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Years ago I decided to have a bash at learning Arabic but didnít have much success and since then Iíve had several more tries but again without any success.
Recently I came across The Michel Thomas Method Arabic course and as I was so impressed with Michel Thomasís other courses, I decided I would have yet another go.
However, although I was a little disappointed to find, after Iíd opened the package, that this was a course on Egyptian Arabic, I decided to go ahead anyway and must say that if youíre thinking of having a go at Arabic, this is definitely the course to start with.
But, like all courses on foreign languages, I felt this one was missing an essential ingredient. Some courses put all the emphasis for success on the studentís willingness to work hard while others, like the Michel Thomas course, put the responsibility for success squarely on the teacherís shoulders. But I think, like the Japanese, that success depends on both the teacher and the student doing their best.
If you are an English speaking person learning a foreign language itís important to remember that unless you plan to go and live in a foreign country for the rest of your life, you will always speak a foreign language by translating to and from English. The more experienced you become the more easily you can do this, but you still will always think in English.
In consequence, if you are going to learn Arabic, I feel it is important to practice translating from English into Arabic and to this end I have devised a number of simple computer programs to help you practise this skill. Another reason for developing these small programs is that the Michel Thomas course is very Ďinformation richí and despite what the teacher has said, I really donít feel that simply listening to the cdís would enable a student to internalise all the information. Therefore these little programs are also intended to help a student get a mental fix on what they have learnt in each lesson.
The Michel Thomas Arabic course can be borrowed from a library, bought on ebay or amazon and also purchased from a shop. But to get the most from your learning effort I would suggest that you download the additional programs and text I have prepared from the link below. (Itís completely free.) Then listen to the first cd and follow along with the booklet supplied by the publisher. Then listen again using the text I have supplied for each lesson in doc, txt and rtf formats (so that whatever your wordprocesser, you should have no difficulty accessing the information. ) After this you click on the file of the lesson (Ar01.exe being lesson 1.) Use the space bar to proceed through the program which randomly displays the English sample sentences learnt in the course and say them in Arabic. (A latinisation of the Arabic is supplied alongside each English sentence in the text file to help you recall the Arabic words if you need to. But I would point out that this Latinisation is only an aid to memory and no word is used that you havenít already heard on the course. The Latinisation only reminds you how to pronounce it.) I did this five times a day for five days before progressing onto the next lesson and would recommend that you do the same.
If you decide to give it a go, hereís wishing you success in your endeavours,
Download the files here
---September 6, 2008---
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