Tarek is a Syrian Mechanical Engineering student, living in Homs. He is also a student in the Paper Airplanes English program, completing the Upper Intermediate level. Most recently, Tarek has added another title to his impressive resume: Duolingo Global Ambassador, and Arabic Event host!
Prior to joining Paper Airplanes’ English program, Tarek had a functional knowledge of the English language. With the support of his tutor, he has been able to strengthen not only his English language skills but also his conversational skills. He mentioned how Paper Airplanes has strengthened his self-confidence too, breaking communication barriers.
One of his tutors recommended using Duolingo Events, which is a platform for online conversation groups facilitated through Duolingo. Upon looking at the platform, Tarek found that there were few Arabic conversation groups but recognized a gap in the platform that he knew he could fill. Tarek sent in his application, and after some back and forth with the Duolingo team, his application was successful!
As a Duolingo global ambassador and events manager, Tarek has found himself immersed in a new community of passionate language-learners. Tarek now regularly hosts events, titled Arabic as a lifestyle, that feature conversations on music, culture, food, proverbs, and more, engaging Arabic language learners on a wide variety of topics! Using his new and strengthened English language skills through his journey with Paper Airplanes, Tarek is working to make Arabic language learning more accessible through his own conversational groups that bring together learners from all over the world.
Tarek is passionate about language learning and hopes to continue to study with Paper Airplanes, which he considers a launching point for his career in education - an unexpected but happy pivot! He continues to work with his tutor and in conversation groups to better his English skills, especially his conversational skills. He explains: “You can never close the doors to learning!”
Tarek recommends that students should have a strong personality and sense of perseverance in order to overcome the initial barriers of working with a tutor online. Overcoming this challenge can create a sense of resilience, and will support language learning beyond measure!
Tarek has big plans for the future! He hopes to continue to make education, especially English language learning, more accessible - especially focusing on improving access to education for women.