As is the case with many languages around the world, the Arabic language is subject to dialectal variation. There are estimated thirty modern types of the Arabic language which also includes the standard Arabic.
Around the world today, the number of people who speak Arabic is estimated to be around four hundred and twenty-two million people. This dialectal variation and the vast number of people means that an Arabic speaker from Egypt is likely not to understand a native speaker from Syria and vice versa. Speakers of Arabic have however spread out from the demographic of the native speakers to include people from other countries who learn them as second languages.
The standard Arabic serves as a meeting point for all the variants. It is the variant which every speaker of the Arabic language is expected to relate with to an extent. This is why it has become the version often employed in teaching Arabic to people who are not native speakers and will want to learn in a more formal note.
As is commonly known, the Arabic language is most popular with schools and institutions that are affiliated to the Muslim fate.
This automatically makes it not the most widely taught language here in Canada. There are however some institutions that offer programs on standard Arabic language. We will go ahead to highlight how one can learn the Arabic language in schools as a second language.
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What Are the Challenges of Learning Arabic at School?
Given the popular affiliation of the Arabic language with the practice of Islam, people have become more skeptical about learning the language because of the negative image which some extremists have presented about the religion. This is a very sensitive subject and the idea cannot easily be corrected.
But it will not be the right thing to do if everyone holds a language in contempt because of the attitude of some of its speakers. Consequently, the Arabic language is not the most commonly learnt and taught language in Canada when compared to its counterparts such as the French language.
In recent years however, there has been a growing interest in the study of the Arabic language. This has led to a drop in the number of students that study some of the popular languages such as the French and German languages. This growing interest has also reached some other less studied languages at A Levels.
This increase in the study of the language is not likely to be marked as an improvement as the majority of the students are from immigrant families and also Islamic fate based school. Also, observing a drop in the study of more popular languages does not in any way point out that the number of people learning the Arabic language has topped that of those learning languages such as French and German. The number is still low when compared to them. This, coupled with the fact that the language is most popular in fate based schools points clearly at the fact that the language still has a long way to go in terms of popularity.
Is Arabic a Popular Language in Canadian Schools?
Owing to the low popularity of the Arabic language, students who enrol in GCSEs are more likely to be assigned other popular languages to learn within their first years in school. There is often no room for choices at this level. But later on, they are allowed to make choices based on the language which they would like to study in the GCSEs.
However, when the Arabic language is not introduced in the early years of study, the interests of the students are most likely not going to be channeled to that direction in the later years in school when they are allowed to make choices. An alternative is to look for a less formal ground to learn the language.
How Can I Learn Arabic at School?
Languages are best taught at the early stages of development. That way, the brain is able to adjust faster and pick up these languages. But the sentiment that is associated with the Arabic language as a result of it being part of the Islamic fate has hindered the growth of the language among non-native speakers of the language. This is because parents and guardians of wards will not likely smile at the idea of this language being taught to their wards at this early stage.
With the above being the case, it is most likely that in Canada, for one to expose a child to the Arabic language at an early stage, then it is most likely that they will have to seek help from less formal institutions. This is because most schools are not likely to have the language as part of their curriculum based on popular demands.
Moving further, one is more likely to meet the Arabic language in high school than in their early stages. But this is not in any way more popular than the language itself. So, it is more likely that learners at this level will have to resolve to Islamic schools as the language is being taught for a better understanding of the Islamic holy book.
But if one is not comfortable with that, then it is left for the student to look out for high schools that offer the language or just look for a private tutor. Some students who are enthusiasts of the Arabic language are lucky to have the language as part of their curriculum. But for some who are in the GCSEs, they had to seek a less formal ground to learn the language.
Earlier in this write-up, we have pointed out hindrances that learners of the Arabic language or enthusiasts are likely to face. This problem is mostly a kind of phobia associated with its Islamic affiliation. This problem ends up holding some who would have loved to study the language from doing so. This might be because their sponsors will not allow it or that they could not find schools that offer the course. Some of these linger till one is down with school. This should not prevent people who really want to learn the language from doing so. One can easily resolve to finding private tutors or other smaller institutions that can help after school with the right resources in place. And in this age, one can easily subscribe to an online class on the language.
Learning Arabic outside formal institutions such as schools does not in any way hinder one from writing formal qualifying examinations in order to have official papers. Any student who learns the Arabic language from private tutors can easily register the course when registering for qualifying examinations without taking the course formally in schools. This implies for both the GCSEs and A Levels examinations. In fact, when it comes to language learning, people are advised to find private tutors as it is the most efficient way to learn these languages. Private tutors end up being more flexible in order to match the student’s needs than can be seen in formal schools.
When engaged with a private tutor, one gets to discover that more progress is made in the learning of language because all the focus is on the student. There are no numbers to share the attention as is seen in a formal school environment. This shared attention often leads to slow students being left behind during classes. But for private mentorship, the pace of the student is met and their weaknesses addressed. Private tutorials are likely to be expensive.
So, it is advised that Arabic language enthusiasts and even people who learn other languages get some few people with whom to share the cost. Students who will feel inadequate in the face of a larger group for being slow learners are advised to adopt this method if the means is available. This also helps to suit the fear of sponsors of their wards being indoctrinated with the understanding of a fate.
Getting Help from Tutors
Finding private tutors in a country that is not a native Arabic speaking country might be hectic and expensive. But with the availability of the internet, one can really have the opportunity of finding tutors anywhere in the world. This is because FaceTime classes are very much possible and easily available these days. This has its perks as such classes are likely to be cheaper than the traditional one-on-one classes. And even, one gets the opportunity of getting a native speaker of the Arabic language to carry on with the task of teaching the language. This makes for more efficient learning of the language.
In conclusion, the learning of second languages has become more popular these days with globalization. The need for people to interact with people of different races and ethnicities has become necessary because of the need for expansion of businesses and sharing of ideas for the better development of individuals and societies.
Again, the fact that a certain group, which you do not agree with makes use of a language does not in any way invalidate the language. The fears are understandable but the environment and result can be controlled using private tutors. Private coaching is however likely to be more expensive as a result of the personalization that comes with it. Adjustments can however be made to suit the finance available to students and their sponsors.
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