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Sick of Classrooms? 6 Non-Academic Tips for Arabic Language Learners

posted on: May 8, 2019

By: Shayma Amour/Arab America Contributing Writer

As we all know, the world is a wide huge platform congested with hundreds of various cultures, each has a different long-dating heritage and traditions that beautifies the world with colorful legacies. One of the main segments forming every main culture founded on earth is language. Each culture or nation has a different language, distinguishing it from others.

Many people are interested in exploring new cultures and nations; however, the language barrier has always been an obstacle each traveler encounters. No one can travel the world and expect all mankind to understand his/her mother tongue. That’s when learning a foreign language plays a vital role in overcoming this block. It helps in building communication with new people and broadens one’s horizon and knowledge.

One of the most learned languages nowadays is Arabic. It is the official language of over 20 countries, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. It is the 5th most spoken tongue on earth. Arabic is a language with a long history that dates back before the 6th century A.D.  In order to be able to learn about Arab Americans and discover the treasures of the Arab world, non-Arabs are tending to learn Arabic, one of the world’s most difficult languages. Not to mention the Arab Americans who want to build a better bridge with their roots and homelands.

Lizzie (@ahwe_amrikiye) is an American young lady, currently living in Amman Jordan, speaks Arabic in Fus’ha (Modern Standard Arabic) and the Jordanian accent fluently. She decided to learn the Arabic language and move to Jordan in order to break the stereotypes delivered to the westerns by media. When asked about the best strategies for learning Arabic, Lizzie said that ” There is nothing better than going abroad if you’re able to. I learned so quickly from living in the region.” Being the only non-Arab in the office where she works helped her tremendously in developing and improving her new language.

Although many institutions in the U.S. offer Arabic courses, the language can be learned outside the classroom and on one’s own. Listed below are the non-academic method that would help you to read, write, and speak Arabic:

1. Label your furniture and other items at home in Arabic and surround yourself with content in the new language.

2. Read children’s books and comic books in Arabic. Children’s books start with the basics and break them down into small fragments. That would be easier for you to learn the easy and basic phrases and vocabulary.

3. Play games in Arabic like the Arabic version of Monopoly and other board games.

4. Consume Arabic media. Watch subtitled Arabic movies and listen to Arabic songs.

5. Immerse yourself in the local culture. Go for a summer course or an exchange semester to one of the Arabic speaking countries. Meet the locals and communicate with them in their native language.

Here is a Summer intensive Arabic program in Jordan for summer 2019:

6. Join language exchange groups in the US, where you can meet other people learning Arabic or are native speakers. 

Language exchange group: Couchsurfing DC – Language Exchange

And the most important tip of all: Take risks and speak the language whenever you can, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes which really may help you to improve your skills and build your confidence. In addition, Arab people appreciate it very much when you learn and try to speak with them in Arabic and they will be more than happy to correct your mistakes and help you maintain your Arabic.

Here is a guide provided by Maktabtee websites to Arabic summer camps in the US: