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Living Arabic is a comprehensive introductory Arabic textbook that integrates an Arabic colloquial dialect with Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in a way that reflects the use of the language by native speakers. Arabs communicate in the colloquial in everyday situations, and use MSA for reading, writing, and formal speaking. The colloquial variety used is Levantine Arabic, which is the Arabic spoken in Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Jordan. It is one of the major Arabic dialect groups that most speakers of other Arabic dialects are familiar with through contact with its speakers and through radio and TV programs. The Arabic colloquial dialects share most of their vocabulary and grammatical structures with one another and with MSA. This textbook builds on these shared features and avoids regionalisms and localized expressions whenever possible in favor of the more common and standard spoken forms.Using maps, illustrations and photographs, humorous stories and dialogues, and other culturally rich materials, the book carefully and systematically helps the learner build the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, while introducing him or her to Arab culture and the history and geography of the modern Arab world. The first ten lessons of the book introduce the Arabic writing and number systems together with a working vocabulary of about 150 basic words. Each of the remaining 45 lessons consists of a listening selection, a reading passage and a dialogue, which are accompanied by a variety of activities and exercises aimed at maximizing the acquisition and retention of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Vocabulary-building activities include word-matching, crossword puzzles, Jeopardy-type games, and songs. The book comes as part of a package that also includes audio and video. The audio CD contains the texts of the listening selections and reading passages, while the DVD contains video footage of the dialogues acted out by native speakers on location in Jordan. Although the book and accompanying materials are primarily designed for classroom use, they are easily adaptable for independent study. Originally published as Elementary Arabic; An Integrated Approach by Yale University Press in 1995, this edition has been revised, updated, and improved.
Posted February 12, 2011
For a native Arabic speaker this may be an easy book to follow but when you are a beginner in the language this book is difficult to navigate through and is inconsistent in the colloquial terms used in the media. The book is designed to teach the Levantine dialect, not the typical Egyptian, and attempts to integrate the colloquial with the classical written but in the end creates a mess for the beginner student. While Al Kitaab is not perfect it is preferable to this text.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.