More on Arabic studies

Posted by sue on January 31st, 2007

Tomorrow I’m already at the end of my first (short) term of Arabic study, though the next term starts right in on Monday of next week. The only way it’s obvious that it’s a new term is that I have to pay again! (The terms are four weeks long, though this time I jumped in the beginning of week two.)

It’s been good so far, a very different approach than I’ve had in previous classes, which built vocabulary relatively slowly and methodically while focusing on the teaching of grammar. In my class now, we do some work on grammar, but mainly it’s been a rapid fire exposure to new texts in class every single day, with loads of new vocabulary almost every day. It’s nuts just how many new words I’ve learned (or at least was introduced to) this term—it’s more than I can absorb.

However, I think there is a method to this madness that is appropriate to where I am with Arabic learning. When new words are flying at you at a rate too fast to memorize them all, you just do the best you can, and some will sink in. And if the next day you do the same thing, a few more will sink in, particularly if a few of yesterday’s words come up again in today’s reading. Just last night I was watching the news on an Egyptian cable news station, and heard a couple of words that I had just learned about 10 minutes earlier in an article I was reading, so I remember them. I’m hopeful that a few months in Cairo studying at Kalimat is the kick in the pants that I needed to actually get somewhere with this language.

5 Responses to “More on Arabic studies”

  1. Sean Says:

    How many terms/semesters are there? Do you just keep ‘renewing’ monthly as long as you want?

  2. sue Says:

    Yes, I can just keep on signing on from month to month as long as I want. I think it will take 4 or 5 terms to get to the end of the official curriculum offered (though if I want to stay in Cairo beyond that I could arrange custom private courses).

  3. sean Says:

    What’s your mailing address at the new digs?

  4. dan Says:

    Yes the only way to learn is to be there immersed. I was studying japanese at home for 1 year and there was one particular word I could never seem to memorize. The first night in japan I saw a child jumping up and down repeating the word to his parents, and it instantly stuck in my head! (along with that scene) You never know when that will happen!

  5. Duane Says:

    < a href = “ dash@summarize.sells“>.< / a >…


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