Language learning has long since been considered important. But now the traditional foreign languages of French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese, are being usurped by different languages, such as Mandarin and Arabic.
Taking private Arabic classes with a tutor is the best way to learn to speak like a native. And it's also a good way to learn the Arabic language because you can start to build a rapport with him or her from the first lesson.
But sometimes not everything goes to plan:
You might have difficulties concentrating, your attention might often be disturbed, or perhaps you have a hard time listening or memorizing.
Yet you have the feeling that you could progress more quickly.
It could even be that you are worried that your child is losing the enjoyment of learning Arabic due to problems in his or her private Arabic classes.
What is clear, you want to feel that you are progressing with your Arabic, and you want to benefit as much as possible from your classes. What's more, you don't want to waste your time. Therefore learning literary Arabic or any one of the different Arabic dialects from each of the Arabic speaking countries at an optimal level is important.
There are some useful tips to optimize your progress and better serve your Arabic language lessons. Superprof has made a list of the main techniques to adopt in order to learn Arabic effectively while still putting your heart and soul into it.
Get Your Body Prepared For Arabic Courses
There are many things that you can do to prepare yourself to successfully learn a language
It is estimated that a student who puts their body and soul into the course, and listens to their teacher, has already done 50-80% of the mental work for learning Arabic.
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Actively listening during lessons allows the learner to retain information more quickly: when a student reads their notes, the memorizing process will be accelerated.
In order to optimize learning, one must be willing to learn to speak Arabic in the most optimal way possible.
Thus, your body must be fully prepared before entering you Arabic class.
If you take an intensive Arabic course, whether it is a class to help you pass your high school tests, or an adult course for a job interview, it is important to sleep well the night before the class.
Sleep helps tremendously with concentration. You should sleep an optimal amount; not too little and not too much.
Science has established that staying well hydrated has a positive effect on a person's ability to learn and memorize new information.
Thus, it is important that you drink plenty of water to avoid tiredness, headaches and a decrease in your performance. Studies have found that well-hydrated people work better than those who do not drink enough water.
To be physically fit and able to pay attention in your private Arabic lessons online, you have to eat well. This nourishes your brain with nutrients. Eating healthy (fruits, vegetables, protein) will help you learn Arabic.
Oxygenate Your Body
If you are experiencing anxiety or don't feel confident, it may benefit you to exercise. Do some workouts to bring oxygen to the body. You will then mobilize less energy when listening to your Arabic teacher, and you will likely understand more quickly what he is saying.
Eliminate All Sources of Distraction
Staying focused will mean that you learn Arabic quicker, and therefore the number of Arabic lessons required to master the language will decrease.
In order to focus your attention on the course and not on anything else, eliminate sources of distraction and stay present. Meditation techniques can help eliminate the flow of external, positive thoughts.
If you are thinking about a piece by J. S. Bach on the piano you are going to play after the Arabic lesson, your ability to learn and memorize information will slowed down.
This may seem obvious, but turn off your TV, your computer and your mobile phone. Creating an optimal Arabic learning environment to take advantage of your course is the most basic thing that you can to do to improve your chances of success.
The Arabic language can be difficult, especially learning the alphabet, Arabic writing and Arabic grammar, etc.
If you want to read and write in Arabic script, this will take time. Arabic words and phrases are harder to learn than in French because Arabic uses a different alphabet to the Latin one used in most western countries.
It is therefore important to be determined. To learn to read, write and speak as an Egyptian, Moroccan, or any native Arab speaker, take notes during the course. The differences between the different dialects in Arabic speaking countries (Lebanese Arabic is different from Palestinian Arabic, which is different from Saudi Arabic) when compared with Modern Standard Arabic makes things even harder.
Not only does the vocabulary differ depending on which dialect you speak, but the sentence structure and other grammatical intricacies may also be different. Expressions can also vary greatly, as well as pronunciation.
It will, however, be a very enriching experience. It is among the most spoken languages in the world with around 300 million native speakers across the Arab world. It is also an official language in many Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa such as Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria and Iraq, but it is also widely spoken outside of these places.
If you are attentive and aware, your efforts will not only be rewarded - you will improve your oral pronunciation as well as your Arabic writing - but your teacher will also be motivated by your own determination: it is a self-sustained and virtuous circle!
Staying focused on the present moment when you are in your Arabic class will inevitably help you participate in the lesson. Your personal investment and desire will make your memorization efforts easier and you will feel that things will start to assimilate themselves on their own.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Your Teacher Questions During Your Arabic Tuition
To learn a new language you need to stay open minded and confident: look words up in the dictionary, but also ask your teacher, that's what he or she is there for!
