Sabri Saleem is the President and founder of GILS.
Mr. Saleem has 40 years of experience in Arabic as a second language instruction including with the United States Peace Corps (Associate Country Director) German Technical Cooperation Agency-GTZ (Assistant Country Director) Health Care Center (Manager, Amran Governorate, Yemen) and Yemen Ministry of Health (Director, International Study Abroad).
It is my pleasure as Director and Founder of the German International Language School (GILS) to introduce you to the unique group of people ready to bring you an outstanding foreign language learning experience in a safe, nurturing environment full of extracurricular opportunities.
GILS is the German division of the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies (YCMES). YCMES is a fully accredited institution of higher education. For three decades, YCMES was the leading Arabic language program in the Middle East. Started 1988 as the Yemen Language Center, it grew into a program of humanities graduate courses in Middle Eastern Studies along with an Arabic Language School.
YCMES trained over 9,700 students from eight to eighty whose first languages included Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. No matter where they came from, what they all shared was a vital need to learn Arabic quickly and well. YCMES texts and thirty years of proprietary knowledge ensured them a strong foundation and rapid progress.
Successful language acquisition depends on strong materials and experienced well-trained teachers. There is a vast literature on teaching English as a second language. In contrast, Arabic language acquisition is largely unexplored. There are relatively few teaching texts, many of which are problematic. Most teachers are native speakers with no second language acquisition training. There are virtually no studies showing what contributes to successful Arabic language acquisition.
As opposed to other Arabic language acquisition programs, GILS teachers are academically trained native speakers with decades of experience in using the YCMES method with a wide array of language learners. They will structure each class to your needs and bring you along as quickly as your talents and your dedication allow. Without our Yemeni teachers, YCMES would not establish the GILS Arabic language program in Europe. All of our staff are open to hosting students in their homes for a full Arabic immersion experience.
I believe that you will enjoy GILS’ location in Germany. We understand that students are cost conscious throughout the world. These days, Idar-Oberstein compares favorably to the Arabic world in terms of cost and is superior to anywhere in the Arabic speaking world in terms of safety.
Europe is a prime location for students from North America and Asia who want to have a foreign experience but are wary of traveling to the Arab world. Germany is especially attractive as a destination because of its central location within Europe making short trips easy, inexpensive and safe. In fact, students who plan will find round trip tickets to Morocco and other parts of the Middle East for less than €100.
In addition to its crime free environment and sophisticated local population, the large number of highly educated Arabic speaking refugees in town means that GILS can offer students an Arabic immersion experience in family homes, stores and restaurants. Many of these refugees are college age and eager to exchange Arabic lessons for English conversation and a game of football. In all things, GILS strives to recreate the home environment that helped establish its reputation in Yemen.
GILS is located in the Rheinland Pfalz, Birkenfeld district, in Idar-Oberstein. For students who are interested in weekend excursions, the Rheinland Pfalz is nicely placed near Belgium, France, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands. The Birkenfeld district, as well as the rest of Rheinland Pfalz, contains scenic beauty, historic buildings, and fine museums.
The GILS staff and I are excited to meet you and to help you achieve your Arabic speaking goals in a safe, supportive, yet demanding environment. Welcome!