Teaching Arabic
Ferial Demy was born in Lebanon to a Palestinian family.  In addition to being fluent in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), she speaks a variety of Arabic dialects, including Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian and Iraqi.  She is also proficient in Gulf and North African dialects. 

During the Lebanese Civil War, Ferial came to the United States.  Ferial obtained her MA in Curriculum and Instruction and a BA in French from George Mason University.  In 2010, Ms. Demy obtained a Certificate from Georgetown University’s Center for Language Education and Development in English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS), in partnership with the Center for Applied Linguistics and the National Security Education Program.

Mrs. Demy has taught Modern Standard Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), International Communication Services (ICS), Diplomatic Language Institute (DLS), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the World Bank.   

Mrs. Demy participates in a variety of professional conferences, educational workshops and university lectures, enabling her to stay attuned to the latest developments in educational instruction.  She has also participated in technology training from the Startalk Arabic Teacher Professional Development Program, Boston University and NOVA Startalk from Alexadria campus since 2009. Ferial also received training on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Arabic Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) at Michigan State University under Dr. Mahdi Alosh.

Mrs. Demy does not hesitate to share personal materials that she has developed throughout her years of experience and training, and she has provided training for Arabic instructors.  She employs a diverse range of tools to encourage the highest levels of Arabic acquisition, including motivational scenarios, role plays, and interactive activities, as well as other methods including weekly listening techniques, and reading and conversational lessons.  Ferial’s students have often had great success at acquiring proficiency in Arabic.

In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Demy has provided Arabic to English translation support for the US Court system and CNN.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ferial since the Fall of 2009 when she was my Arabic Language instructor for a one year intensive, full–time language and cultural training program.  In this position I spent each working day with Ferial, which allowed me to get to know her quite well both professionally and personally.   I found her to be a caring, thoughtful, and passionate person about her work, family, and the important issues affecting the United States, in particular, the Middle East. 

As a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State my position requires that I learn the significant nuances of the Arabic language and culture for a professional, diplomatic setting, and interact in diverse social environments.  I can say with confidence that Ferial’s ability to bridge the gap between Arabic and English is difficult to rival.  She consistently was able to draw important distinctions between Arabic words and phrases and their English equivalent in not only a word for word translation, but also provide the most appropriate translation in meaning and spirit of a speech, article, or broadcast.    

I found Ferial to have exacting standards of performance for both herself and me, constantly pushing me to improve in all areas.  Toward this goal Ferial made use of a wide array of language resources, including live broadcasts, current news articles, academic textbooks, homework, role playing, field trips, and interaction with other teachers and students.  Everyday Ferial demonstrated her commitment to the task at hand and took great pride in her work.  As a result of her tireless efforts I was able to surpass my required proficiency goals in Arabic.

Michael Newman

US Department of State


Being in Ms. Ferial’s Arabic II course was a wonderful experience! Her curriculum and methodology engaged my senses, garnered my attention, and emboldened my learning! Being a native Arabic speaker, Ms. Ferial understands the nuances of the language and its relationship to the people. Being a great teacher, she is able to understand how the people may better relate to the language. When time is of the essence, Ms. Ferial can get to the heart of the matter and make the learning experience quite palpable.

Tom Wince



I heartily endorse the teaching style and methods employed by Ferial Demy in teaching Arabic.  Having taken two Arabic modules with her, I was impressed by her engaging and inclusive manner of instruction.  I especially liked the way she employed everyday props like food labels, children’s books, and newspapers to supplement textbooks and online aids in presenting a comprehensive study of the language.  This enriched the experience and brought home the real world application of Arabic.  Ms. Demy is energetic, enthusiastic, and clearly an admirer of her language, making her ideally suited to teaching it. 

 Christopher Doum

Senior analyst, Department of Defense


I recently took an Arabic II class taught by Ms. Ferial Demy. It was excellent. Ms. Demy uses many different teaching techniques, including drill, role playing dialog exchanges between students, reading, writing, and even games and song. The various activities helps ensure all skills are sharpened, as well as making the class fun, and never boring. Ms. Demy explained differences between Modern standard Arabic and colloquial Arabic, and how/when to use each most effectively. I learned much in her class, and had a very enjoyable learning experience. I would not hesitate to take another class taught by her in future.

Jeff Spaner


  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA)
  • Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages (GWATFL)
  • Nova StarTalk,  a summer institute designed to help teachers integrate technology tools and 21st century language pedagogy.

  • May 29, 2008 Us Department of State Certificate in recognition of excellence.
  • May 2007-2008 US Department of State Certificate of appreciation for quality teaching and application of new technologies of instruction.
  • December 2005 Nomination for Cox Award from the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.

ACTFL / NECTFL / ILR/ GWATFL / STARTALK / TESOL  Ms. Demy attended conferences at the American Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages ACTFL since 2001.  Presented  “Arabic Alphabet in 30 minutes” at ILR 2007. 

Mrs. Demy presented a seminar on “Using Technology in the Classroom” at the Georgetown Elementary Day School through the Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages (GWATFL).  Previous to this presentation, Ferial participated in technology training from Startalk Arabic Teacher Professional Development Program, NOVA Startalk from Alexadria campus since 2009.

 Ferial acquired training from ACTFL Arabic Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) at Michigan State University under Dr. Mahdi Alosh.