Staff + Teacher Testers
Author and Instructional Materials Designer
Sarab Al-Ani is a Senior Lector II in Arabic at Yale University. Ms. Al-Ani has published and illustrated several series of leveled readers for Arabic. In addition, she is a writer and blogger on issues of foreign language pedagogy, theory and practice, as well as teacher training. Her current professional interests focus on using technology for language teaching and overcoming challenges that face students of Arabic in the U.S. Ms. Al-Ani is a certified tester and rater in Arabic with ACTFL for both the OPI and AAPLL tests. Find out more about Sarab here.
Sarab Al Ani and Elisabeth Shovers are the Project Co-Directors.
Elisabeth Shovers is an independent consultant who designs and leads professional development services for world language teachers, and develops, writes, and edits language and culture-focused curricula. She is the former Executive Director of the Global Language Project, a New York City-based nonprofit that promotes the study of world languages through teacher development and best-in-class curricula. There, she founded the New York Arabic Teachers Council and helped write and edit an Arabic K-5 curriculum. Previous to that, Elisabeth taught kindergarten and first grade as a Teach For America corps member in Chicago where she also earned her M.Ed.
Dr. Theresa Schenker (PhD Michigan State University) is Senior Lector II and the Language Program Director of German at Yale University. Dr. Schenker teaches courses at all levels of the German undergraduate program, and oversees the graduate student teaching training. She is also in charge of the summer study abroad program and recently co-authored a book on this topic, titled From study abroad to education abroad – Language Proficiency, Intercultural Competence, and Diversity (Routledge, 2021). Dr. Schenker’s research interests include study abroad, telecollaboration, and the development of intercultural competence. Dr. Schenker currently serves as co-editor of the journal Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German and as software review editor for Calico.
Arabic Language Editors
Aidan Kaplan is an Assistant Instructional Professor of Arabic at the University of Chicago, where his recent courses include Elementary Arabic, Intermediate Arabic, and Media Arabic. He has an MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign language from Middlebury College, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Linguistics from Yale. As a language educator, he is passionate about intercultural competence, genre analysis, and learner identity. Outside of the language classroom, you can find him performing in the Middle East Music Ensemble at UChicago and gardening at the KAM Isaiah Israel food justice & sustainability program.
Susan Hanna Wicht is a teacher of Arabic, French, and English. She developed the Arabic curriculum for Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) at the Research Center at City University New York (CUNY) and is the former co-leader of the New York Arabic Teachers’ Council (NYATC). Ms. Wicht has presented on Arabic instruction at numerous conferences both domestically and internationally. She holds an M.A. in Bilingual Education from Teachers College Columbia University in New York and a B.A. in Arabic/English Translation from Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. Her interests center on bilingual education, language acquisition, culture in curriculum design, and Arabic instruction through stories.
Nora Heaphy is currently a CASA fellow at the American University in Cairo. She studied Arabic as an undergrad, traveled to Jordan to study at the Qasid Institute, and served as a teaching assistant for Yale’s introductory Arabic classes. She currently studies the evolution of photosynthesis and hopes to one day collect plant specimens in the Middle East. In addition to her science coursework, the opportunity to teach Arabic has been one of the greatest joys of her time in college.
Audio eBook Voice Actors
Tanya Jomaa is a Lebanese-American Yalie studying Electrical Engineering and Economics. Her favorite courses in college have been her Arabic classes. In her free time, she loves playing basketball, cooking, and watching Disney movies.
Yazeed Mualla is a Palestinian-American senior at Yale University. He was born and raised in New York, New York and is double majoring in Global Affairs and Economics. On campus, he has served as president, treasurer, and a first-year liaison of the Arab Students Association, Under Secretary General of Committees for the Yale International Relations Association’s collegiate conference, and a sophomore class councilman.
RLP is collaborating with K-16 teacher testers across the country to test out the materials in their classrooms and provide feedback.
Name: Fadi Abughoush
Location: Chicago, IL
Grade Level: High School
As Department Chair, Fadi plays a vital role in creating, managing, and expanding the World Language curriculum at Lindblom Math & Science Academy. He is a leader in World Language Education, spearheading Comprehensible Input in his field.
Name: Laila Kharrat
Location: Dallas, TX
Grade Level: Middle and High School
“I love integrating fusHa (standardized) and 3aami (dialect). Lately we’ve been playing Arabic Wordle! I am grateful for a truly dynamic group of students who love the Arabic language and culture.”
Name: Lina Kholaki
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Grade Level: University and Elementary School
“I love teaching Arabic through storytelling. Even when I introduce vocabulary and structure, I create sentences and imaginary storylines. I love engaging my students in class through meaningful and real-life experiences, tasks, and activities.”
Name: Souad Malih
Location: Greenwhich, CT
Grade Level: High School
“I love teaching Arabic because it’s a beautiful language, and it keeps me connected to who I am. Although Arabic is my native language, I can gladly say that I discover new and interesting things about it everyday. I love to share not only the surface structure of the language but also its hidden cultural layers and its beauty in calligraphy.”
Name: Rima Nasser
Location: Doha, Qatar
Grade Level: Elementary School
“Arabic is not an easy language to learn. The way that a teacher can make kids love it is by using different approaches that make learning fun and interesting.”
Name: Samira Recha Kuttab
Location: Boston, MA
Grade Level: University
“I like how our students accept the challenge of learning Arabic and enjoy the beauty of the language.”