If you wish to learn to speak Arabic, like all modern languages, you must often take Arabic courses and, above all, not let yourself be discouraged.
Are you planning to go to an Arab country, but you don't know how to speak language? Are you interested in this Semitic language and culture but you don't understand it?
To you, their alphabet does not mean words, but drawings. You were told once they read from right to left, but that's the extent of your knowledge. Arabic script, Arabic grammar, pronunciation... it's all gibberish to you!
Rest assured, learning to speak Arabic is not impossible. But you will need to take Arabic lessons.
These will allow you to learn vocabulary, Arabic writing, Arabic grammar and reading, allowing you to study both the language and culture.
To do this, go for private Arabic classes. A skilled native speaker will give you classes at home. It is an effective solution to learn quickly.
First, you need to realize that the Arabic language splits into two major linguistic components: modern standard Arabic (the most widespread in schools), and dialectical Arabic.
You must also know that the alphabet contains twenty-eight letters, only two more than our Latin alphabet. It is not like learning German, French or Spanish, so it will be necessary to practice regularly.
Learning a new language is never easy, and the Arabic language is no exception to this rule.
So you've agreed to take courses, but with whom? How should you learn Arabic? Who will give you an intensive program of an online Arabic course at the beginning of the school year?
Here are some tips and steps to follow in choosing the right private Arabic teacher.
Identify Your Arabic Level and Your Goals
If you already speak Arabic and just want to practice with someone then perhaps private Arabic classes aren't for you.
But if you do want to properly learn Arabic you will need an Arabic teacher.
In order to find the right teacher who will teach you to speak Arabic, there is nothing better than the tutoring agencies. But if you have studied Arabic before, you will need to estimate your Arabic level before proceeding.
The number of lessons required will differ depending on the person, but whatever your ambitions and the Arabic level you are looking to reach, the profile of the teacher for your private lessons (level of knowledge, and the cost) will be impacted by:
- If you are considering taking introductory classes for your child or for yourself
- If you already have some basics in vocabulary or reading the alphabet
- If your level is already intermediate
- You want to learn Arabic in more depth
- You would like to be able to participate in a conversation in Arabic
- You are planning an intensive course schedule for an exam
- You are preparing a job interview where notions of Arabic are needed
- You are going to live in an Arabic-speaking city such as Cairo or Beirut, where Arabic is an official language
- You would like to speak Arabic fluently
- You would like to understand the Quran and its role in the Islamic faith
There are still many reasons for taking courses to learn the Arabic language. However, it is clear that you must target your level according to your personal expectations.
In school and for children, you will need a teacher who can adapt to the same level as the child.
For students and adults, taking adult courses at all levels is obviously possible, but it will be less easy to estimate your level of Arabic.
To do so, online language tests exist to help you discover your language level quickly.
These sites often offer learning Arabic online as well as the level tests.
The outcome of the language assessment will determine which level and what type of course will best suit you.
And of course, Arabic language courses will be different depending on the profile of the particular teacher.
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Compare Profiles of Arabic Tutors
The teacher will be able to give different level courses whether Arabic is his or her mother tongue. If he or she is a language student, a certified teacher, an association teacher or working in a language school, will also affect the lessons available.
School support platforms make it possible to make a good choice when choosing your private teacher. And you only need to have a a degree to teach Arabic.
There is no doubt that a sixth grader will not need a professor or a native Arabic speaker. However a language university student certainly will.
On the other hand, if the student already has some notions, it may be good to get a native teacher for whom Arabic is the mother tongue.
To raise your level of oral expression, a native from an Arabic speaking country (such as Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar etc) will be able to give you a real intensive course on a weekly basis.
A good tutor will normally build your lessons according to your level and allow you to improve yourself by bringing you a real personalized follow-up.
Most professors on sites such as Superprof indicate how many students they are currently teaching, as well as occasionally mentioning how many they have taught.
You will find a varied list of profiles on these websites covering everything from Modern Standard Arabic to each individual dialect (Egyptian Arabic, Lebanese Arabic, Syrian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic etc), with teachers of all levels, and a variety of qualifications.
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How to Be Sure to Contact the Right Teacher for Your Private Arabic Tuition?
