Learn Arabic by Distance-Learning most innovative technical methods, through an enticing, interactive, electronic technique!
To provide outstanding methods of teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers, thus realizing the most up-to-date international standards, as well as the optimum practices in teaching and learning languages, through developed electronic techniques that help in disseminating Arabic Language and its culture, as well as reaching the largest number of learners possible all over the world.
Arabic Language represents a deeply-rooted Arabic and Islamic culture and civilization. It is a living and a contemporary language that encompasses a large segment of human societies that belongs to a vital geographical area which is considered the focal point of the whole world. In view of the increasing demand for learning Arabic by non- native speakers for various motives , such as : political, diplomatic, economic, religious, cultural, educational, touristic, communicative, and further other motives, and in view of the lack in the Arabic library of special electronic programs concerned with teaching Arabic, and based on the vision of the Saudi Electronic University in its pursuit of internationality and of expanding in its various programs, it worked towards designing an international electronic program for teaching Arabic to non-native speakers so as to realize the beneficiaries' aims through a simplified scientific and applied method.
Arabic is considered one of the universal languages known for its remarkable and outstanding presence on the international level, with all its cultural, intellectual, economic, political, and communicative manifestations. The universal presence, dissemination, and the desire to learn Arabic have increased year after year as a result of several different factors-subjective interlocked with objective ones. Some of the subjective factors are related to the desire of a large number of non-Arab intellectuals who possess the interest in learning Arabic for the sake of scientific and cognitive satisfaction, as well as to acquaint themselves with Arabic culture, its thought, and with its diversified and multiple heritage. As for the objective factors, they seem to be evident in the cultural, political, intellectual, and lingual globalization, wherein learning languages has become one of the features of today's generation, as well as one of the important conditions for coexistence, and for designing several formats for mutual understanding and dialogue among different nations and cultures; seeking a better understanding of the present world which is characterized with wealth, diversity, convergence, and intellectual and cultural pluralism, considering that language constitutes the refined means for communication and dialogue.
Besides what the process of teaching /learning languages witnesses of tremendous development in respect of form and content- in that represented by the implementation of technical developments in this field, and to be in agreement with the vision of the Saudi Electronic University about providing an innovative style for both E-teaching and learning- it seems that developing the process of teaching/learning Arabic for non-native speakers has become an urgent need in the light of a modern developed institutional vision, according to the most up-to-date standards that are internationally, technically, linguistically, and culturally approved, whether in respect of styles of presentation, in the design of digital content, or in teaching/learning strategies and evaluation, to the extent of realizing quality-teaching output, characterized by its competitiveness, methodical approach, effectiveness, and by the easy access for the largest number of learners around the world-or what is known by Massification.
Definition of the Program:
(SEU Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program)
Language of the Program:
Modern Standard Arabic. It is the language of teaching, media, and of journalism in the Arab World today.
This program targets the adults who are non-native speakers of Arabic all over the world, and who have the desire to learn it. They can apply for the program as independent individuals, or through institutional academic programs, according to specific registration procedures.
Reasons behind the Program:
- The increasing demand for learning Arabic by Non-Native Speakers, urged by a variety of perspectives: political, diplomatic, economical, religious, cultural, educational, touristic, communicative, and further others, the matter which prompts us to re-present Arabic Language to other people through vital, functional, and objective methods which are agreeable to them.
- The need in the process of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers to a complete and comprehensive electronic program that provides a developed teaching series with its classifying and measuring tests included in a developed electronic template which depends on Self-learning and on Distance learning, that fulfills the needs of learners through expanded teaching levels that take them step by step in learning the language from the beginner-level up to the good command of the language.
- The urgent need at present for the cultural communication between Arab Nationals and those of other international cultures, in the process of exchanging knowledge and useful cultures, as well as bringing views closer together on all levels, and reproduce our Arabic and Islamic cultures 'clad' as ever in moderation and tolerance for the other peoples to perceive.
- The urgent need for a qualitative initiative to be adopted by a distinguished body in E-teaching, in order to make up for the lack in outputs of the traditional Arabic Language Institutes, wherein statistics refer to the small number of students being accepted to study at those Institutes. The amount of seats provided by some Institutes in an Arab country over many years can well be provided within one year by an E-Program teaching Arabic through Distance-Learning. In other words, the number of seats available for learning (Arabic) in the Arab World does not correspond to the great international desire and demand for learning Arabic.
