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Impact Insight video case study: Kalamna toolkit

The third in our new series of Impact Insight videos focuses on the licensing of the Kalamna toolkit for learning Arabic.

It tells the story of how we supported Dr Saussan Khalil, a Senior Arabic Language Teacher in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, to license her innovative research-based phonics toolkit for learning modern Arabic to start-up Kalamna CIC, a University of Cambridge social enterprise.

Dr Khalil has spent her career researching how young Arabic learners can be engaged through a new approach to Arabic phonics. Her starting point was the intersection between spoken and written Arabic, and how the former could be used to modernise the way the language is taught, better reflecting the spoken Arabic children use in their everyday social settings, and making the written language more enjoyable and easier to learn.

In 2018, with the support of Cambridge Social Ventures Programme at the Cambridge Judge Business School, Dr Khalil founded Kalamna CIC, an award-winning social enterprise with a unique offering for young Arabic learners and their families.

With help from Cambridge Enterprise, Dr Khalil and her collaborators secured funding from the University of Cambridge Arts and Humanities Impact Fund to partner with Kalamna CIC to develop and test Kalamna Phonics™, an innovative phonics-based toolkit drawing on her fundamental research. A licensing arrangement managed by Cambridge Enterprise now enables Kalamna CIC to launch the toolkit to an international community of teachers and learners, establishing a new benchmark in evidence-based best practice in the teaching of modern Arabic.


Do you want to join us on a research commercialisation journey?

Whether you’re a University researcher or academic with a novel idea or technology, an investor keen to support innovations emerging from the University, or an external organisation looking for new solutions to your market requirements, we would love to talk to you.