A White Paper on
Internet-based Literacy Delivery Tools
5th Conference on E-Learning Applications
The Arabic world, particularly the area that we refer to as the
Limited investment in all elements of education – facilities, instructors, teaching materials, etc. – has led to an acceleration of illiteracy in most Arab countries. This, in turn, has resulted in inordinate unemployment due in part to the inability of significant portions of that society to perform skills required for the new jobs created by global trade; thus, the anger, frustration and disaffection of the masses. Energetic, unemployed, young people without hope of improving their desperate, economic status can be manipulated by persuasive dogma promising them a better future. Unless there is change, the Arab world will forever be “on the eve of modernity.”
It is the contention of the writers of this paper that enhancing Arabic language reading and writing skills of all Arabic language students–illiterate, semi-illiterate and advanced- will contribute to world peace and multi-cultural understanding and acceptance by improving their lives, thereby lessening their despair.
This paper addresses the problem in greater detail and describes an advanced, computerized tool for accomplishing the worthy goals of increasing literacy and multi-cultural understanding in the Muslim world.
First, what is Read~Verse Company? Read~Verse is an association of computer software specialists - Jews, Christians and Muslims - dedicated to building mutual understanding and respect among all people and all denominations. Focused on Internet tools that will upgrade the reading levels of millions of Arabic speaking people throughout the world, we have developed and are offering state-of-the-art software tools that will enable users to find relevant topics in the Koran/Quran in either Arabic or English. These tools are intended not only to enhance all levels of Arabic reading skills – from illiteracy to proficiency - but to encourage a proper understanding of the positive elements of The Quran as well.
These Internet software tools can be effective for teaching all levels of education including under and post graduate studies. Instructors can use the software with its cutting-edge phonetic audio feature to teach students anywhere in the world. Of significant importance is the capability of our tools to assist thousands of students to study Arabic from their homes or schools.
We believe our software tools can contribute to and significantly complement the progressive programs that organizations like yours are supporting. As trade and job opportunities expand globally for those who are studying Arabic both here and abroad, better Internet software tools must be available to effectively meet their accelerating demands. We believe that our Read~Verse software fulfills that need.
The multiple benefits Read~Verse offers include:
· Schools will be better able to manage, administer and evaluate the quality of their course curriculum, and will be able, by offering widening online classes, to expand their respective student bases and, when feasible, to enhance revenue.
· Instructors will gain efficiency not only in not having to constantly repeat proper pronunciations, but in being able to replicate their successful class materials as well.
· Students will be able to repeat a lesson where and as often as they wish. In addition they can take quizzes with the software correcting their answers.
In addition, our Internet tools will include relevant reference material to assist interested people worldwide in comprehending Islamic culture. Augmenting the study of Arabic language with Islamic literature will not only enhance students’ comprehension of Arabic, but will give them a deeper, broader understanding and appreciation of the Muslim world and psyche as well. This will make students more successful in Arabic and the Muslim world. We contend that access to such information is mandatory for both instructors and students in order to successfully deal and negotiate in the Muslim world.
While our focus is on improving Arabic language education, we have more meaningful, long-term goals. We believe that such tools can extricate millions of desperate, unemployable young, Middle Eastern people to a productive life through education. We further believe that in time this will relieve the explosive pressures of discontent and mistrust towards the modern world, and will lead to peace and respect between the cultures. We strongly believe this, and are committed to its fulfillment.
To gain an understanding of the
problem, we need only refer to and extrapolate from a consideration of
“Because as many as 16 percent of Egyptian children were receiving no education in the 1980s, the literacy rate lagged behind the expansion in enrollments; in 1990 only 45 percent of the population could read and write. At the time of the revolution in 1952 fewer than 50 percent of all primary-school-age children attended school, and the majority of the children who were enrolled were boys. Nearly 75 percent of the population over ten years of age was illiterate. More than 90 percent of the females in this age group were illiterate.”
The lack of investment in new teaching tools contributed to an
acceleration of illiteracy in
“85 percent of the Ministry of Education's budget has been designated for salaries.” http://countrystudies.us/egypt/71.htm
“20% of the Egyptians live below poverty line”
The lack of qualified teachers worsens the literacy rate in
The difficulties detailed herein are evident in every Mid East
country. In determining how best to
attack them, it is helpful to review the findings of the William Gates
Foundation. From their comprehensive
studies they have concluded that conventional methods of teaching have a
negative impact on education globally.
Diane Ravitch, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor
of education at New Your University, wrote in the Los Angeles Times,
It is the assertion of the writers of this paper that Read~Verse innovative, interactive software systems can significantly assist in enhancing the Arabic language reading and writing skills of all students – illiterate, semi-illiterate and advanced. This will contribute significantly in improving the lives and lessening the despair felt by millions throughout the Muslim world. A description of this system for accomplishing those goals follows.
Read~Verse language instruction systems include several key components. One of the most important of these is ALI (Arabic language Interactive System).
What is ALI system?
