, I learned how to really make the input comprehensible. At first, because of tradition, I thought that providing an English translation was WRONG. Boy was I WRONG. I now post the structures on chart paper, with their English translations, and I point to them frequently when introducing new structures.
Prior to taking the class, I did not know how to circle. As a student, I was able to experience the effectiveness of this method. Now I circle away. It was interesting to read the stories in Arabic, with the words being written phonetically. Having the readings in the L2 is a key component. At night, in my dorm room, after my brain had cooled off from so much comprehensible input, I would read the stories. By about day two (6 hours)something magical happened, the meanings of the words clicked and I was able to read the stories quite fluently. Now, I make reading in the L2 a priority in my class. Also, the morning of day three, when I woke up I realized that I had been dreaming in Arabic. When I was learning Spanish, this did not happen until about year 2 in college.
So, it is my testimony that the fluency fast classes really work and are excellent opportunities for professional development. My life as a teacher is forever changed because of the experience."