Queen Rania Foundation

Assessments to Support Early Grade Arabic Language Learning

The fourth in a series of conversations on Advancing Arabic Language Teaching and Learning will explore challenges and opportunities in monitoring the trajectory of children’s development of literacy in the early grades. Consideration will be given to assessment practices related to the development of literacy skills in the early grades of school, and the use of various assessment approaches to understand young learners’ progression and needs.


Andreas Blom
Education Manager, Middle East & North Africa Region, World Bank

Manager in the World Bank's Education Global Practice, responsible for the portfolios of 19  countries across the Middle East and North Africa. He leads a team of 30 technical specialists and economists who assist the region's governments with policy advice,  financing and technical assistance to improve education and human development. He is passionate about poverty reduction and improvements of well-being through education.

Dr. Sana Tibi
Associate Professor, School of Communication Science and Disorders (CSD), Florida  State University

Dr. Sana Tibi is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Communication Science  and Disorders (CSD) at Florida State University (FSU) and is also affiliated with the  renowned Florida Centre for Reading Research. Dr. Tibi holds two doctoral degrees; one in  CSD from the University of Florida, U.S.A., and another in Cognitive Studies of Reading  from Queen’s University, Canada in 2016. Prior to FSU, Dr. Tibi has worked at An-Najah  National University in Palestine and the United Arab Emirates University. She has over  twenty years of research and teaching experience. Dr. Tibi has developed multiple  assessment tools in Arabic literacy, and has published numerous articles in top-tier peer reviewed scientific journals, co-authored two books on Arabic reading and provided several workshops to teachers and practitioners on best practices in Arabic literacy assessment, instruction, and the common core standards of teaching Arabic in the early grades. 

Prof. Atta Gebril
Department of Applied Linguistics and the Director of the TESOL program, the American University in Cairo

Atta Gebril is a professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics and the director of the  TESOL program at the American University in Cairo. Atta obtained his PhD in Foreign  Language and Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) Education with a minor in  language testing from the University of Iowa (USA). He previously worked for American  College Testing (ACT, Inc.), where he was part of the Workkeys team. In addition, he has been working as an assessment and evaluation consultant and currently serves on the TOEFL Committee of Examiners (COE). His research interests include integrated writing assessment, assessment literacy, second language writing, and teacher education.

Dr. Jane Courtney
Education Specialist, UNICEF Jordan

Since working in UNICEF Jordan Jane has been involved in supporting the improvement  of education through system strengthening and the development of new national  programmes to support learning recovery in mathematics and Arabic. Before starting  work for UNICEF Jordan, as an Education Specialist, Jane was employed as a Chief  Academic Director at Queen Rania Teacher Academy, Amman where she supported  colleagues with the academic and professional requirements to improve pre and in-  service teacher education. Prior to working in Jordan, Jane was Head of an Education  Department in London South Bank University for five years where she supported and  taught on bachelor, masters and doctorate degree programmes in Education. Jane was  involved with national university groups advocating for policy change in teacher education. From 2001- 2003 Jane worked in Cambodia full time, initially as a volunteer and then with the World Bank. She became involved with improving teaching and learning in basic education. When returning to the UK she started working in universities in teacher education departments, whilst continuing to lead and support large-scale teacher development programmes focused on mathematics education and Khmer literacy in Cambodia. Jane also supported a number of other education projects in different countries in Asia and the Middle-East. Jane was a teacher in four inner London primary schools for a period of 12 years before moving to Cambodia. Jane’s research specialisms are focused on comparative education policy and practice, culture and pedagogy.


Amal Arab
Presenter, Al Araby Network (Moderator)

Amal Arab has served as a news and program presenter at Al Araby TV network  since 2014. She has over 13 years of experience as a broadcast journalist. Prior to  joining Al Araby, she served as the senior news and program presenter for Al Ghad  TV based in the United Kingdom. She also had roles at Paltoday TV, Alalam and  Algerian TV. Arab earned a degree in legal and administrative sciences from the  University of Oran Assenia in Algeria.