Online Language Learning Community Resources: Learn to Read, Write, Speak, and Understand the Arabic Language for Free!
Welcome! Do you want to learn to speak, understand, read, and write Arabic? Then explore the pages of the Arabic Learners website and get to work learning Arabic online for FREE!
Is it possible to learn Arabic for free online?
Yes! Studying a foreign language is being revolutionized by the internet, Web 2.0, and the social networking concept. This is very good news for those of us old enough to remember listening and repeating via the audio-lingual approach as we drilled "Hola Paco!" with cassette tapes. While flash cards and drills still have their uses, a new era has dawned for self-motivated language learners. This page provides links to a variety of blogs, social media sites, and language learning communities online that provide FREE online content for learning Arabic.
First of all, some U.S. colleges have wonderful FREE multimedia content online that anyone who is interested in self-paced independent study of Arabic can use. One such website is the LangMedia Resources for World Languages Website at http://langmedia.fivecolleges.edu/mentored_arabic.html Also worth visiting are the LangMedia CultureTalk videos in Egyptian and Levant Dialects at http://langmedia.fivecolleges.edu/culturetalk.html
While Transparent Language has a subscription based component, the link to the following blog provides FREE high quality Arabic language learning exercises. TheTransparent Arabic Blog has excellent FREE multimedia grammar review, listening comprehension, and vocabulary review exercises online at http://www.transparent.com/arabic/.
CAL: Center for Applied Linguistics has a FREE Arabic Oral Proficiency Guide..
Its goal is:
Helping students of Arabic understand, self-assess, and improve their oral proficiency
What is this guide?
This guide is designed to help you understand and improve your Arabic oral proficiency by learning about:
•What oral proficiency is and how it relates to your language learning goals
•A set of guidelines that can be used to rate your speaking ability
•The kind of outcomes you can reasonably expect after different amounts of Arabic study
Language learning community websites such as LiveMocha, Busuu, Lang-8, LingQ, LinguaTV, Hello-Hello, and now enable language learners to use their desktop, laptop, or iphone to access online state-of-the-art multimedia language instruction software as well as native-speaker peer tutoring feedback and chats with "friends" from across the globe. Some language learning community website are FREE (i.e. LiveMocha), but other charge a monthly fee, so it is a good idea to read all of the FAQS before you sign up with any website. Personally, I suggest that students first explore free sites before signing up for a monthly fee-based program. However, everyone has different financial resources and priorities, so this resource page will offer information about both free and fee-based programs.
LiveMocha and Lang-8 are two FREE language learning communities that offer Arabic. I have joined LiveMocha, and I have found it to be a very useful language learning site. I have not personally used Lang8. Students interested in studying commonly available languages such as Spanish and French might also investigate some of the other well-known online language learning communities. The following article reviews some of the most popular language learning communities: Review of Some Language Learning Communities: Busuu, Livemocha, LingQ, and Hello-Hello.
Most of language learning community sites seem to assume that a student can at least read the target language on a very basic level. Therefore, absolute beginning students of Arabic need to learn the Arabic alphabet before trying to use a site like LiveMocha.
Below is my review of two of sites that I have found to be very helpful in my Arabic language studies: LiveMocha and Arab Academy:
If you want to learn Arabic and just about any other foreign language for
2. Arab Academy
Although The Arab Academy is not free, I have included a review and link for it on this page because it is a well-respected online Arabic language learning site, and they have an active global "online learning community" for registered users. Also, in late 2009 and early 2010, I studied for six months as a registered user with the Arab Academy, so I can offer a brief overview of my own experiences studying Arabic on their site.
Arab Academy is private language school in Cairo, Egypt which offers both classroom instruction and comprehensive online instruction. The The Arab Academy's online monthly subscription program allows students to sign up for a variety of courses (i.e. al-Fusha/Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, the Egyptian dialect/Amayya, Studies of Islam, Studies of Quran/Suras, etc).
The Arab Academy is a well-respected program. Some private high schools, as well as private and public colleges and universities in the United States offer credit-based Arabic language courses relying exclusively upon the The Arab Academy's on-line curriculum. Students also have the option of traveling to Cairo, Egypt to study in the The Arab Academy's non-credit intensive language program.
Although the The Arab Academy offers coursework related to Islam, students do not have to be Muslim or have any religious inclination in order to study with the The Arab Academy. In fact, I believe that non-Muslim students who are interested in gaining cultural fluency or even just a better understanding of the role of Islam within the conventions of the Arabic language and Egytian culture, would benefit from receiving the The Arab Academy's moderate and well-qualifed instruction.
The Arab Academy employs grammar-based pedagogy well as a comprehensible language input approach so that audio, visual, and context cues assist the learner to comprehend Arabic at a level that might be slightly higher than their current skill level. While the courses focus primarily on reading, aural comprehension, and writing, students also have the option of registering for conversational classes conducted via webcam and Skype with native Egyptian instructors.
During the six-months that I studied on-line with the Arab Academy, I found their user interface to be a little confusing, and I was sometimes frustrated by the little bugs that I encountered while completing exercises online in their software. On the plus side, their technical staff responded to my email inquiries fairly quickly. When I opted not to re-new my subscription, I was asked to complete a student satisfaction survey. Apparently, the Arab Academy really does care about student retention because the program director contacted me to indicate that the Arab Academy was planning to implement a system upgrade which would improve the user interface and remedy the bugs in their software. However, I do not know the outcome of their upgrade plans. Unfortunately, personal budgetary constraints prevent me from re-enrolling to see for myself as to whether their upgrade addressed my primary areas of concern. However, I hope that the administrators of the Arab Academy prudently invest the additional capital necessary to improve upon their existing online program. They are facing increased competition from the ever-expanding number of new language learning communities online such as LiveMocha.
In closing, the Arab Academy does offer a comprehensive Arabic language and culture curriculum that makes it a worthwhile program.
Despite the occasional bugs and glitches, I recommend the Arab Academy program to students as well as adult learners who:
These links are for Online U.S. Accredited College-level Arabic Language Classes
1. Oregon State University, online First-year and Second-year College-level accredited Arabic classes! Contact OSU Extended Campus, 800-667-1465, or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Although these courses are not free, these undergraduate courses are taught by an accredited U.S. college and the units are transferrable to most public colleges/universities in the U.S.
University of West Florida Online Campus and Arabic Language and Culture Certificate Program.
These links are all for FREE Online Arabic Language Learning Sites:
Contact the Arabic-Learners/Arabic Language Resources Author/Webmaster