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Arabic is one of the world's most popular languages and is so rich and diverse in terms of linguistic and cultural differences that it's considered a macro language or a family of languages.
Generally, Arabic is spoken across the Arab world which includes 22 different countries in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula in particular. The number of native speakers (310 million in total) and the wide geographic area across which the Arabic language is spoken is part of the reason why it has diverged so much.
While most geographic areas have a different version of Arabic, there is Modern Standard Arabic (known as Literary Arabic) and Classical Arabic, which influenced the former.
Generally, Modern Standard Arabic is the variety that holds official language status in the countries of the Arab world and also in Islam as the Quran and Hadith are generally in Arabic's standard form.
Those in Morocco won't speak Arabic like those in Egypt or the UAE but they'll all read the same version of Islamic texts like the Quran.
Arabic has an interesting history and is the main language for communicating with millions of people or studying Islam. There are plenty of good reasons to learn how to speak the language so let's see why it's important to study it, what school students learn about Arabic if they choose to study it, the challenges language learners face, and how you can find great tutoring online.
As mentioned previously, the Arabic language is widely spoken in many places across the world. If you want to better understand people and their culture, it's a good idea to be able to speak their language. Even after a few years of language study, you'll have a better understanding of the Arab world and probably Islam and the Quran, too.
In addition to the benefits of learning the Arabic language, some benefits come with all language studies. Arabic students will enjoy the cognitive benefits of foreign language learning including improved memory, better focus, increased grey matter density in parts of the brain, and reasoning skills.
Language learning can offset Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in later life, too. Learning Arabic, be it in private lessons, at university, or from a friend, can be good for your mind and your health!
Learning a foreign language can also teach you more about your mother tongue. As you study a foreign language, you learn about linguistic concepts that are shared by many languages. While Arabic is quite different from English, you'll still improve your level of English with every Arabic lesson you attend.
When it comes to choosing a foreign language to study, the more similar a language is to English, the easier native English speakers will find learning it. Unfortunately, Arabic is quite different from English.
For one, Arabic doesn't belong to the same language family as English. English belongs to the Indo-European language family, which includes almost every major language spoken in Europe. Arabic, on the other hand, Afroasiatic language family.
Arabic doesn't use the Latin alphabet, either. Instead, it uses the Arabic abjad which is a writing system that is read from right to left and written as a script (with the letters joining). Furthermore, as an abjad, this writing system doesn't indicate vowels as individual letters like in the Latin alphabet but rather as diacritic marks above or below the consonants. While this writing system will probably be one of the first things your teacher will cover, it'll still take you a few years to master it.
In addition to these initial challenges, there's also the fact that Arabic isn't as commonly taught to English speakers as European languages such as Spanish, French, German, etc. so there are much fewer resources for students to find both online and in terms of books, guides, and tutors. Similarly, finding an Arabic teacher, tutor, or course is trickier, too!
If you choose to study the Arabic language in school, your GCSE will be the first major qualification you get in the language and the only Arabic qualification you can get during compulsory schooling. While you can always move onto Arabic at A Level, university, and beyond, let's see what an Arabic GCSE entails.
As with any other language GCSE, the Arabic GCSE is split into language comprehension and production and the written and spoken forms of the language. This makes for four key language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
In the Arabic GCSE, these four skills are the four main assessments and generally, they're weighted the same or almost the same. These core language skills tie into the themes that students are taught which can include talking about themselves, what they do in their daily life, cultural life, holidays, travel destinations, school, work and study, and global issues.
If you've decided to learn how to speak Arabic, then opting for private tutoring is one of the best decisions you could make. As we mentioned, there aren't always a wealth of Arabic language resources or courses available to students interesting in learning or improving their level so finding a tutor with experience to teach you Arabic is a great idea.
Similarly, with so many different types of Arabic around, you'll need an expert in the type you want to learn. While you'll start with Standard Arabic as you learn the basics, if you have a particular Arabic-speaking destination in mind, it's probably a good idea to get help and tutoring in that non-standard variant of the language.
Fortunately for you, the best Arabic tutors tailor their lessons to students so you just need to tell the tutor what you want to learn, why you're learning Arabic, about your prior experience with the language (if any), and how you like to learn and they can put together a great course where you can learn at your own pace from home.
You mightn't be able to find tonnes of Arabic tutors in your neighbourhood so looking online is a great way to find native tutors. Thanks to the internet, if you have a webcam and a stable internet connection, you can learn Arabic from tutors all over the world.
If you're a student with an irregular schedule or just busy with work, you can fit online tutorials around your schedule quite easily as your tutor can be from anywhere in the world!
Just search for Arabic tutors on Superprof, view each tutor's profile, see if they offer online tutoring, and check the reviews left by their previous students.
You can discuss directly with your tutor via email or phone. Their contact details are in the left-hand column of the lesson request page. You can then decide with your teacher on the preferred format of classes.
There are a number of possibilities:
A number of tools allow you to exchange via audio and video, as well as to share your screen or your tablet.
2168 tutors offer arabic classes online
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The average price for online arabic lessons is £15.
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2168 Arabic tutors are available here to help you.