- To meet the needs of the increasing demand for learning Arabic by Non-Native Speakers, urged by cultural, global, and economical motives.
- To contribute to the dissemination of Arabic Language, and to consolidate its role and outstanding position in being a universal language, and to work on realizing the mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the service of Arabic Language.
- To contribute to the dissemination of the Arab Islamic culture, to enrich its universal presence, to present it in its true and tolerant image, and to share effectively in promoting the cultural and civilizational communication among the diversified cultures and civilizations.
- To present Arabic Language to non-native learners in its modern standard context, and in its vital functional dimension, and to profoundly link up learning it with life.
- To meet the needs of the process of teaching Arabic to non-speakers to a complete and comprehensive E-Program that provides a developed educational series, with its classifying and measuring tests in an electronic template that is considered one of the most developed electronic programs in the field of language teaching.
- To develop the process of Arabic-teaching to non-speakers in view of the successful technical teaching tests and of the internationally approved standards.
- To provide a complete, modern, and interactive E-teaching program of Arabic to non-native speakers.
Basics for Designing the Program:
In addition to distinguishing between long and short vocalic onset, particular care is taken to give a clear and accurate account of the Arabic phonological system with special reference to various orthographic forms, whether the letter is attached or detached, in initial, medial and final positions.
- To choose the Program vocabulary that are characterized by being common and widely-spread, and to give priority to the real rather than to the figurative ones, and to keep to presenting the words in complete contexts, to make use of pictures that signify the words, particularly with concrete rather than with abstract meanings.
- To put emphasis on the functional aspect of the words and structures while presenting them, and to make sure they are related to situations of everyday life.
- To effect perfect use of diacritical marks to the words, structures, and texts, and to observe the use of punctuation marks.
- To enrich the program with choice topics: cultural, historical, literary, political, and economical ones, and to design a variety of texts that deal with common, cultural and social issues that are related to the Arab Islamic culture, and that are in agreement with the other international cultures.
- To use the unit-system in demonstrating the teaching course, and to adhere to the balance between the language skills and its elements.
- To concentrate on the audio-visual stimulants through the use of videos and vocal passages, as well as pictures, with special care over the element of suspense.
- To take into account the principle of progression in teaching the language, and to observe the content level so as to be consistent with the learners' knowledge level.
- To observe that the unit exercises are sufficient and varied, accompanied by clear instructions, in which the easier ones are provided before the more difficult, the oral before the written, and the receptive before the productive.
- To employ effectively the techniques of E-learning in teaching Arabic and in self-learning or distance-learning by non-native speakers.
- To promote the learner's role in being the center of the teaching/ learning process through distance-learning or self-learning, wherein the teacher's role will be as an instructor, a guide, and a facilitator element in the teaching/learning process.
- To concentrate on the qualified and competent personnel, in respect of their linguistic, communicative, and cultural capabilities in teaching Arabic.
The Program Constituents:
In view of the nature of E-teaching that differs from the traditional class-teaching, there has been an expansion in the Program levels to include 16 study levels, divided into 6 stages, as will be detailed later. The Program, based on this procedure, aims at enabling learners to attend the greatest number of lessons and educational situations that depend on videos, and on various intensive learning activities, thus enabling them in turn to fulfill their learning needs, taking into consideration that E-teaching Programs, whether self or distance-learning, depend basically on the learner.
In dividing the study levels, the Program depends on the European framework as a joint authoritative reference for (the teaching of) languages, and it benefits from the pioneering Englishtown expertise on teaching languages. It also provides the four learning skills: (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), as well as the elements of language: (phonological, vocabulary, and structures) in a complementary manner, with special reference to the unit-learning system. Particular care is taken about lingual, communicative, and cultural competence as well, with special reference to the progressive method according to the learner's level.
The educational content has been prepared by a group of prominent specialists in Applied Linguistics and Arabic Language, and it has been revised by a group of authors in Arabic fields for non-native speakers. Additionally, the content will be subjected to a constant reviewing based on observations by the teachers, instructors, and the students.
