Part one contains 10 lessons, which deal with daily life issues to help students learn about Arab society and adapt to it. Every lesson starts with a central text, which has been written in a conversational style. The texts contain many dialogues in order to train students and encourage them to use the language. Each text is followed by a list of new words that appeared in the text as well as other words related to the subject matter. This is followed by comprehension questions and exercises that target different skills. A conversation exercise is available at the end of every lesson and requires the instructor to practice with the students on using the terms learned in the lesson and previous ones to have a conversation in Arabic. Instructors are advised to use pictures where the content of the pictures contains answers to the questions the instructor asks.
Some lessons contain Arab and Islamic cultural elements so that students would learn aspects of Arab culture in addition to language. The rules of grammar and conjugation appear in functional form in the texts but little focus has been made on them or their details because I believe that language is learned through practice first and not simply through learning rules of grammar without a functional dimension.
The purpose of the grammar presentation in the book is to teach students the major patterns of simple Arabic sentences without burdening them with the rules of conjugation at this early level. It is more important now for students to learn how to arrange words into a correct sentence.
also the book briefly mentioned some constructs to be dealt with in more detail in subsequent levels. My focus in this level was mainlyon building the linguistic skills needed for daily use because that would be of more benefit to students than simply explaining rules of grammars that students might have difficulty retaining. Students at the beginner level find no practical use to memorizing rules of grammar.
The grammar sections in this level focused mainly on the conjugation of verbs with separate pronouns because verbs are the spine of the Arabic language. The book’s lessons also focus on the basic rules of formulating a grammatically-correct sentence that would be combined into a grammatically-correct paragraphs and texts.
The purpose is ultimately to familiarize students with the basic rules of grammar and conjugation.
The book contains four appendixes:
- Appendix 1 & 2:
they contains a glossary of words used in the texts and exercises of the lessons. The words are organized in the order in which they appear in the text – not in alphabetical order so as to be easy to follow for students. I thought of translating the glossary into several languages in addition to English (as I did with the first edition six years ago). I was surprised and delighted when my students rushed to the task. The glossary was thus translated into major global languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese, as well as into Japanese and Korean. The translation was proofread by advanced Arabic language students who were native speakers of the languages they revised.
- Appendix 3:
It contains the conjugation of verbs in three tenses (past, present, and imperative) with separate pronouns. Most of the verbs were mentioned in the lessons while therest were selected because they are related closely to daily activities. The purpose is to build up students’ lexicon, give them the confidence to use the language and encourage them to continue studying it (which is the primary purpose in my opinion).
- Appendix 4:
This appendix is dedicated to singular and plural forms. It contains the singular and plural forms of nouns mentioned in the lessons. The reason I dedicated an appendix to plural forms is the absence of a rule that students can use to form irregular plurals, which are common and heavily-used in Arabic. Foreign students – even at advanced stages – have difficulty forming irregular plural nouns.
- Appendix 5:
A general introduction to the Islamic and Gregorian calendars as well as brief profiles of Arab countries, including capitals and currencies.
- Appendix 6:
Political map of the Arab world including the capitals and important cities.
- Appendix 7:
Contains the singular and plural forms of the human body parts, which were mentioned previously.
- Appendix 8:
List Arabic grammar Vocabularies along with English translation.
- Appendix 9:
The English translations of all the questions in this book along with the page number they are located in.
The enclosed Audio CD contains:
- A slow and clear audio recording of the alphabet with adequate translation in English.
- The main lessons are recorded clearly. The last mark has been deliberately ignored in most cases when reading the lessons so it will not confuse the students and disturb their minds with long and short vowels, tanween mark and noon and al-fateh tanween and the dual.
- “Tanween” mark is pronounced on some words, even though it is not written on those words for linguistic reasons.
- The instructions at the beginning of each exercise are translated in English.
- The questions and answers to the “Test Your Knowledge” section are recorded.
- Translations of the newly introduced vocabulary words are offered at the end of each lesson.
- Simple linguistic rules and grammar explanations have been included throughout the book to equip readers with a better understanding of the language.