Introduction to spoken Arabic group
Why learn Arabic? Especially if you are not contemplating a holiday in an Arabic-speaking country. Well, I have now run this course twice. It lasts about 30 weeks, though as with most U3A activities we take breaks at various times for holidays and family visits.
People have joined the group for various reasons – for example, they enjoy learning a language, they want to keep their brain active or they are just plain curious!
We use a BBC course called Talk Arabic, which is one of a series of BBC courses that follow the same approach, introducing you to the kind of language you would need in a variety of common situations. It comes with a couple of CDs that provide good models for pronunciation and clear examples of how the language is really used. The text uses our own Latin alphabet throughout but introduces the Arabic script as a taster.
I worked in Arabic-speaking countries as a language teacher for over 20 years and have a basic knowledge of the varieties of Arabic spoken in several regions including Algeria, Egypt, Syria and the Sultanate of Oman.
We meet on Wednesday mornings at 09.45-11.15. Classes take place in my home but we sometimes meet at a café in the city that has an Arabic-speaking proprietor, who takes our orders in Arabic… of course!