Arabic is the native language spoken by more than 200-300 million people in the world. A vast majority of native speakers live in an area that spans from Asia to Africa, over 5 million square miles. Many of the countries within this geographic region are members of what is referred to as the Arab League of Nations, a 22-member confederation of countries. This includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Algeria, among others.
Learning a new language, especially one that is not native to you or where you live, can be difficult. It can be made even seem more insurmountable as an adult, as our ability to acquire and retain new knowledge is much different than when we were younger. There are methods, however, for adult learners that aid in the learning process, in order to acquire the tools to communicate effectively with native speakers.
Methods for Acquiring Language Skills
One of the best ways to learn how to speak a new language is through immersion. This method allows you as a learner to become quickly acquainted with the “colloquial” or common way in which a language is used by everyday users. Immersion methods breaks down the more formal rules of language, such as subject-verb agreement, and allows you to hear, say, and use words in order to speak and communicate effectively.
Immersion style learning must also be complimented with a fun for acquiring the ability to speak Arabic. Adult learning is based on appealing to the way in which we learn best. Rote memorisation of words and phrases and repetition may be a fine way for some to learn, but it may not retain your interest in the subject. Some learners are more hands on while others are visual and must see the learning; others still are aural, in that hearing words spoken aids in their acquisition of knowledge.
The different learning “modalities” for adults are not a choice between one type or another. A mix of visual (“see”), auditory (“hear and speak”), tactile (“feel”), and kinesthetic (“do”) activities centred around can be an effective way to not only learn the elements of Arabic necessary to speak well, but also retain this learning beyond your short-term memory.
Keys to Effectively Speaking Arabic
One of the things to keep in mind when acquiring a second language, such as Arabic, is that gaining the skills to speak fluently takes place over learning how to speak. The acquisition of a second language should be as organic a process as when you learned your own native language.
Hear words as they are used in a natural setting. The use of a learning system, such as the Nassra Arabic method, that employs various tools such as Skype, online teaching, group sessions, and one-on-one training, allows you to employ the modality best suited for your adult learning style.
Making Learning Fun
You understand the need to acquire the ability to speak Arabic in order to effectively communicate with others who speak the language. Why not have fun learning how to speak Arabic and turn your task into something you want to do, as opposed to something you have to do.
You can make learning Arabic fun by making flashcards of 25 key words or phrases and their translation. Learn these words and put the cards away for several weeks. Pick them up again later and challenge yourself to see how many of them you know without having to lookup the translations.
Visit a restaurant in your area that features Maghreb, Levant, or Persian foods, the different cuisines of the Arab region. Become familiar with the different foods and gain more confidence in your abilities by interacting with regular patrons that speak the language. Attend a foreign film festival or event at a cultural centre that features Arabic films. Engage in activities focused around the language and you will find yourself speaking fluently and confidently.
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