Friday

Resources for Intermediate Students

           In my experience the best way to continue learning a language once you have the basics down is to have a listening passage with a transcript included. If you just have a listening passage with no transcript there are bound to be some, if not a lot, of words and phrases that you don't know. With the similarity of many of the Arabic letters (to native English ears anyway) sometimes you won't be sure whether the word that you don't know is spelled with a س (seen) or a ص (saud), a د (del) or a ض (daud), making the word hard to look up in a dictionary. If you have a transcript of the passage it will save you a lot of wasted time trying different combinations of letters until you stumble upon the correct one that gives you a meaning that makes sense with the rest of the sentence. The following websites I recommend for intermediate students, but beginners who at least know what sounds the letters make may benefit as well.
  • GLOSS (Global Language Online Support System)
       This site was made by the Defense Language Institute which is the place that the US government sends military members to learn languages. Luckily it is a free site open to everyone. On this site you can search for listening or reading passages based on your skill level. GLOSS has a large selection of passages that will keep you busy for months. They go from DLPT level 2 to level 3 in Arabic. Some of the languages go up to level 3+ passages, and Spanish has some level 4's. All of them have a listening portion and a transcript.

There is a lesson with each one that you can follow if you choose, but most of the time I simply listen to them 2 or 3 times without looking at the transcript and then I go back and dissect the passage while following along with the transcript and looking at the English version to make sure I'm translating the Arabic correctly. If there are any parts that I don't fully understand I'll replay those parts until I can figure out how the sentence is working (i.e. which verbs are being done by which nouns, which nouns the adjectives are modifying, etc). GLOSS is the single most beneficial site on the internet for intermediate students looking to break into the advanced level and being able to listen to the news with ease.

       This is a site with the same type of passages that GLOSS has which is due to the fact that it was also made by the US government. It has 57 Arabic passages also from level 2 to 3.

       Watching TV programs in Arabic will help you get a bit of immersion in the language. SCOLA offers several Arabic programs. Most of the programs are news, but sometimes they have regular shows in between news broadcasts. There's no transcript included which makes it hard to learn from if you're a beginner in the language, but intermediate students should get some benefit from watching Arabic TV broadcasts.

3 comments:

Rachel said...

I just came across your blog. I'm taking Arabic classes - it's been a year now, and I really like some of your suggestions.This GLOSS site is great. Thanks!
How long have you been studying for?

The Arabic Student said...

Yeah, GLOSS was the main site I used to learn Arabic. I've been studying Arabic for about 3 years now.

hybriddiplomacy said...

Ahh man, the "Weekly Training Events" no longer works. الجزيرة نت is also good for news broadcasts.