Tips for Learning Levantine Arabic
Each episode will feature a specific coaching tip for people learning Levantine Arabic. Jenn, the host, has coached over a thousand Arabic language learners. She specializes in getting language learners un-stuck and guiding them on a path to fluency.
If you're learning Arabic, you'll want to subscribe to this podcast.
Tips for Learning Levantine ArabicNov 15, 2023
Practical Strategies for Intermediate Arabic Learners
Once Arabic learners reach an intermediate phase, it's common that they find they have plateaued in their language progress. In this episode, Jenn offers many practical strategies for effective Arabic learning in the intermediate phase.
Jenn mentions Shababeek's Development Consultation and Plan (found here) as an alternative to traditional Arabic proficiency testing.
If you would like to learn more about Shababeek's approach to learning Levantine Arabic, head on over to our website: https://shababeekcenter.com
3 Goals for Intermediate Arabic Learners
Our podcast guides you through the exciting journey of learning Levantine Arabic. Broadcasting from the vibrant city of Amman, Jordan, our mission is to provide valuable tips and insights to help you thrive in your Arabic language learning journey.
In this episode, we delve into the essential goals for intermediate Arabic learners. Language acquisition is an ongoing process that requires adjustments to match your evolving capabilities. As an intermediate Arabic learner, you've invested around 600 hours into your language development, and we'll explore how to make the most of this stage without facing the dreaded language learning fatigue or intermediate plateau.
To help you avoid burnout and plateauing, we'll share effective techniques and strategies. Our aim is to keep the learning process enjoyable, ensuring you remain motivated to reach an advanced Arabic level.
In the intermediate phase, you'll transition from merely comprehending to fully understanding real-time conversations. You will need to emphasize immersing yourself in the culture and worldview of Arabic speakers, equipping you with a deep understanding of the people you engage with, while also spending time with a teacher, nurturer, or Arabic language mentor who will correct your language mistakes.
In this episode we discuss a crucial but often overlooked aspect of learning a second language: becoming an interesting person in that language. In the intermediate Levantine Arabic phase, you will need to learn how to share your thoughts effectively, making connections with locals and building meaningful friendships.
Throughout the intermediate Arabic phase, you should focus on three primary goals:
1. Transitioning from partial comprehension to real-time understanding.
2. Deeply grasping the culture and worldview of Arabic speakers.
3. Becoming an engaging communicator with shared interests.
As you invest more hours in your language journey, these goals will become increasingly attainable, bringing you closer to advanced fluency. Remember, language learning is a privilege, granting you access to diverse perspectives and enriching experiences.
If you find yourself on a detour from your language learning journey or need fresh ideas to continue to advance, consider scheduling a coaching session with us. Don't miss out on the incredible adventure that learning Arabic offers.
Your Arabic language journey is filled with wonder, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.
Words are not Islands - How We Should Be Learning Vocabulary
When learning a second language, many people feel they need to memorize lists of vocabulary words. Linguistic experts, however, have a different opinion.
In this episode, Jennifer addresses this issue. She notes that when we treat words like islands, disconnected from the words around them, we lose a significant portion of the meaning those words carry.
So how should Arabic learners acquire new vocabulary? That's what this episode is about.
If you have questions or are interested in Shababeek's approach to Levantine Arabic acquisition, visit our website here.
Choosing between بصير (biṣīr) and بكون (bikūn)
In this episode, Jenn addresses the differences between the Levantine Arabic usage of بصير (biṣīr) and بكون (bikūn). These verbs are often challenging for Arabic students to sort out when they begin speaking. If you're learning Arabic and don't quite know how to use these verbs, listen to this episode.
If you're interested in learning more about Shababeek's approach to learning Arabic, visit our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
How to use بصير (biṣīr) in Levantine Arabic
The word بصير (biṣīr in phonetic spelling) can often be challenging for students of the Levantine Arabic dialect. In this episode, Jenn covers three different examples of how بصير (biṣīr) is used. You'll also hear native Levantine Arabic speakers use examples in their own voices.
If you would like to learn Levantine Arabic and are interested in Shababeek's language learning approach, visit our site here: shababeekcenter.com.
