One of the main advantages of learning Arabic with arabiconline.eu is that the online Arabic courses are very carefully structured. The units and lessons are organised to ensure a successful learning experience. The focus is on speaking and communicating in familiar, everyday situations. The support materials and study plans provide guidance and support how to arrange your study time into well-organised learning sessions.
The starting point for each unit in the online Arabic courses included in the Arabic Online subscription is the main dialogue. At first sight, the dialogue seems to contain quite complex sentences for learners who have never learned Arabic before. One example is in Unit 3 of the Beginners course, wa lakin ayna yumkin an aghsil yaddaya? (Where can I wash my hands?) Some learners may worry that such a sentence is far too difficult for a beginner; they can’t understand each word or understand how the words combine into a sentence.
Traditionally, language courses often start with very simple words and expressions with very basic grammar.
However, language doesn’t work that way. If you are learning Arabic and you wish to use it in everyday situations like having a meal with Arab guests, you need sentences like, wa lakin ayna yumkin an aghsil yaddaya? (Where can I wash my hands?)
How does Arabic Online approach the question of language learning difficulty?
Firstly, if you are working with the Arabic Online Beginners course, it is helpful to download and open the Glossary and the Study Plans. The Study Plans help you to organise and structure your learning time; they give advice what to do in which order. Learning is a ‘slow’ process; there are no ‘quick fixes’ when it comes to learning a language. The Study Plans underline the central objective of the Arabic Online team: to help learners to acquire Arabic sustainably.
The Glossary gives help with individual words and also with phrases and so-called ‘formulaic language’. These are short ‘fixed’ sentences that help you to express yourself and to communicate in a number of different situations.
The sentence mentioned above is a good example of formulaic language. wa lakin ayna yumkin an aghsil yaddaya? (Where can I wash my hands?) is applicable in many different contexts and not just at meal times. Consequently, it should be learnt as one whole sentence, so that you can use it spontaneously and confidently whenever you are in a situation where it is required.
And here is an important thing to know about Arabic Online. The dialogues contain a number of such ‘formulaic sentences’. By learning them at an early stage, you can express yourself meaningfully, from the beginning, in different situations. – It is an intended feature of Arabic Online to supply such short fixed sentences, especially through the dialogues, so that even beginners can speak confidently.
If you wish to learn more about the individual words in a formulaic sentence, the Glossary provides further help. You can see that wa laakin means ‘and/but’ and ayna means ‘where’. The rest of the sentence should be learnt as a unit: yumkin an aghsil yaddaya? (… can I wash my hands?)
This approach can be challenging for learners and demand a bit more effort. However, we are convinced that our approach leads to successful long-term learning.
So, the message is: please do not worry if you don’t know or understand what individual words mean; simply learn the short sentences as a unit. They are valuable in everyday communication. And people will be impressed how you can speak Arabic so confidently.
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