The Kelsey Arabic Program

Producing Arabic speakers for over 50 years and counting

How’s Your English?

Are you a non-native English speaker? If so, have you considered how your level of English will affect your studies of the Arabic language?

Here are a number of reasons why your proficiency in English will affect your Arabic studies:

  1. A good portion of your classmates at Kelsey may be native English speakers, so communicating with them during your first year will be difficult without a good level of English.
  2. Probably English is a much easier language for you to learn than Arabic, so the experience that you gain in learning it can be important for your Arabic learning.
  3. Written Arabic (not Spoken Arabic) is taught initially using a Grammar/Translation Approach at many institutions, including ours. This means that as you start out in your written Arabic classes, English will be used often in explanation of grammar and vocabulary. So if your English is weak, you might need to translate English definitions given in class to your native language at home. This can be very time-consuming and tiring!
  4. Most Arabic teachers in this region will tend to use English to clarify meaning of new vocabulary, especially in the beginning levels. Of course it is possible to teach Spoken Arabic without using English at all, but this is not common practice because it is not found to be an efficient use of class time.
  5. Local Jordanians typically have enough English to communicate very basic things with English speaking foreigners, but if your English is weak, living here can be very challenging and tiring until your level of Arabic is strong enough, since you may not always be able to find help from speakers of your native language.

So what level of spoken English would be enough to study Arabic with us? How can you know what your current level of English might be? Please see our new page, “Enough English?” for these answers!!!

Updated: January 5, 2015 — 8:34 am
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