Learning Arabic, English in the dubai

study in dubai

Learning Arabic, English in the dubai

If you want to learn Arabic, you will find many language schools in Dubai. One of the most popular ones is the Arabic Language Centre at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which offers courses from beginner to advanced for general conversation. They also offer some courses for specific industries such as tourism, health or finance. If you are looking for more personalized courses, you can also hire a private teacher. This option is preferred by many expats.

If you don't have much time or if you have a limited budget, you can take self-study courses. However, keep in mind that it's harder to learn this way because you will need a lot of motivation to succeed with this method. You should also know that you can master the basics, but you won't become fluent by studying on your own. You can find self-study courses either on the internet or with books and CDs. With the increasing number of expatriates in Dubai, there are a lot of new websites which offer tailored courses in Arabic. In addition to courses, you should try to practice as often as you can. Once you have learned the basics of Arabic, you can watch movies in Arabic, find a language partner, etc. A tandem with an Arabic native could be really beneficial because you will learn Arabic while discovering the culture.

The only Arabic language certification that you can find in Dubai will be those awarded by your language school at the end of your studies. As of 2010, there is no national Arabic language proficiency test in Dubai.

How difficult is Arabic?

It does require you to learn a new alphabet in order to read it. That alphabet has 28 characters, so you can knock that off in just a few hours of determined work with a pencil, a pad and a set of flash cards to test yourself. After that, you’ll be getting reinforcement in reading and saying aloud what you are reading from all the Arabic signage around you. It’s easier learning and practising your reading here in Dubai than it would be in the UK or the USA.

Difficult to speak? Well, there are a few sounds common to Arabic that will cause the English speaker a few difficulties and need practice, but the same is true of French or Italian.

Difficult grammar? Grammar’s always difficult for the second language learner. The grammar of English is just as tough for non-native speakers as the grammar of Arabic is for us. Serious study and plenty of daily practice overcomes most difficulties. Mountains of vocabulary to learn? Of course. But pretty much any language anywhere in the world can be unlocked with a vocabulary of between 1500 and 2500 words, provided they are the right words. And what, pray, are the “right words”? Again, linguists have done lots of research on this topic.

In fact, skip to the bottom of the page and have a look at the list of the top 2000 English vocabulary items used in speaking. There should be a similar list of vocabulary items to express the same ideas in Arabic. We all need to say “yes, no, hot, cold, happy, sad, there is, there are, not” and so on. It’s just that different languages have different ways of expressing these ideas with words. Hint – a good way to assess an Arabic language school, or any language school for that matter, is to ask to see their Beginning Learner’s Vocabulary List. If they don’t have one, walk away. If they have one, but if it’s full of useless beginner words, walk away. A beginner’s vocabulary list in any language should show you how to read, say and write key enabling words like the, of, and, to, a, in, is and so on – the Arabic equivalents of the top 2000 English words, from word 1 up to word 2000.

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