The story of Gil goes back to 2012, when its founder and CEO began to teach Arabic to eager students. He quickly realized that most people find Arabic quite difficult to learn, because it is unrelated to Indo-European languages such as English, French, or German. In addition, he also found that learning to read and write Arabic is intimidating to most people because of the direction in which it is written. As he began to research on the best pedagogical types, he came to realize that only an immersive experience can help adults to learn foreign languages quickly.
Herein lay the problem. Arabic learning centers are not widely accessible in most countries outside the Middle East. While many institutes do offer online Arabic courses, they lack engagement and language immersion. To bridge the gap between these two core issues, Sami quickly understood he needed the assistance of modern technology.
After studying various methodologies to teach foreign languages, he found that immersive experiences and automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology are best suited for teaching foreign languages online. When combined with regular interactions with locals and actual guidance from teachers, a technology-assisted immersive learning methodology makes language learning more effective.
To materialize this concept, Sami decided to start Grow In Learning (GIL) in April 2019, with the assistance of Abed Nashef, CBO, and Anas Ashqar, COO. Today, GIL is a pioneering institute that has successfully helped students around the globe to speak, read, and write in Arabic.
How the company materialized
At Founder Institute (FI), the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, Sami’s entrepreneurial yearnings took shape to result in Grow in Language (GIL), an immersive experience based learning startup. He quickly built a team of 6 co-founders, and realized the power of talented minds coming together to solve problems. GIL successfully completed FI Spring Program 2019, Founder Lab 12th Program, and Startup School Program 2019.
Some of GIL’s unique features include:
- Immersive-enhanced web and mobile applications
- Virtual visits to real locations in the Middle East
- Online language practice community
- Real-time lessons with human teachers on Zoom
Arabic is a global language of commerce, education, and culture
With business relations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) improving, interest in Arabic has grown manifold. Arabic opens doors to multi-layered opportunities across business, academia, and travel & tourism. Here are some reasons why learning Arabic is so important:
- To build a strong network of clients and vendors across the Middle East. Business opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa are worth billions of dollars.
- To progress academically. Arabic has far-reaching implications when it comes to research, geo-politics, economics, anthropology, humanities and science.
- To discover the world of Arabic literature, film, music, and theater. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Middle Eastern countries have historically been a centre of art and culture. Arabic language is the key to discovering and savoring these art forms.
- To find better professional opportunities. Knowing Arabic is a valuable skill whether you choose to work in your home country or Arabic. It quickly sets you apart from your peers.
Making Arabic learning accessible
GIL’s goal has always been to make learning Arabic more accessible. We are keenly aware of the difficulties that learners face both in terms of pedagogy and accessibility. Our quest has always been to bridge these and many other invisible gaps so that Arabic is no longer an inaccessible or intimidating language to learn. It’s our firm belief that Arabic is a truly enjoyable and fun language to learn, and the praxis of language learning is enhanced by technologies such as immersive experiences and automatic speech recognition (ASR).
A reflection of Palestinian optimism
Ramallah is now one of the major start-up hubs in the region, and it is home to a dizzying number of tech entrepreneurs. The sheer optimism and growth potential of start-ups in Palestine is astonishing. GIL is a reflection of this optimism.
GIL’s beginnings are rooted in teaching Arabic using immersive real-life videos that enhance grasping power. We now look forward to helping more learners access our pioneering methodologies, that are backed by tried and tested training methodologies.
For business enquiries, feel free to contact us. If you are in town, just let us know if we can catch up!