Check the person's experience on their profile, their possible diplomas, their pedagogy, and their method of learning.
Also look at the work he/she proposes to do; comprehension exercises, learning to read and write Arabic, working on Arabic grammar, having conversations to learn how to speak Arabic or to perfect oral expression.
Many of them are certified or have a diploma. It is a guarantee of quality of teaching and of being given quality academic courses.
On Superprof or Craigslist for example, the ads are almost always associated with a descriptive paragraph about the teacher (there's the necessity to "sell", after all!)
Finally, compare the prices of private Arabic classes and other methods of learning Arabic to find something that fits your budget.
Compare Rates of Arabic Courses with Your Budget
Having an Arabic tutor give you classes at home can be expensive.
Taking Arabic classes for your child or for yourself can sometimes be a significant part of your monthly salary.
But becoming bilingual also involves sacrifices, and replacing certain expenses with others.
What is the price of an Arabic lesson?
Generally, it will cost between $15 and $20 for Arabic for beginners class for your child. Adult classes will be somewhat more expensive, around $25 to $30 per hour.
In the big cities, rates will be higher than in others for several reasons:
- The economy varies from one region to the next
- The distance between the teacher and his/her learner may be longer
- The number of available teachers isn't the same everywhere
- Higher demand for tutors in certain areas
It is therefore important to know how much you will allocate to your Arabic classes before contacting a teacher.
A method accepted by some private teachers is to reduce the hourly cost of a one hour lesson. Always ask for a discount. Even a discount of $1 or $2 per hour could up to a saving of $30 to $40 a month.
Go with a teacher who adapts to your level, but also to your budget if it is tight. Many private teachers agree to lower their price if they have the assurance of having the student throughout the year.
Last tip to find the right private Arabic language teacher, go to the right place.
Find a Good Teacher for Your Arabic Lessons
Of all the possibilities available in the market of private lessons, a student may have the feeling of not knowing what to look for.
To avoid getting in a muddle over your choice of Arabic teacher, keep the following advice in mind.
Do not choose Arabic courses online if you are a beginner. Learning Arabic online requires you to already have a certain level.
As a beginner, you are more likely to run into difficulties if you try to learn Arabic through an online course. This is because, with no teacher, you have no one towards whom you can direct your questions and no one to explain things that you find hard.
To find the best teacher matching your level and your budget, you have to dive right in...
Try with a teacher who seems competent. Often, the first hour of private lessons is free so you can decide if you like the teacher and their methods before committing financially.
In particular, several formulas exist:
- Private lessons at home
- Free classified ads (in newspapers, hanging on walls, etc.)
- School support agencies
- The associations and organisations promoting the Arabic language
- Courses on the internet to learn Arabic online
- Revision lessons for Arabic exams
The advantage of private lessons with a native speaker is that they usually try an immersion approach whereby you are surround by only Arabic which helps you to absorb more of the common vocabulary than you otherwise normally would.
Still, your Arabic teacher must work with you ...
The Values of a Good Arabic Tutor
Whatever happens, you want to make the most out of your Arabic lessons
It is important, in order to persevere, that the learning of Arabic remains a pleasure, and that the contact between the teacher and their pupil goes well. This will ensure that the best results are achieved at the end.
So you have to get along with the teacher, and do not be afraid to talk to him or her to really improve your speaking skills, as well as your Arabic writing skills.
They must understand what you find difficult, and not move to fast when you are struggling. They should not be afraid to take their time on certain points which are more challenging, even if they themselves think that they are very simple.
The first quality for a good teacher is listening to their student.
Above all, they must avoid judging their pupils.
Learning the Arabic language is not easy and we do not all have the same abilities.
In order to learn Arabic, the learner must be confident: the teacher is therefore seen as calm, available, tolerant, and pedagogical.
The best option would be to find someone who, in addition to having an excellent level of Arabic, also has the ambition and vocation to become a teacher.
But on your side, be equally disposed to listen to your teacher's precepts and criticisms: the professor will be reluctant to give you lessons if you are unpleasant, or not very diligent.
Rest assured, most people who propose to pass on their knowledge through private lessons, are people with the taste for teaching.
This should make it easier for you to find the right teacher for your Arabic tuition!
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