And thus my blog is born. I have been thinking for some time about how to best begin this project. I am in a curious situation. I am both a student and a teacher of Arabic. I taught Arabic 101 and 102 several times at the college level. I am now continuing my own study of Arabic in Damascus, Syria. I began studying Arabic at the end of 1999 having no idea what the attacks of 2001 would bring for speakers of Arabic. I was fortunate enough to have received funding from Fulbright to come and study here for one year.
I believe that Syria is the best place to learn Arabic in the world. Let me qualify this statement with the following: I think that studying in Syria would be much more beneficial for students who have previously had 2 or 3 years of study in their native country (assuming this is a possibility). However, if you have the money and the time to spend 3 or 4 years here starting from scratch – ahlaan wisahlaan. I imagine that most students have only one or two years to initially dedicate to learning Arabic abroad.
People speak Arabic in Syria! I love the other Arab countries but Syria offers the best prices for living, the best opportunities for speaking and integrating into society, the best dialect (opinion) and a very hospitable people.
I did an MA in Second Language Acquisition and Arabic. This August I will continue my studies as a PhD student in SLAT (Second Language Acquisition and Teaching). I am interested in how people learn and teach. I want to be active in Arabic language teaching and learning in the United States and the world.
I hope that this blog will be of use to students and teachers of Arabic. More soon…