14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"Constructivist" methodology wastes students' time,
This review is from: Al-Kitab Fi Ta'allum Al-'Arabiyah, Al-Juz' Al-Thani / A Textbook for Arabic, Part 2 (Al-Kitaab Fii Ta Allum Al-Arabiyya) (Pt. 2) (Paperback)
Much research has recently shown why "constructivist" methodology is inefficient, and this book provides ample empirical evidence. Students are expected to guess the meaning of words, and to help them out, much vocabulary has neither definitions in the text nor in the glossary. The learner can spend endless hours looking up the words rather than learning Arabic. It is certainly not reassuring to just guess the words, the learner ought to have clear definitions. Since so much vocabulary is left up in the air, the book requires a teacher working extra hard, since students cannot do work alone. By the way, amazon is selling a key for exercises, but this is unacceptable. One spends a lot of money on this book and must then buy another book to learn from it. Also, the book assumes the student can figure out fast enough unvoweled Arabic and gives copious texts. Students require hours and hours of tedious reading that ultimately has little to do with live language. Great way to drop out of Arabic!
The revised version has DVDs with visuals aside from readings. But this is no help at all. Watching people recite Arabic in middle-age clothing does not help decipher the missing vocabulary.
Anyone teaching themselves should pick one of the many books available. And Arabic teachers should look at other series. For 20 years, the standard textbook was Michigan Modern Standard Arabic, 3 volumes with tapes. The texts are dated, but the book works very well.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 4, 2007 11:32:41 AM PDT
Mary E. Richard says:
I haven't looked at this book yet, but I was wondering if you are aware that this is the 3rd book in the series. I just finished the first book, and I loved it. I imagine that all the guessing in the third book is do to the fact that by the time a student gets to it, he or she has a good base of vocabulary and understands the way Arabic grammar works enough that s/he can guess from the pattern and root what the word means.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2007 7:14:28 PM PDT
K. Lehman says:
I want to confirm what Mary has said. This is an advanced book. I have studied out of it for quite a while, it is an excellent source to learn from, provided your Arabic is already at an advanced level.
Posted on Jul 15, 2007 4:02:56 AM PDT
Brian Harker says:
sounds to me that the content of the book was just over the head of this reviewer. You need to be ready for the level of readings in the book before you start it which means that you should probably spend a little more time in book 2 before you start this one. I studied this book on my own and found it very challenging AND helpful.
Posted on May 3, 2008 9:04:24 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 3, 2008 9:04:43 AM PDT]
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