Teaching Basic Arabic

May 9, 2006

Asalaam ‘Alaikum:

Over the past few years I have created a few materials for learning Arabic for my children. Alhumdulilah, they have gone over well – they really like them. If you are interested in using any of these materials, they are available free at the following website:

YemenLinks.com

With these games and materials – I was able to familiarize the girls with Arabic in a fun way. Insha’Allah it will help you too.

Right now, since we are starting “formal homeschooling” I have found a book that I first purchased when I became a Muslim helpful. It is actually a package including a book and 12 cassette tapes entitled “Learn to Read the Qur’an on Your Own” produced by the Islamic Information Foundation. I believe I purchased the set from Halalco, but you can purchase it directly from the company that produced it and save yourself a few dollars – Islamic Information Foundation ($25.00) – you need to scroll down and click on products.

Anyway – it seems to be coming along well. First of all, when I first became Muslim I was able to teach myself how to read Arabic. Not sure if a lot of things worked together – but something clicked, alhumdulilah. If you are learning yourself, you could easily go through the lessons with your child using the cassette – you listen to the cassette and follow along in the book. However, if you know your alphabet – then you can just sit down with your child and point to the letters on the page and have your child tell you what it is. If they are not yet familiar with the alphabet (of course) you can start out by telling them and working on the pages and reviewing for a couple of days. One thing that’s helpful is that you can use the cassette along with the book to improve your and your child’s pronunciation. Also, there’s a bit of review and repetition that helps them become more familiar with the letters. At the end of each lesson they have a review so you can catch any letters they still are having trouble with.

To further help with letter recognition, please check out the website above – it contains flashcards for the alphabet, an alphabet file folder game and more. In the next few days I will be adding an Arabic Alphabet Bingo Game which I just created.

Anyway, the book moves from learning the letters – to learning the letters with vowel marks – and progresses to joining letters together with the correct pronunciation – all the way to actually reciting a few short verses of the Qur’an.

Once my daughter is familiar with the letters and completes this book, I intend to purchase a book that has come highly recommended to me by another homeschool mom, entitled “Qur’an Made Easy”.

As a side note: trust me when I say that I make no money for “advertising” any books I mention in this blog. If I find something helpful – something that works for me – I will tell you about it. Who knows, perhaps it will work for you too. It doesn’t mean you should go out and purchase my recommendations – it’s just food for thought.

By the way – for those of you who are scared to death about teaching your child Arabic (trust me, I am at times) there is also another helpful book that I do highly recommend. It is entitled “Help Your Child with a Foreign Language” by Opal Dunn. I actually found my copy for a decent price recently on Ebay. Why is it helpful? Well, it is specifically written for those parents who are scared to death and worried about teaching your child a foreign language. It gives you helpful hints – ideas on where to start – and ideas on projects and activities.

Asalaam ‘Alaikum,
Sumayyah Umm SAA

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