How to use بكون (bikūn) in Levantine Arabic
Over her years of coaching Levantine Arabic language learners, Jenn has noticed a tendency for many people to drop the verb بكون (bikūn). However, knowing when and how to use بكون will make Arabic learners more confident in their speaking ability and sound more natural to native Arabic speakers.
In this episode, Jenn addresses 5 ways بكون (bikūn) is used by native Levantine Arabic speakers. These include:
- Place and time.
- When used with descriptives ("When I am...") As well as after لَمَّا (connected to a cause and effect).
- When in conjunction with the notions of usually, typically, always, everyday, most of the time.
- When talking about people (relationship to one another, job, etc).
- When referring to something someone has (using بكون with عندي or معي).
Example sentences with native Levantine Arabic speakers are included in the episode.
For a transcript of this episode (including examples written in Arabic), visit the podcast episode page on our website here.
If you are interested in learning more about Shababeek's approach to Levantine Arabic acquisition, visit our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
How long will I be in Phase 5?
Shababeek's experiential approach to learning Levantine Arabic is divided into 5 phases, with each phase having an estimated amount of time needed in Arabic learning sessions to be ready to move on to higher phases:
- Phase 1, "foundations", is roughly 100 hours.
- Phase 2, "visual story telling" is around 200 hours.
- Phase 3, "shared stories" is 300 hours.
- Phase 4, "deep understanding" is 500+ hours.
- Phase 5, "Arab discourse" is also 500+ hours.
It's the "+" that comes after the 500 hours in phase 5 that Jenn addresses in this episode.
*There are 2 acronyms that Jenn uses here, L1 and ACTFL.
L1 is someone's first language, native language, or mother tongue.
ACTFL is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. ACTFL assessments are commonly used to assess a person's language proficiency in a second language.
For a transcript of this episode, visit the podcast episode page on our website here.
If you're interested in learning Levantine Arabic in Jordan or online from anywhere in the world, visit our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
How to use the verb "like" (عجب) in spoken Levantine Arabic
Most Arabic learners use the verb love (جب) much more frequently than they use the verb like (عجب). While these words are often interchangeable, the reason most people who learn Levantine Arabic don't use like is because it operates a bit differently in a sentence than the more straightforward use of love. In this episode, Jenn explains the challenge of using عجب for non-native Arabic speakers as well as provides language exercises to do in your Arabic session or class to help strengthen the way عجب is used in sentences. Anwar provides example sentences of using عجب in Levantine Arabic.
Here are some example sentence of how to use عجب in Levantine Arabic (some of which are interspersed throughout this episode):
اواعي أختي عجبوني
بحب هاد المطعم كتير والاكل العربي عنده بعجبني
بحب زوجي وبتعجبني تصرفاته
بحب زوجي بس ما بتعجبني طريقة حكييه
بحب الأكل العربي بس مش كل اشي بعجبني
شو بعجبك بالأردن؟ العلاقات بين الناس بتعجبني كتير
شو عجبك بالحياة بالأردن؟ الثقافة عجبتني
شو بعجبك بشبابيك؟ كل اشي بعجبني هون ما فيه اشي ما بعجبني
شو أكتر اشي عجبك بالأكل؟ ورق العنب اكتر اشي عجبني
If you're interested in learning Levantine Arabic in Jordan or online from anywhere in the world, visit our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
Why empathy is indispensable for cross-cultural relationships
This week Jenn reflects on the indispensable value of empathy when interacting with people from another culture or religious tradition. When we listen empathetically, we not only allow space for the other to continue to open up and tell their stories and share with us their experiences, we also make space within ourselves to be transformed. Cultivating the skill of empathetic listening is invaluable to language learners, especially those learning Levantine Arabic.
If you're interested in our approach to Levantine Arabic acquisition, visit our website here to learn more.
Ramadan and Eid al Fitr with Besan
In this Ramadan episode Jenn speaks with Besan about fasting traditions in Saudi Arabia, where she grew up, as well as celebrating the two Eids (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha). You'll hear the following Arabic words that you can discuss with your nurturer or Arabic tutor:
If you're interested in learning more about Shababeek's approach to Levantine Arabic acquisition and cultural adaptation, hop on over to our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
Celebrating Ramadan in Jordan with Nour Al Haha
This week, Nour joins Jennifer to discuss Ramadan in Jordan. Nour describes the personal as well as communal spiritual significance of the month of Ramadan. She also speaks on the importance of interfaith respect and relationships between Muslims and Christians in Jordan.
