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Why choose Kelsey?

I came to Jordan to study Arabic, to be able to speak, read and write the Levantine dialect Ammieh, as well as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).

I started with lessons at a language center that focused on listening and speaking Arabic. I appreciated this approach and was able to communicate quite fast.

But I also felt a little lost and needed more structure and grammar after 4 months. So I decided to give the Kelsey program a try.

(continue reading the testimonial)


JANUARY TWO-WEEK INTENSIVE COURSES ARE BEING FORMED

From January 9 to January 21, 2023; Monday through Thursday and Saturday mornings, the following two intensive courses will be offered:

1 – Introduction to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) Literacy (from 8:15 to 10:45 am for 180 Jordanian Dinars). In this 25-hour total course, the student will recognize the typed and hand-written letters of the Arabic alphabet, learn proper Arabic orthography (including the rules that govern sun and moon letters, the shapes of the ´alif, the taa´ marbuuta and the hamza among others) and read Arabic phonemes, words and sentences with correct pronunciation, flow, and word stress.

2 – Mechanics of Arabic Pronunciation – MSA and Dialect (from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for 150 Jordanian Dinars). In this 20-hour total course, the student will discern each sound of the Arabic alphabet when spoken by a native speaker and speak Arabic with correct pronunciation and word stress. By the end of the course the student should be able to: (1) correctly pronounce all Arabic sounds, identifying and reproducing the distinct differences from similar sounds in his/her own native tongue; (2) distinguish between sounds in Modern Standard Arabic and their substitute sounds used in different Arabic dialects; (3) distinguish between single and doubled consonants; (4) distinguish, when listening and speaking, between pharyngeal and non-pharyngeal pairs of sounds; and (5) discern the impact of the hamzat wasl and the definite article on speech flow.

Please, contact us for further details.


SPRING 2023 TERM

Spring 2023 Term is now open for registration.

Please, contact us for further details.


ASK ABOUT OUR PART-TIME TRACK SOLUTIONS

The Kelsey Arabic Program is introducing part-time study tracks for those who want to gain proficiency in a specific area of Arabic at one given time. The two part time tracks are: (1) Levantine Arabic ‘Amiyyeh’ Track and (2) Modern Standard Arabic ‘Fus’ha’ Track.

These part time options are available for levels 1, 2 and 3 and have the same start and end dates as a regular full-time semester.

Please, contact us for further details.


The Kelsey Arabic Program is an Arabic language program located in Amman, Jordan.  Our students come from around the world to learn Arabic for work and service in a variety of capacities among Arabic-speaking peoples.  Come and study Arabic in Jordan with us!

With 55+ years of experience in teaching Arabic, Kelsey is an excellent choice for people coming from all over the globe. We invite you to explore our website and to write to us to know more about our program.

About Us

The late Dr. George E. Kelsey founded the Kelsey Arabic Program in 1964 in order to meet the linguistic needs of church workers coming to the Middle East. The school started with six students, and over the years it grew as the methods which Dr. Kelsey developed proved effective. Since its inception the program has trained over 2500 students in spoken and written Arabic, and the school now enrolls roughly 30 students at any one time from countries all over the world.

For more details about Dr. Kelsey’s journey founding Kelsey please download his story.

Program Details (Our Approach to Arabic Learning)

The Kelsey Approach

Our driving emphasis is on communication.  We want our students to communicate in Arabic with accuracy and cultural sensitivity.

Knowing the Arabic alphabet in advance is not necessary. We teach two kinds of Arabic at Kelsey: Jordanian “spoken” Arabic[1] and Modern Standard Arabic[2]. We consider “Spoken” Arabic and MSA to be two separate languages in terms of vocabulary, grammar, context of use and syntax. However Middle Eastern societies use “spoken” Arabic and MSA simultaneously in daily life[3]. Therefore, for foreigners to function normally in this region in the long run, the acquisition of both languages is essential.

At Kelsey we begin with an oral approach to the language, because we want to speed up your acquisition of “spoken” Arabic initially as much as possible. Accordingly, 1st semester students are initially taught to use a western script to phonetically record the spoken language. This strategy greatly increases the speed of your acquisition of “spoken” Arabic in this initial phase, and we consider it to be essential for the building of relationships between you and locals that will last for the duration of your language learning process. At the same time you will be introduced to the Arabic script, and by your 2nd semester you are expected to begin the transition of using the Arabic script instead of the western script as your exposure to MSA slowly increases. By the time you reach your 3rd and 4th semesters with us, you should begin to see how Middle Easterners use these two very different forms of Arabic in a practical sense as one language.  Then by the time you finish our full course, you should be functionally literate in MSA and begin to use it to grow deeper as a communicator of “spoken” Arabic.

Sound complicated? Learning Arabic is in fact a very difficult and challenging process, but with Kelsey’s approach, experience, excellent materials and God’s grace over your life, we expect your language learning process to be not only successful, but also rewarding and empowering. For more information on KAP’s approach to Arabic study please see Kelsey Arabic Levels (KAL).


[1] Also known as the Levatine dialect or Ammiya.

[2] Also known as MSA or Classical. Please note that some people would more specifically classify Classical Arabic as yet another form of written Arabic used only in Ancient texts, whereas MSA is the Modern form of written Arabic.

[3] This phenomenon is referred to by linguists as “diglossia”, which refers to a sociolinguistic phenomenon in which different varieties of a language exist and are used by members of that society depending upon social contexts. In the case of Arabic, MSA and/or Classical is used for all written communication and is spoken only in formal educational, religious, and political contexts, as well as in most forms of spoken media. Whereas “spoken” Arabic is used in all other contexts. Furthermore, there are also many contexts in which Arabs use a blend of both MSA and various dialects of “spoken” Arabic, such as in sermons at church or in Bible studies. Because of this, no serious student of Arabic can really choose one or the other but needs to focus significant attention to both MSA and a “spoken” dialect like ours here in Jordan.

How to Apply

Applicants for the full-time language program are considered for admission based on the following criteria:

  1. The applicant should ensure that we have received a completed and signed application and a non-refundable Pre-registration Fee of 100 JOD by two weeks before the first Registration Day (see calendar above).  Applicants who apply late will be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis until classes are full.
  2. The applicant should pay in full the school fees and purchase books during Registration Days.  Late payment is subject to an additional fee of 30 JOD. Any portion of the school fees paid on or after the first day of classes is subject to this fee.
  3. Only applicants who can begin the semester on time will be admitted. Latecomers disrupt classes that have covered a great deal of special material already. Occasionally an applicant may arrive late if other arrangements are made with the Program Director to ensure that the applicant catches up with the class at the time of admission (i.e. through personal tutoring for an additional fee).
  4. All applicants must submit a letter of recommendation or equivalent.
  5. Under most circumstances, the applicant must be more than 18 years old, or attending the program with a parent.
  6. This list is not all-inclusive. Additional requirements will be clarified by the program office upon inquiry and/or submission of a Preliminary Registration Request Form.