Amal Khaleefa, an associate researcher at the French Institute of the Near East in Amman and the Institute des Convergences Migrations in Paris, volunteered to translate WLR online training into French.
Amal was born and grew up in Jordan where she got her bachelor degree in French and English languages at Yarmouk University. She received her M.A and PhD from the Department of Languages and Cultures Education at Sorbonne-Nouvelle University in Paris. Her research concerns questions of language representations and practices in refugee camps in the Middle East, particularly the understanding of how linguistic identity develops in people facing forced migration and living in refugee camps. In her PhD dissertation (2020), Khaleefa emphasized on the importance of examining the place of languages and the role they play in refugee camps as indicative of dominant power relations through the example of Zaatari Camp in Jordan. Focusing on educational purposes, her study identified also the language needs of refugees in crisis and emergency situation. While the study focuses exclusively on Zaatari Camp, similar patterns may be detected in other similar environments.
– We asked Amal: how do you think your translation will contribute to spread the idea of WLR?
As a language education specialist, I believe that reading activity for children is a crucial key of self-development and access to literacy. The translation of WLR to more languages ensures a wide spread of its innovative content across the world. This would also attract donors and officials who are interested in initiatives related to children creativity and development in the Arab World. The French translation in particular allows to raise awareness about this rare initiative in the Arab World among French speakers. During my M.A studies, I met some French students who were looking for such programs where they could do research for their graduation project. This type of project would be beneficial for WLR to keep improving its content according to research results. At a later stage, I hope this will help to share experiences and ideas of similar programs between French-speaking countries and the Arab world.
On another note, Arab migrants living in France are always looking for ideas to teach their children Arabic language. Reading stories is one such great method that connect children with their origins. It teaches them their history, culture and language. I look at WLR as a colorful and plurilingual plant that opens new horizons for Arab children in the world to develop knowledge in their home language.
If you want to have the online training translated into your mother tongue language, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org