On learning Arabic in America

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I came to the realization yesterday that my Arabic is now better than my Spanish (speaking-wise anyway).  Aah!  I never thought this day would come.  Alhamdullilah.

This Arabic only stuff is the pitts though.  It sucks.

An actually so do my classes sometimes.  I’m not a grammar buff by any stretch of the imagination, but we use the al-kitaab series (like every other freaking college/university in the U.S.) darn you Kristen Brustad…lol)

and now that I am in book three (unlike this idiot who doesn’t seem to have gone  past book one yet…lol)  I think I can say safely that the grammar explanations suck.    The main goal/ethos of the series and this program is to get students speaking Arabic fluidly: Grammar takes a back seat.  This is great, but at the same time, I find myself missing those days at SOAS when Arabic was in English and I thoroughly understood how to conjugate those crazy verbs that end with a vowel (crazy hard in arabic) or verbal noun constructions etc. Even my teachers are too laissez faire about the grammar in my opinion (well, except that time when one of them kirked out because we didn’t understand a grammar term… but that is another story…lol)

Why are the European and American models exact opposites?  I think I need to start an Arabic program that is a little more grammar focused. … yet another career move to make before I die 🙂

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