Don't forget that your teacher is not there to judge you: all questions are good questions and there is no such thing as a bad one.
Especially for beginners learning Arabic, each question that you ask helps to clarify something in your mind that in turn solidifies some of the basics.
If you have a problem with Arabic vocabulary, a question about the pronunciation of a letter, or an issue with the meaning of a word, a good native Arabic speaking tutor will answer you in a clear and concise way.
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To learn the Arabic language effectively and quickly, no question should be overlooked. Often, students are fearful of asking questions because they are worried about what the reaction of others will be.
And even if your Arabic teacher cannot answer your question, which can happen as language is not an exact science, ask him or her to try and find out the answer before the next class.
Private lessons are not lectures: if you participate and ask your teacher questions, you will memorize most of his or her answers more quickly.
It is also a medium to improve your oral expression. The brain more rapidly internalizes vocabulary and Arabic pronunciation if you repeat things orally.
Another fundamental aspect in optimizing your private lessons is to understand that Arabic language and Arabic culture are an integral part of your Arabic learning.
Ask your Arabic tutor about the culture of Arab-Muslim countries, their history, customs and other topical subjects. Immersion is important. By immersing yourself in all the aspects of the language, you will have a better understanding how it is built and how to best memorize the words. Read Arab newspapers or even the Quran, it'll teach you a lot about this Semitic language's construction.
If Arabic is the mother tongue of your teacher, he or she will be well placed to answer all of your questions, not only about Arabic grammar and pronunciation, but also about Arabic civilization, language and culture What's more, your tutor will probably be able to help you with any questions you may have about Islam, the Quran or the Arab world in general.
If you have not already done so, ask him to bring you revision exercises (Arabic GCSE) to each class to keep you up-to-date and to give you opportunities to practice in between classes. These could be exercises on Arabic vocabulary, the Arabic alphabet, Arabic verbs, or Arabic grammar in general. Working individually outside of your private Arabic lessons will help you progress at a faster rate and reinforce what you learn with your tutor.
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Regularly Attend Your Arabic Lessons and Practice in Your Spare Time
If you want to be successful in anything that you do, you have to work hard and practice regularly. The same can be said of studying Arabic.
It is very important that you review what you have studied in previously lessons.
Reread your notes, your teacher's aids, and repeat difficult vocabulary to yourself out loud.
If you have evening classes after work, intensive courses before an exam or sessions between college courses, finding a suitable time to revise the language of Ismael will be of great help to you.
Given the choice between keeping your brain active in the evenings after work by revising and doing exercised based on Arabic words and phrases, or watching a boring television programme which doesn't challenge your mind, which one would you rather do?
Revising Arabic can stimulate your brain, and as a consequence, your cognitive dispositions.
Just like doing exercise, this will be hard at the beginning. But once you are used to your new routine, you will feel better and more alert in the evenings, and you will see a noticeable improvement in your level of Arabic.
Find yourself a moment without distraction - isolate yourself from others in the house - and revise your lessons, using the memory technique that suits you best.
In the same way as for music lessons - piano, guitar, vocals, drums or violins - it is better to revise for between thirty minutes and one hour a day, rather than try to cram all of your revision into the two hours before your next lesson.
And you will see that after a few weeks, your efforts will be rewarded to the extent that you remember the taste and pleasure of learning and upgrading your language skills.
Keep Learning Arabic Outside of Your Private Lessons
As a beginner you couldn't imagine it a few months ago, but you now cannot wait for your private lesson to begin and you now feel the urge to practice Arabic at any time. Reading and writing in Arabic is not easy, not to mention how to pronounce the words. Therefore you have to keep practising to maintain your momentum in order to keep improving.
The price of Arabic classes can vary massively so depending on your budget, it might be even more important for you to study more in your spare time. Here is how to practice Arabic outside of private lessons:
- Learn Arabic online.
- Read the Arab press: newspapers written in literary Arabic will help you learn the alphabet. Even if you do not understand what you read at first, it will be beneficial to read Arabic script.
- Listen to Egyptian newscasts will stimulate your mind and your listening comprehension in Arabic.
- Have an oral conversation with someone who speaks fluent Arabic. This is perfect if you want to master Arabic grammar and become bilingual.
- Plan a language study vacation or a trip to a Maghreb country. It will be an opportunity to improve your level of practice while feeling like you are on vacation.
How are your private lessons in literary Arabic serving you?
You have increased your concentration skills, you have better academic results, you have learned a new language, you have gained confidence and you are now able to communicate in Arabic and understand an Arabic conversation on television.