ALI System is a new, Internet-based, software system that offers significant benefits to Arabic instructors, students, and school administration. Developed using leading edge, Internet-based software, ALI is designed to alleviate many of the tedious and costly aspects of teaching. Once an instructor composes class material (lessons, tests with answers, etc.), the data is entered into the ALI system. ALI automatically codes the information, and at the instructor’s command, sends the material to each respective student. The student completes the lesson, and then takes a test. ALI then grades the test, and sends the results back to the instructor or, if the instructor so wishes, to the instructor and the student. Stringent protective security measures are built into the system; students will not be able to access quiz answers unless permitted by the instructor. Lessons can be modified and enhanced at the discretion of the instructor whenever and as often as he/she feels necessary. ALI will simply note and incorporate the change(s) into the updated material. Thus, without the delays, the costs of reproduction and distribution, and the time spent marking examinations, instructors can reduce costs and utilize their professional time more effectively in planning and improving course material and instruction methods
ALI includes these functions:
· The complete contents of a lesson. A list of questions (multiple choices, fill in, true or false).
· The correct answers. ALI automatically marks and grades the test(s) with options to send the results to an instructor only, the student and instructor, or to other recipients.
· ALI keeps track of all of the lessons that a student takes with date, time, and grades.
It will keep track of all of the lessons an instructor created with date and time.
· An instructor can copy an Arabic text, English text, or Arabic/English text, and paste and store it.
· An instructor will be able to copy an existing lesson, and/or create new ones.
· The system also includes Arabic / English vocabulary lists.
ALI will provide the following services:
· An instructor can create a new lesson, update an existing lesson(s), or copy and paste to create a new one.
· Practice sessions to drill students can be created with ALI System.
· Student placement tests can be created by instructors.
· An author of a lesson can charge a royalty fee for lessons.
· An instructor can edit a lesson before publishing them.
· An instructor can print one or many lessons.
· Access to each lesson must be authorized by the instructor.
· Plus many additional services
ALI has various additional operational efficiency features that include:
Assuming a significant number of copies of Arabic text software are globally maintained on your network, it is very costly and time consuming to keep user systems current on the latest release(s) of each Arabic software text editor. ALI need be updated only once on the Internet at which point it is available globally for all users.
There are 16 different character sets that Microsoft supports for
each of different Arabic speaking countries. If, to cite an example, a user in
The production and distribution of class materials usually involve considerable costs. With ALI and its utilization of the Internet, these costs are minimized. Instructors can compose, update, manipulate, and distribute course materials without prohibitive, conventional costs
Each Arabic text editor has it’s own standard procedures and "short cuts" that make maintaining one standard very difficult. With ALI a standard is built into the system.
A stand-alone PC system that has an Arabic text editor will require accessing that computer to compose an Arabic document. With ALI, it is accessible globally via the Internet.
Moving staff from one country to another in the
· A school administration will be better able to manage, administer and evaluate the quality of its course curriculum, and by offering widening online classes, to expand its student base and enhance revenue.
· Instructors can design and build class curriculums and update them instantly, thereby avoiding reprinting cost.
· Instructors, with the responsibility of "delivering" class curriculums, will gain efficiency by not only not having to constantly repeat proper pronunciation and usage of Arabic sentence structure, but in being able to replicate their successful class materials as well.
· Students will be able to repeat a lesson where and as often as they wish. In addition, with instructor approval, they can take quizzes with the software correcting their answers. This will facilitate and expedite the learning process.
The Koran (Quran) Databases
For more advanced students
Read~Verse system includes a huge database that comprises the entire Koran
(Quran). By far the most widely
consulted book in the
Read~Verse has several search engines that can help students find correct information about the Quran immediately in real time. Instructors can assign a translation task to one or many students to critique the translations of 4 different authors against the Arabic text. There are up to 6236 unique, critiquing tests for students. This unique teaching tool with its huge database was designed to provide Arabic instructors with a very large volume of materials for testing the competence of Arabic-learning students at any level. The huge database is based on what is considered the ultimate testing document in Arabic, the Quran. Students who can proficiently translate a verse from the Quran to English can be said to have a command of the Arabic Language.
For more detailed description of ALI please visit http://www.readverse.com/ali/
About the Authors:
Mahmoud Elsayess, President:
Elsayess has over 35 years as a Data Processing professional. His technical and
managerial background include expertise and experience with IE/IEF(CASE),
IMS/DB/DC, IDMS/R, ORACLE, DB2, MS ACCESS, COBOL, Visual Basic, MQSeries
(Client \ Server) HTML, Java, C++, and ASP. He is also proficient in PHP,
MYSQL, Apache, and Flash. Senior responsibilities with an impressive array of
renowned organizations including The Auto Club of Southern California,
Silverman brings to Read~Verse over 40-years of computer systems experience.
His knowledge and expertise with application software gained from senior
management responsibilities with some of the world's largest companies provide
a rich resource for Read~Verse. His national and international senior Sales and
Marketing responsibilities for several renowned companies including
Comments and feedback are welcome, and should be directed to:
Mahmoud Elsayess, President
Telephone (714) 376-4862