MCL Blog: ‘How to learn the Arabic language’ in a
AFL (Arabic as a foreign language) setting
Ismael Eccleston completed his ‘BA’ in English (sociolinguistics and literature) and Arabic (language) at SOAS University. He has studied Classical and Modern Standard Arabic in Egypt and has published an essay entitled ‘The stylistic differences in Arabic poetry from Jahiliyah to the advent of Islam and how Islam evolved Arabic literature.’ In addition, he has been teaching the Arabic language for the past 5 years.
Here are Ismael’s 10 top tips which will aid a non-native to learn the Arabic language in an AFL (Arabic as a foreign language) setting:
- Be patient, as in the early stages of learning the Arabic language requires a lot of resilience. Also, ensure that you’re on the right course- DO NOT RUSH!
- Find out what kind of learner you are- visual, aural, or verbal. As knowing what kind of learner you are, you’re able to figure out how best to absorb information.
- Goals/Aims: instead of seeing learning the Arabic language as one huge task, why not have individual goals for each learning area. Reflexive skills (reading and listening) VS productive skills (speaking and writing).
- Why not map out a weekly timetable (also, ensure to include revision sessions as a part of your timetable, as most students tend not to revise that which they have learnt). In addition, have a daily program which focuses on one key area of language learning- reading or writing, listening or speaking.
- Ensure that you have a qualified teacher- patients go to doctors and language learners go to qualified teachers!
- Having an understanding of English linguistics or your own native language can help iron out any L1 (first language) interferences.
- Be confident, gain momentum from what you are actually learning and understanding- always see the glass half full NOT half empty!
- Contextualise what your learning- do not learn vocab individually, put it into a sentence.
- Note taking is essential as it will help with revision.
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