The Best Way to Learn Arabic Starts With a Plan

8 min read

So you’ve decided to learn Arabic? Congratulations! You are about to embark on a journey into a language that is uniquely rich with culture and history unmatched by any other language humans have spoken.

So, what’s your plan?

What’s that? You don’t have one?

Well, whether you’re an old pro at learning languages or learning Arabic for beginners, having a plan is critical to your language learning. It gives you a clear and concise path that can guide you throughout your entire Arabic language learning journey. For instance, it can help you learn Arabic faster, help keep you motivated, and help you reach your Arabic language learning goals.  So, if you want to learn Arabic language skills and be successful at it, then you have to start with a good plan.

Maybe you don’t have a plan because you don’t know where to begin or you’re not really a planner. Well, don’t worry because today we are going to show you how to create the ultimate Arabic plan in just seven easy steps. 

Before we begin, however, you’re going to need a few things to get you started. First you’re going to need a few tools like paper, a pencil, and a computer, laptop, or mobile device with internet access. 

Next, you’re going to have to set aside a suitable time where you can really focus on making a good plan – and don’t rush it! A really good plan that keeps you inspired and motivated takes a little time to create

Now that you have the tools and the time you need to create your plan, let’s get started.

Step 1. Start from Where You’re At

You’ve probably heard the famous quote by the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu that goes: “A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.” Many professional language teachers often refer to language learning as a journey since every journey has a beginning, an end, and the road that you travel in between the two. Like a well planned trip, this means you must know where you are starting at before you take that first step towards the end, and knowing your starting point when you want to learn Arabic language skills is that first step.

Beginning your assessment, don’t focus on the levels or labels like “I am at a B2 level”. Rather, answer these four questions about yourself to give you a more honest answer.

  • What can I do in terms of reading Arabic?

For example, “I can read some Arabic words but not enough to comprehend a passage, yet.”

  • What can I do in terms of listening to Arabic?

“I can understand a conversation enough in Arabic to understand the gist of what the speakers are saying and understand the words to some Arabic songs and television shows.”

  • What can I do in terms of speaking Arabic? “I can speak Arabic enough to get around town and buy some food and other basic items.”
  • What can I do in terms of Arabic writing? “I can write some basic Arabic words and write my name.”

Step 2. “Seeing is Achieving”

At one point or another, you’ve heard the quotes that “Seeing is believing” and “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” I have combined these quotes into one – “Seeing is achieving” – and this is the whole idea behind visualizing your end goals. By seeing yourself in the future, you can create very clear mental images of what you will do and feel once you’ve learned Arabic.

For example, it may go something like this:

“I see myself in October 2020. It’s the cool dawn of the morning and I am watching the sunrise over the beautiful, otherworldly landscape of Wadi Rum in Jordan, talking to my newfound Bedouin friends in Arabic over a cup of fresh, aromatic Arabian coffee.

Later I join my brother, who is visiting from America, and he is impressed by how well I can read a map on our way to Aqaba and can sing along to Arabic songs playing on the radio until we arrive.  

At our hotel, we strike up a conversation with an Emirati couple in the lobby who ask where we’re from, my brother looking at me in awe while I translate what he says to them in Arabic and their answers back to him in English.”

Pretty awesome, huh?  

It’s also pretty motivating when you attach not only intellect to learning Arabic, but emotions as well. This is because emotions can also be a highly motivating factor in visualizing your success.  The more powerful the emotions, the greater the motivation. However, remember to try to visualize something realistic that you can actually do in real life. And send me a postcard from Aqaba!

Step 3. Create a Simple Outline

You have a starting point for your Arabic journey, and you’ve visualized an end of it as well. Now it’s time to start mapping out the middle. You can do this using the ever-reliable “To Do” List that could look like this:

Speak and understand Arabic at a conversational level.

Read texts of magazines and newspapers at an intermediate level of Arabic.

Learn enough Arabic writing t send and understand short texts from friends and colleagues.

Afterwards, turn that list into a simple outline. These are your main goals and next we will learn how to fill in the supporting details to reach those goals.

Step 4. It’s All in the Details.

“Success is the sum of details.” Henry Firestone

Now that you have a fixed set of goals for yourself, you have to plan out how you intend to reach those individual goals.

Start by brainstorming ways that you will reach each of those goals, again, as a “To Do” list at first, then you can add them to your outline. 

Here’s a short example:

“I want to speak and understand Arabic at a conversational level”

“Do I know anyone who speaks Arabic? Where and when will I talk to them if they agree?” 

“One of the families in my neighborhood is Syrian. Maybe one of them will talk to me if I tell them I want to learn to read Arabic or I want to learn to speak Arabic.”

“I can also join other Arabic speakers in a Facebook group and chat with them on Messenger, WhatsApp, or Skype.”

Step 5. Actions in Place of Words

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ― Carl Jung

Okay, let’s look at what we’ve done so far.

We’ve set our beginning and our end, we’ve outlined our goals on the journey in between and we’ve asked ourselves how we will meet those goals and answered that with our details. However, all of this is just pencil and paper unless we get out and do those things which we’ve set out to do. 

Go talk to your Syrian neighbor! Find groups in Facebook! 

Again, whatever you’ve written is just words on a piece of paper. 

Get out there and put those words into action!

Step 6. Turn Your Actions into Habits

Aristotle once said, “You are what you do repeatedly, so your excellence isn’t an act, it’s a habit,” and we’re making excellent progress!

However, there is just one more thing you need to do.

Make learning Arabic a habit. Do it regularly and repeatedly.

It’s that simple.

If your Syrian neighbor agrees to help you with your Arabic, don’t make it a onetime thing. Go as often as they wish to see you. Suggest three days a week and see if that jibes with their schedule. They’ll probably even teach you in the Levantine Arabic dialect which is an added bonus.

If you belong to a Facebook group (and really, do I have to mention that Facebook is already a habit for some of you?), then participate in and post to your group regularly. You don’t have to do it hourly. Make it something you do 

Step 7. Make Copies and Store Them Everywhere!

“Better safe than sorry” – everybody’s mother or father

We’ve all worked hard on something at one point in our life only to have it lost or misplaced. After you’ve developed your ultimate Arabic language learning plan and written it down, try saving it to your computer, or even a cloud in case something goes wrong with your computer or you lose your mobile. Send it to yourself in your email and save it there. Make a copy and give it to your family or friends. It’s better to have a few copies where you can easily find them than for all of that hard work to be lost forever.

Congratulations! You’ve created your ultimate Arabic language learning plan. Now you have a whole year in front of you to complete your Arabic language journey. Start today and see you next year!

You don’t have to wait a whole year, however, to visit us at Visit us today to download one of the best Arabic language learning apps for your IOS or Android device on the market today. Include it in your plan as a supplement to your goals. In fact, you can think of it as your road map on your Arabic journey.

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