The following Arabic words are used in this episode:
الله يبارك فيك
(صلاة الفجر، صلاة الظهر، صلاة العصر، صلاة المغرب، صلاة العشاء)
تفضلوا، احنا طبخنا
Learning culture alongside learning Arabic is essential if you want to interact with Arabs. If you're interested in learning more about Shababeek's approach to learning Levantine Arabic, visit our website here: shababeekcenter.com
Experiencing Ramadan in Jordan with Anwar Nassar
In this episode, Anwar Nassar discusses the fasting month of Ramadan, learning to fast as a kid, fasting while pregnant, and more. You'll hear Anwar mention some Arabic words that may be new to you. This is a good opportunity to discuss these words and concepts with your nurturer or Levantine Arabic language teacher.
Arabic words mentioned in this episode:
If you're interested in learning Levantine Arabic, hop on over to our website to learn more: shababeekcenter.com.
How much time should I spend learning Arabic?
Many Arabic learners want to know how many hours a week they should commit to learning the Levantine Arabic dialect. The answer depends on what Arabic learning phase you find yourself in. In this week's tip to learning Levantine Arabic, Jenn breaks down the amount of hours Arabic learners should spend in sessions/class compared to time spent in relationships with Arabic speakers.
If you're interested in learning more about Shababeek's approach to learning Levantine Arabic, visit our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
What are the pros and cons of having a partner to learn Arabic with?
At Shababeek, Arabic learners can choose to study one-on-one with an Arabic nurturer, with a partner, or in a small group. There are pros and cons for each of these options. This week, Jenn advises learners on a few things to be aware of when considering partnering with someone else to learn Levantine Arabic.
If you are interested in learning the Levantine Arabic dialect and want to know more about what Shababeek offers, visit our site here: shababeekcenter.com
What are some ways to work on patterns of speech (Arabic grammar)?
Learning Arabic grammar can seem daunting; and it often is in traditional classroom settings. Instead of calling it "grammar", we use the phrase "patterns of speech." This helps us be aware that what we are learning on patterns to the ways people naturally speak, and not necessarily a list of rules Arabic learners need to memorize. In this tip for learning Levantine Arabic, Jenn shares some ways that learners can work on their patterns of speech.
If you're curious about our approach to Levantine Arabic acquisition, you can learn more on our website here: shababeekcenter.com.
How do I form deeper relationships in Arabic?
Most people learn a language so they can interact with other humans who speak that language. However, building cross-cultural relationships in a new language can be quite challenging. Check out this week's tip on ideas for forming relationships and how to prepare for those relationships as you're learning Levantine Arabic.
For more information, please visit our website at shababeekcenter.com.
The hazards of striving to learn Arabic
Moving towards something without the pressure to get there is actually really good for us.
Some Arabic learners put so much pressure on themselves to acquire the language that they get burnt out in the process. Others may hurt relationships or hinder cultural understanding in their striving to become Arabic speakers. In this episode, Jenn discusses some hazards to be aware of as language learners strive to learn.
If you'd like more information on our approach to learning Levantine Arabic, visit our website here: https://shababeekcenter.com
What percentage of my sessions should I be speaking Arabic?
In a comprehension led Arabic program, speaking naturally lags a step behind. This doesn't mean you should be solely focused on understanding Arabic but not speaking it. This week's tip gives Arabic learners an easy formula to make sure they are balancing the speaking activities with the comprehension activities in their sessions.
If you'd like to learn more about Shababeek's approach to learning Levantine Arabic, visit our website here: https://shababeekcenter.com
What are some ways I can develop my reading ability?
May Arabic learners want to jump into reading as soon as possible. Is this something you should be pursuing? It all depends on your goals. Check out this week's tip to learn some ways you can develop your reading ability, even as you maintain a focus on learning the Levantine dialect.
What should I prioritize reviewing between sessions?
While you're in your sessions, you'll be making audio recordings of new phrases, grammar patterns, and stories. You'll also have a recorded word log of all the new words you've encountered in a given session. What should you be prioritizing when you review these recordings?
