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Monday, March 12, 2007

Teach Yourself Gulf Arabic

Teach Yourself Gulf Arabic by Jack Smart and Frances Altorfer
ISBN 0-340-72125-1
Publ. Hodder and Stoughton

Teach Yourself Gulf Arabic covers language needed to function in an Arab country, and is organizedby functional topics such as directions, asking the time and official procedures. Language is taught through phrases rather than through a grammatical approach, although there are grammar notes. There is also a section in each unit on Arabic writing.

Each unit contains dialogues, which can be listened to on an accompanying tape, and a word list. At the end of each unit there are exercises to help you review what you have learnt. Cultural tips add interest to the book.

The approach is incremental: knowledge of previous units are assumed in each new unit, with extensive use of pre-taught vocabulary. While this helps a learner to retain vocabulary and phrases, and gives a thorough knowledge of each area, it also means that the learner can not jump ahead to a different function. In addition, as each topic is covered in some depth, you will gain mastery in one area while not knowing very basic phrases in other areas.

This book functions well as a course book, and is suitable for determined students who are serious about learning Gulf Arabic. It would also be suitable for people looking for supplemental material to an Arabic course. Also see:

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