For those interested in learning Arabic from scratch and with greater structure, students may want to consider NaTakallam’s curriculum option.
Based on the textbook 'Arabiyyat al-Naas, this curriculum differs from other Arabic language programs by integrating colloquial Arabic with Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in a way that reflects the use of the language by native speakers.
Pioneered by Munther Younes, who is part of the Institute for Integrated Arabic, this approach is used at Cornell University, where Dr. Younes leads the Arabic department.
NaTakallam has already conducted two annual trainings in Beirut, in which our Syrian Conversation Partners (CP) have undergone a 4-day training on delivering this unique, real-life oriented teaching approach.
Professor Younes and our Lebanon-based Conversation Partners during our training in Beirut, in January 2018.
What does it mean to be “integrated"?
Most Arabic-as-a-foreign-language programs focus on MSA for all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and add in spoken Arabic later, or not at all. This traditional system leaves many students struggling to communicate verbally, especially when they travel to the region and desire to use the language in everyday settings.
In an effort to solve this common problem and close the gap between Western classrooms and the real world, Arabiyyat al-Naas teaches students the living language as it is used by native speakers every day. The curriculum introduces spoken Levantine Arabic (the Arabic used in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine) and uses it for ordinary conversation and discussion throughout the course, while using MSA for reading, writing and formal or scripted speech.
Students will engage in 25 one-on-one online hour-long sessions with our Conversation Partners (CPs) covering Units 1-3 in 'Arabiyyat al-Naas.
- The writing system (alphabet)
- The number system
- 200 basic everyday words covering self-identification, family, work, the weather, transportation, clothing and colors, and food.
Expected Time Commitment: 25 hours of instruction + 25 hours of required homework.
- 25 hours with instructor (minimum 2 hrs/week recommended for best results).
- 25 hours of homework (on average, one hour of homework per hour with instructor).
Start Date: Rolling basis
End Date: 4 months from start of first session
- Weekly sessions will be scheduled based on student and CP availabilities at the beginning of the course.
- Four make-up sessions are permitted if 24 hours cancellation notice is given.
Cost: $750 for 25 hours of instruction at $US30/hour. (Book not included).
- Non-refundable after the first 2 sessions ($75 admin cancellation fee and prorating of sessions taken).
After Completing the 25-hour Course/Next Steps:
Once you have completed the 25-hour absolute beginner course you can continue working through the rest of the ‘Arabiyyat al-Nass book with your instructor by buying packages of 10 one-hour sessions for $300, to be completed within 3 months (only available to students who have completed the 25-hour course).