We are all living extremely busy lives, and finding enough time to get in an hour or so of language study all at once can seem like a pretty daunting task.
There are so many other things putting demands on our time that the effort required to learn a second language can easily get put on a back burner.
This, of course, will draw out the length of time it takes before you start feeling comfortable speaking Arabic. Many students will find this slower pace very frustrating, which can impact their desire to continue with the language.
It’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to spend several consecutive hours in a row studying Arabic in order to make progress.
In fact, there are several simple and slightly unconventional ways to keep the language fresh in your mind while you continually improve your abilities.
Consider these strategies:
1. Learn it so you can teach it.
Instead of rote memorization of words and phrases, try to imagine how you would teach a new grammatical principle or writing system to someone else. Don’t just memorize how to say “I am going to the store” in Arabic, determine how you would teach someone else to say that phrase.
This forces the learner to think about the lessons in a whole new context and really understand the principles behind them, which can make even shorter study sessions be more productive.
2. Use familiar things in new ways.
There’s a really good chance that some of your favorite movies and television shows have been translated and dubbed into Arabic. You can use these assets to help you learn something new about the language by listening to the words and colloquialisms in a context that you know very well.
Simply play a movie or show that you know so well that you can practically quote all the best scenes. As you hear those characters say the words in Arabic, you’ll start to get a better idea of how it’s used in regular conversations, and it will stick in your mind faster because you’ve seen it in a situation that you already have memorized.
3. Go old school.
Apps and other online tools have made the world an extremely convenient place. You can literally receive an Arabic lesson from a native speaker anywhere you have internet access. You can get apps for learning vocabulary, listening to useful phrases, playing games, and more.
Sometimes, though, it’s better to just pick up a pen and paper and do it old school.
No matter how busy your life is, you can find a quick ten minutes to sit down and write out as many vocabulary words as fast as you can. In fact, pushing yourself to do more in a limited time could help you really latch onto the lessons. When you add the physicality of actually writing in the Arabic alphabet, you may start to think of each word and sentence in a different way, too, which could help with your memorization skills.
4. Create a “no English” zone.
Immersion is one of the most effective ways to learn a language. You need to surround yourself with it, use it as much as possible, and constantly try to discover new words and phrases.
This isn’t always easy when you can’t travel or move to a country where Arabic is the dominant language.
So, create a “no [native language]” area in your own home. This doesn’t have to be a physical location, though. It could be a specific time every week. Either way, block out a place and time in which only Arabic is spoken.
This is a great way for families to learn Arabic together, and a way to get the most out of your online lessons.
The Best Conventional Methods
The four strategies listed above are a little unconventional and a little unstructured, but they can still be very effective in your journey toward fluency.
However, never forget that the structured method that we provide in our online Arabic courses still provides the strong foundation you really need to get started. Take a look at our course catalog and find out more about learning a second language.