If you're interested in learning more about Shababeek's approach to learning the Levantine dialect of Arabic, visit our webpage here: https://shababeekcenter.com/learn-spoken-arabic/
My understanding is developing quickly. How do I make sure I'm learning to speak Arabic better as well?
In a comprehension based Arabic program, it's natural for our understanding to outpace our speaking. What are some activities you can do to make sure your Arabic speaking ability is improving as well? Listen to this week's tip from Jenn for more.
How do I know if I'm ready to move on to the next phase?
As participants progress through Shababeek's Five Phase Levantine Arabic Program, they often want to know when they will be moving into the next phase. While counting hours spent in sessions is indeed an indicator, it's not the only consideration. Check out this tip from Jenn about moving up in the phases.
As always, if you have any questions about your Arabic program, or if you are wondering if Shababeek's Levantine Arabic program is right for you, don't hesitate to contact us: https://shababeekcenter.com/contact-us/
How many audio recordings should I get through in an Arabic session?
Many Arabic learners want to know how many audio recordings they should be listening to with their tutor, teacher, or, as we call them, nurturer, in a given Arabic class or session. As with many areas in life, this comes down to quality over quantity. In this episode, Jenn offers helpful advice for Levantine Arabic learners on how to best handle audio recordings in their sessions.
To learn more about Shababeek's approach to learning Levantine Arabic, the Arabic dialect spoken in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, check out our website here: https://shababeekcenter.com.
There are some Arabic words I can't get to stick. Help!
Some words just don't seem to stick. That can be incredibly frustrating for beginning Arabic learners. In this episode, Jenn offers some helpful coaching advice on how to help get those words to stick, and take the pressure off language learners as well.
To learn more about Shababeek's Levantine Arabic program, visit us at shababeekcenter.com.
Introduction - Tips for Learning Levantine Arabic
This is our (overdue) introduction in which you'll hear from Jenn about what is offered each week in the Tips for Learning Levantine Arabic podcast.
To learn more about the Levantine Arabic program offered at Shababeek, visit us at shababeekcenter.com.
Overcoming Self-Imposed Limitations While Learning Arabic
We all know that Arabic is a challenging language to learn. But sometimes knowing the difficulty of learning the language can cause Arabic learners to impose limitations on themselves. Not only do these self-imposed limitations act as additional hurdles to overcome, they can also manifest as self-fulfilling prophecies.
In this episode, Jenn discusses the limitations Arabic learners put on themselves, and offers helpful advice on how to overcome them.
How can I stay encouraged if I’m not seeing progress?
In those early levels of learning Arabic, it's easy to see progress. After all, you're probably starting from zero. Progressing from zero is very apparent. However, once Arabic learners get to those later phases of language study, they can start to feel like they aren't making the progress that they were in the beginning. This can be discouraging for many who want to understand and speak Levantine Arabic.
In this language coaching tip, Jenn gives Arabic learners some practical advice on how to stay encouraged with the progress they're making, as well as broadening their definition of progress to include gaining new insights into culture as well.
I'm an early learner. What should do to get exposed to Arabic at my level?
It can be hard to be exposed to Arabic while you are a beginner. Watching videos online or listening to Arabic podcasts is too advanced for early learners. It can leave you frustrated and discouraged. In this quick tip, Jenn gives some advice on how to increase your exposure to spoken Levantine Arabic that is appropriate for your level.
What is one of the biggest mistakes language learners make?
Learning another language is challenging. However, one of the biggest mistakes Arabic language learners consistently make is also one of the easiest to avoid. Listen to and implement this short coaching tip by Jenn.
How much time should I spend in sessions? Learning Levantine Arabic
"As someone learning Levantine Arabic, how much time should I spend with my tutor or teacher compared to time spent with Arabic speaking friends?"
It all depends on what phase of learning you are in. In this tip for Arabic learners, Jenn gives a break down of where most of your time should be spent; during the beginning of your Arabic study, the vast majority of your time should be spent with a trained tutor (or, as we call them at Shababeek, "nurturer"). As you progress, your time spent with local people should increase. Learn some of the "whys" in this episode.