Guide ch1-how-do-we-learn-the-language
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Guide ch1-how-do-we-learn-the-language Guide ch1-how-do-we-learn-the-language Document Transcript

  • Free Arabic course materials download. Full Chapter Excerpt from A Guide to Learning Arabic Book. Copyright © 1997 – 2005-Copyrighted Educational Material. Please read the copyright notice at the end of document. www.aldiwancenter.com REGISTER NOW And download the Full Version eBook All Chapters Of this book A Guide to Learning Arabic For FREE Click to Register N Arabic For The World (3) A Guide to Learning Arabic Islam Yousry Aly Chapter 1 How do we learn the language? AL Diwan Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Center in Cairo 12 Naguib Mahfooz St. off Abbas Al Akaad St. Nasr City, Cairo 11371 Egypt info@aldiwancenter.com Tel :+20-2-2708415 AL Diwan is a Registered Educational Center, Ministry of Education, Egypt 1
  • Free Arabic course materials download. Full Chapter Excerpt from A Guide to Learning Arabic Book. Copyright © 1997 – 2005-Copyrighted Educational Material. Please read the copyright notice at the end of document. www.aldiwancenter.com How do we learn the language? A. Choosing the Method of Learning Out of the many methods for teaching foreign languages, two are most common. The first method, called the "Grammar-Translation Method", utilizes the native language of the students while teaching. The second method, "Audio-Oral Method", uses the target language, which is the language the student is trying to learn, without using an intermediary language in teaching. Researchers in the field of teaching foreign languages have found that a method in which an intermediary language is not used is more beneficial for students because it mimics the way children learn their mother tongue. A child knows no language when he is born, so he begins by listening to people around him (listening skills). Then he begins repeating their words (speaking skills). After growing older, he learns to read (reading skills), and finally he is able to write and express what he wants (writing skills). I have met many students who have learnt Arabic in their countries for periods of more than six years, yet they are not able to speak Arabic for more then three minutes. This is because they studied using the first method (Grammar-Translation). Thus, they are not accustomed to communicating in Arabic. Their only relationship with Arabic is through studying literary texts which were translated for them into their mother tongue by their teachers. In summary, the student wanting to learn Arabic must only use Arabic when studying the language. B. Choosing the Period of One’s Studies Some of the students deal with the language as if it is ‘fast food.’ Students may want to learn the language in the same way in which they pass through a fast food restaurant; they order a hamburger, take it away and eat it wherever they wish. I have seen some students who want to learn the language in a month. Others want to learn in a couple of weeks. My reply is that they need a tourist office which could run them through the basics of Arabic rather than a specialized institute for teaching the language. Language is a living organism. To get acquainted with it, to understand it, and to live with it, one must dedicate a certain period of time to it. If you were to ask, “How long is that period?” my reply based on our experience at Al Diwan would be – not having found any prior research on this topic – that the shortest period in which the students can truly accomplish something is two AL Diwan Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Center in Cairo 12 Naguib Mahfooz St. off Abbas Al Akaad St. Nasr City, Cairo 11371 Egypt info@aldiwancenter.com Tel :+20-2-2708415 AL Diwan is a Registered Educational Center, Ministry of Education, Egypt 2
  • Free Arabic course materials download. Full Chapter Excerpt from A Guide to Learning Arabic Book. Copyright © 1997 – 2005-Copyrighted Educational Material. Please read the copyright notice at the end of document. www.aldiwancenter.com hundred hours in a period of two months. We have noticed that if the student studies for less than this period, takes a break, and then recommences studying, he forgets what he previously learned. On the other hand, if he completes at least two hundred hours of studies, he forgets much less. To demonstrate this point more academically: the student during that period of two hundred hours 1 has nearly finished the first of four stages in learning the language. 2 Thus, he has reached a level that enables him to execute the linguistic tasks which strengthen his relationship with the language. For example, the student who completes this introductory stage in the language should have: 3 • The ability to ask for necessary things. • The ability to express his preferences with respect to necessary things. • The ability to answer simple questions about his daily matters. • The ability to ask simple questions. If the student puts these abilities to use, he retains command over them and does not forget what he learnt. On the other hand, the student who studies for a very short period of time, only learning the alphabet, or learning some past tense conjugations, or memorizing some vocabulary, can not execute linguistic tasks using letters far removed from words, or with words far removed from sentences, or verbs far removed from syntax. In conclusion, from our experience, the minimal period of studying a language is approximately two hundred hours, the period in which one can complete a stage. 