Teaching Arabic in Europe

Photomontage L.Le Gal
Pour Dilap
Photomontage L.Le Gal

Teaching Arabic in Europe

In Europe, and in France in particular, research in the teaching of language has enabled teachers of Arabic to adapt and benefit from the most advanced teaching techniques. Although it is not easy to define linguistically what constitutes modern Arabic today, there are uses of contemporary Arabic one must take into account in an Arabic course: writing is no longer restricted to books, it has long been fully integrated into daily life, especially in administrative use, but also by all the forms of modern media, including newspapers, the Internet, advertisements, street signs, storefronts and other public sources of information.

Written Arabic is becoming more and more a language of communication and of business (meetings, debates, and audio-visual presentations thanks satellite networks). Thus, mastery of spoken Arabic is a major component of proficiency today (even if it remains incomplete without sufficient knowledge of the register of the dialect.)

To teach Arabic as a living foreign language necessitates giving special attention to spoken Arabic and its special phonetic characteristics. Trying to learn Arabic without sustained speaking practice is impossible. Similar attention must be given to writing to assure mastery of a new alphabet and the development of the skills necessary for switching between reading and writing. Practicing reading and writing without constant reversion to short vowels, which are used less and less in contemporary Arabic, is essential.