The book contains 23 lessons that have been
selected to meet the needs of students from different backgrounds.
The topics selected cover the main aspects of the Arab World, includin
its important geographic location and its impact on contemporary worl
The lessons also focus on the Arab World’s great natural
resources, which have made it the focus of international attention,
especially by major powers and global investment companies, and the
resulting increase in the flow of people desiring to learn Arabic in the
hope of finding career opportunities in the Arab world, especially in the
Arabian Gulf region and Iraq.
The book also includes topics that reflect Arab culture, Arab social
customs and traditions, the status of Arab women, and some Arab
proverbs. Some lessons discuss old Arab cities, such as Jerusalem,
Amman, Sanaa, and Gaza. The cities are introduced and their
civilizations and artifacts discussed.
This book also takes into consideration the different backgrounds
of students, such as medical doctors and foreign students’ need to
visit hospitals during their stay in an Arab country. A lesson entitled “A
Visit to the University Hospital” was thus added and includes the main
terminology a patient and doctor might need.
The texts are short and graduate from simple to more complex in
a manner that is in line with the needs of students and their linguistic abilities.
In every lesson, a text is first introduced, followed by a question
and answer comprehension section. This is followed by linguistic
exercises and a demonstration of some grammatical and conjugational
concepts that are employed within the context of the topic. A listening
text that is related to the lesson topic is included, and finally, a writing
exercise that is also related to the topic of the lesson. Every lesson
thus handles the four language skills and trains students on them
using the linguistic content of the main text.
Because of the complex and difficult nature of teaching listening
skills and the need to assist teachers and students in this important
undertaking, I felt it necessary to pay detailed attention to listening
skills. The purpose of listening texts is to gradually develop students’
ability to comprehend spoken Arabic.
The listening texts selected are thus relevant to the original text; yet, students are not expected to know or understand all the terms that occur in the listening text. What is important at this stage is for students to be able to understand the
Gist of the text.
Students can conduct an oral question and answer exercise with
the assistance of the instructor using the questions and exercises in
the book to further their comprehension of the listening text.
One of the easiest ways to teach listening skills is for the instructor
to task his / her students with listening to the text at home – not as
a homework assignment; rather, so as to train their ears on listening
Arabic while giving them the freedom to listen to the text as often as
they wish since these texts are recorded on the enclosed CD.
Listening skills should be taught in a language lab. Students are
asked to listen to the text twice, and then the instructor asks them
to determine the main idea of the text. After surveying the students’
responses, the instructor writes down the answer on the board, or
asks a student to do so.
The instructor then asks his / her students to quickly and silently
go over the lesson’s questions and exercises in the book. The listening
text is played again and students’ are then asked to respond to the
questions orally. The text is played one more time and students are
asked to identify difficult words and expressions, which the instructor
writes down on the board and explains.
The instructor asks students – one at a time and using no more
than two sentences – to start relating the ideas of the listening text
in order. The instructor can avoid embarrassing students who cannot
remember the order of ideas in the text by asking the person sitting
next to them to help, for example. If the text is a story, the instructor
can distribute the roles of the story’s characters among the students,
who can then act it out.
It is also possible to use the listening text to test the students’
spelling skills. The instructor can – for example – ask students to write
down the first three sentences they hear. Students then exchange
papers, the sentences are written in their correct form on the board,
and the students are asked to mark the papers. This exercise is known
as a “learning test.” The instructor may also ask students to write
down the listening text at home.
Gradually, students can be trained to listen to an Arabic newscast
at home and try to summarize it. This exercise might seem difficult at
the outset, but it is important to encourage students to keep trying.
Grammatical and conjugational concepts are introduced in a brief
manner by outlining the rule and then focusing on exercises, which are
numerous and varied and avoid the tediousness of the traditional way
of teaching Arabic grammar. Difficult concepts are backed with tables
that help students better understand and grasp them.
Exercises to review past lessons and refresh students’ memory are available in Lesson 13. In addition, the final lesson contains a general revision under the title “Test Your Knowledge,” which is comprised of exercises that review the main rules of syntax, conjugation, and
linguistics that students must grasp upon completing this level.
The book has six appendixes:
- Appendix 1: Arabic-English Dictionary: New terms are arranged
by lesson not by alphabetical order for ease of reference.
- Appendix 2: Arabic-Arabic Dictionary: It provides students
with their own dictionaries to help them in their studies and develop
- Appendix 3: Contains a list of most verbs used in the lessons
and their sources.
- Appendix 4: Contains a list of nouns in their singular and
plural forms. This appendix was introduced upon observing the great
interest given to nouns and their forms by most students.
- Appendix 5: Contains a list of words selected from the texts
and their antonyms.
- Appendix 6: List Arabic grammar Vocabularies along with
The enclosed Audio CD contains:
- A clear recording of the texts of the main lessons.
- Recording of the listening texts accompanying each main