1 This number represents the average period of time required by students to finish one level in learning the language and may differ from one student to another. 2 The four levels are: introductory, intermediate, advanced, and expert. 3 Summarized from “Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking” 1999 from The American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages (http://www.actfl.org) AL Diwan Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Center in Cairo 12 Naguib Mahfooz St. off Abbas Al Akaad St. Nasr City, Cairo 11371 Egypt info@aldiwancenter.com Tel :+20-2-2708415 AL Diwan is a Registered Educational Center, Ministry of Education, Egypt 3
  • Free Arabic course materials download. Full Chapter Excerpt from A Guide to Learning Arabic Book. Copyright © 1997 – 2005-Copyrighted Educational Material. Please read the copyright notice at the end of document. www.aldiwancenter.com C. Choosing a Teacher The teacher plays a very consequential role in the language acquisition process. The student can not judge what the foreign teacher language presents, as opposed to any other teacher. If a mathematics teacher says that 3 + 3 = 7, any student can find the mistake. When learning a new language, the student can not find the mistakes by himself. I met a group of students coming from an African county who confused the ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sounds. This is despite the fact that the group had been learning the language for nearly fifteen years, albeit with a non-native speaker who also interchanged the ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sounds in Arabic. 4 Therefore, the students were simply following the teacher’s lead. I met students from Eastern Europe expressing verbs in a strange manner. If one of them wanted to say, “I want to sleep,” he would say “I want to do sleeping.” And instead of saying “I want to drink,” he said, “I want to do drinking.” When I investigated the matter, I found that their teacher was Arab, but did not study the language in an academic setting, and therefore found this to be the easiest way to teach verbs. I met other students discussing Arabic grammar in English, although they had been studying Arabic for nearly six months. When I asked about this, I found that their previous teacher told them that in order to learn Arabic, we must learn its grammar rules first and then learning the language itself would be easy. In my opinion, for the student who has spent six continuous months and is still not speaking Arabic, it is cheaper for him to stay in his country and buy an English book of Arabic grammar rules, which can be bought anywhere. In this way he may reach the same result that he reached in six months far from his country. To summarize this point: the student first has to ask the other experienced students: • Is the teacher Arab or not? • If not, does he pronounce Arabic well or not? • Is the teacher an expert in Arabic or not? Meaning, has he studied the language academically in a university or an institute? • Does the teacher pronounce the language correctly? • Is the teacher aware of how to teach Arabic as a foreign language? If all of these conditions are met, the teacher is suitable to study with. 4 These Arabic letters are ‫ س‬and ‫‘( ش‬seen’ and ‘sheen’) respectively. AL Diwan Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Center in Cairo 12 Naguib Mahfooz St. off Abbas Al Akaad St. Nasr City, Cairo 11371 Egypt info@aldiwancenter.com Tel :+20-2-2708415 AL Diwan is a Registered Educational Center, Ministry of Education, Egypt 4
  • Free Arabic course materials download. Full Chapter Excerpt from A Guide to Learning Arabic Book. Copyright © 1997 – 2005-Copyrighted Educational Material. Please read the copyright notice at the end of document. www.aldiwancenter.com Now! If you found this class material helpful, We recommend you to take the real Standard Arabic class with us in Cairo This is a sample chapter we actually use in our real classes in Al Diwan center. Click here to know more about our Standard Arabic courses REGISTER NOW And download the Full Version eBook All Chapters Of this book A Guide to Learning Arabic Click to Register Now Online Copyright © 1997 – 2005 Copyrighted Educational Material. Intellectual Property of Al Diwan Foreign Language Teaching Center in Cairo™. You are authorized to use this material for your own personal learning use only. No business, or non-profit use allowed without a clear agreement from Al Diwan Center. Please contact us for such special authorization. AL Diwan Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Center in Cairo 12 Naguib Mahfooz St. off Abbas Al Akaad St. Nasr City, Cairo 11371 Egypt info@aldiwancenter.com Tel :+20-2-2708415 AL Diwan is a Registered Educational Center, Ministry of Education, Egypt 5