The Saudi Electronic University is pleased to provide the honorable beneficiaries with six, out of sixteen, study levels in the form of a paper copy for them to be acquainted with the content design. This content design will be somewhat different in form and content from what will be uploaded to the program platform on the Internet, wherein the videos, the audios, the interactive drills, and further others will be included.
The American Rosetta Stone Co., who is highly distinguished in distant language-teaching, will make the arrangements for hosting and running the Program. The Beta Version will, by the Grace of God, be launched in March 2014, and the official inauguration will follow by the completion of the whole Program.
75% of the Program has been devoted to self-learning, and 25% to virtual classes, where learners communicate with the teacher and with one another in classes of five students only, thus giving a chance for interaction to each learner.
The Program Levels:
First: Preparatory Level (Vocalic Onset):
It includes a detailed demonstration of Arabic Vocals and their pronunciation, including the long and short diacritical marks, in addition to the Arabic letters and their orthographic forms whether attached, or detached, in initial, medial, and final position, with emphasis on the diacritical marks, such as the stress (or accent) and nunation, and to present these vocals, letters, and marks in a lexicon containing words referring to them, and to use pictures, audio files, and some videos that help the learner to listen to, to pronounce, read, and to write them.
Second: The Main Program:
The Program includes sixteen study levels, distributed among six stages represented in:
- The Beginner Stage, which includes the first, second, and third level.
- The Basic Stage, comprising the fourth, fifth, and sixth level.
- The Intermediate Stage, comprising the seventh, eighth, and ninth level.
- The Upper Intermediate Stage, comprising the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth level.
- The Advanced Stage, comprising the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth level.
- The Upper Advanced Stage, comprising the sixteenth level.
He who passes the Program successfully is awarded a Degree of Proficiency in Arabic Language for Non-Native Speakers.
Each level includes six units, with four lessons for each. Each lesson consists of the following elements:
- The Main Audio-Visual Video: it represents a variety of situations from real life, with a duration ranging from one to three minutes.
- The Vocabulary: It includes the word with its meaning, an example about it, and an illustrating picture, followed by a set of various drills.
- Patterns and Structures: The Program concentrates on providing the functional (grammatical) rules through patterns, structures, and various interactive drills originally derived from real-life situations.
- Reading: The Program includes a set of objective texts for reading, as well as the vocabulary that helps the student understand the texts, identify the symbols and pronounce them correctly, and deduce the general and incomplete ideas, and understand the meaning of words from the context. The Program further includes an audio text for reading, which the student has to re-read and possibly to have it recorded in his/her voice, and is followed by a variety of drills.
- Conversation: It includes several drills that suit the student's level, starting with introducing himself, with some questions and short sentences, onwards to higher levels, wherein the learner is required to talk about a subject specified by the output, with a possibility of recording it in his own voice. It includes an interactive video as well, in which the learner engages in a dialogue with someone about a specific subject.
- Writing: It includes various writing drills compatible with the student's level, starting with the construction of simple sentences onwards to the paragraph, then to writing about a subject specified by the output. The Program allows the student to start writing, wherein he starts with drawing the letters and with writing the words, and to arrange the orthographic symbols and to use them in sentences and in paragraphs, to link them with each other, and to organize the ideas, the pieces of information, and punctuation.
- The Drills: There will be general drills on all skills and linguistic elements. They include several drills, such as, multiple choice, right or wrong, re-arrangement, error correction, matching, filling in spaces…, etc.
- Placement Test, in order to define the student's level.
- Achievement Tests, at the end of each semester.
- Proficiency Test, for advanced levels.
Fourth: User Manual:
The Program includes a User Manual for both the learner and the teacher, which helps them to be acquainted with the technique of handling the Program, as well as some directives related to performing the drills and the various educational activities.
The Program Represented in Figures:
- (16) Sixteen study levels, in addition to the vocalic onset.
- (96) Ninety-six teaching units.
- (384) Three Hundred Eighty-four complementary teaching lessons
- (500) Five Hundred teaching pictures.
- (1800) One Thousand Eight Hundred audio files
- (900) Nine Hundred main interactive teaching videos.
- (5760) Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty diversified teaching drills.