By ALC: Founded in the Dubai World Trade Centre in 1980, the Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is specialized in teaching Arabic as a foreign language to adults and children
Learning a new language may open a world of opportunities and give you a boost up the ladder to success on both social and professional levels. In this part of the world, learning Arabic, the official language of the region sets you apart as a distinguished individual who has gone the extra mile to know the language of the host country and the cultural aspects embedded in it.
Why Learn Arabic? Arabic is a rich language with more than a thousand-year-old history and has influenced many other languages, including Spanish, English, Hindi, Persian, Turkish and others. Arabic connects you to hundreds of millions of speakers around the globe. It is the fifth most spoken language in the world, with over 200 million native speakers of Arabic and more than 400 million total speakers of the language.
Furthermore, the Arab world is considered to be a ‘high context’ culture, in which personal relationships are very important.
In professional contexts specifically, Arab business partners appreciate and respect expats who have made the effort to learn some Arabic, even if it were the basic ability to greet others or introduce one’s self.
When learning the language, learners also study pragmatics and appropriacy in order to be able to speak and interact in a socially acceptable manner.
Being the key to culture, language reflects a great deal about a society’s cultural values and traditions, as well as its do’s and don’ts within the social and business contexts.
This acquired linguistic knowledge and cultural sensitivity helps non-Arabic speakers interact appropriately and develop healthy business relationships in the Arab World.
Interest growing in professional Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) courses
Over the last few years, interest in learning Arabic by non-Arabic speakers living in the Arab World has substantially increased, according to Mrs. Shireen Sinno- Director of the Arabic Language Centre (ALC), based in the Dubai World Trade Centre.
People intend to learn Arabic for multiple reasons that could be social, business, cultural, academic, or several combinations of these.
Besides, individuals realizing the importance of learning the language of the host country, more and more corporations recognize the need to provide their staff members with a language training that enhances their interaction with Arabic speaking partners.
However, this interest is encountered with a shortage of effective Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) courses that are designed with the needs of non-Arabic speaking expats in mind.
“Many existing AFL courses are based on traditional views of language and language teaching. They often employ outdated teaching methods that emphasize form over meaning, linguistic over communicative competence, and hence they do not meet the learners’ communicative needs,” says ALC.
“Moreover, the courses are usually lecture-based, often lacking student participation, as well as a connection with the real world. Equally important, conventional AFL courses frequently neglect the important aspect of cultural awareness and fail to address the learners’ cultural competence.”
The 38-year-old Arabic Language Centre based in Dubai is known for its use of the tested and proven effective “Maliha Wehbe” teaching method, which presents Arabic in an innovative, simplified, and systematic manner. The courses at the center are highly interactive and student-centered; they are geared towards developing the learners’ confidence to speak the language and communicate effectively in real-life situations within social and business contexts.
The method is delivered using level-specific course materials published in-house while making use of the available technology of smart TVs and tablets in order to demonstrate and disseminate the material to students.
ALC’s AFL curriculum is structured into three main stages: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
ALC welcomes over a 1,000 student a year, with many of the learners coming from Russia, Europe (particularly UK, France, Germany, Spain), the US or Canada, Asia (India, Pakistan), Iran and the Far East, with on average 12-student classes, and no less than 8-10 nationalities per class.
Among those who have studied at ALC is a long list of reputable corporate clients in the private and public sectors, including embassies and consulates, governmental entities, business corporations, schools and universities, law firms and others.
Tuition is available all year round, in the form of Public, Corporate, or Private classes, as per the learners’ requirements and learning preferences.
Current classes and timetables are available on ALC’s website www.arabiclanguagecentre.com.