This post originally appeared on the Blackboard blog on Feb 28, 2019. To learn more about Blackboard products and services mentioned below, visit Blackboard.com.
Speaking a second or third language is virtually essential in today’s globalized world. Academic opportunities, greater competitiveness in the job market, and greater cognitive development are some of the advantages of being multilingual.
There are currently around 7,000 different languages in the world. Among this vast number, Arabic occupies fifth place on the list of the top ten most popular ones, with an estimated 300 million native speakers worldwide. It is therefore no coincidence that more and more people are interested in learning it every day.
The challenge is that until a decade ago, learning a language – especially when it is as complex as Arabic – necessarily brought with it an inseparable trio of problems: money, time, and travel. However, with the democratization that has resulted from the internet and the introduction of virtual tools (such as the Open LMS), we have entered a new era of learning. It is no longer necessary to be physically present in a classroom, to adapt our work schedule to study, or to deplete our savings. If we want to learn, all we need now is the desire to do so.
It was precisely due to this vision that Arab Academy was formed in Egypt. The aim of this private, independent corporation is to promote not only the Arabic language, but also ethical and professional values and business skills by exploiting virtual and technological tools.
And it has been a resounding success. Arab Academy currently has 90,000 students from various countries. Most of them have some type of connection with the Arabic world: on the one hand are those from the United States and/or Canada who have a Muslim or Arab tradition, while others include students who need to perfect their knowledge of the language for academic, professional and/or political reasons, as well as non-natives who simply want to acquire some basic beginner knowledge.
Why Choose Arab Academy?
Omar El Kheshen, the academy’s managing director, explained to E-Learn Magazine the 10 reasons why someone, whether an amateur or at an advanced level, should enroll on one of the platform’s courses.
- Experience: Arab Academy is one of the leading companies in the field. Few competitors offer such complete academic courses in the Arabic language in terms of cost, time, quality and results.
- Cost-effective: course pricing depends on the particular course, but some of the most ‘expensive’ in the portfolio cost around $100 per month, which is very affordable.
- Technology: Open LMS gives the course interface a practical, agile touch that makes courses more enjoyable for students.
- Variety: It doesn’t matter whether someone hasn’t had any previous contact with the Arabic language. There are various levels of intensity, just as there are different types of courses such as: Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, and Islamic Arabic. Each one meets the individual needs and profile of the students.
- Personalized tutoring: A one-on-one speaking option is available, allowing students to have personalized conversational sessions with teachers once or twice a week, as well as access to them at all times through chatboards and/or email.
- Interaction: ‘Learn by doing’ is among the academy’s slogans. As a result, there are interactive activities that continuously test students, thereby guaranteeing enrollment and reducing desertion rates, which can be common among other language academies that don’t use state-of-the-art learning methods.
- Flexible schedules: There are no fixed classes, specific schedules, or time limit for completing courses. Students are free to go at their own pace.
- Quality: Teachers are chosen carefully and are fully trained.
- Transparency: Another important aspect is that it is not possible for any governmental and/or cultural opinions to filter through the courses. Promoting controversial issues relating to religion or politics is strictly prohibited.
- Being part of a team: This is one of the most important aspects for El Kheshen. “Students are in contact not only with the teachers, but also with their colleagues at all times. They don’t have to navigate the journey of learning a new language alone, since they do it as part of a community.”
Testimonials Are Worth More Than a Thousand Words
“The Arab Academy has a good study plan for learning the language. I can improve it via a website that explains everything in two languages: English and Arabic. The academy has excellent teachers who have special talents for making the learning process more enthusiastic.” Dr. Windratmo Suwarno, First Secretary at the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo.
“It was a good decision. It was almost four months ago that I started this great online course, and my experience so far has been fantastic. I started at the beginner level (Arabic 101), and I can say that my progress has been incredibly fast. I love it because it allows me to study at my own pace, and, more importantly, AT ANY TIME! The teachers are incredibly patient, competent, and willing to help. In truth, all the staff are very helpful. I’m certainly going to continue studying at Arab Academy until I have mastered Arabic. Insha’Allah!” Dragana Selakovic, Slovenia.
* Omar El Kheshen, Managing Director, Arab Academy.
* Pedro Costa.