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Alif Baa with DVDs: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds [With 2 DVDs] 2 Pap/DVD Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Whether you're in a class or not you need the answer key, period. It should be part of the book but since it's not, get it. Especially to check the result of the dictation exercises. It's best to do the dictation and be able to immediately check your efforts, especially with words containing letters that sound similar. If you have to wait until next class to check your work, you've lost focus on the task and have to pick it up again probably days later when you may not even be able to read your own feeble chicken scratching. Also there isn't necessarily time in class to (tediously) review every exercise in the workbook. I didn't have the answer key for the first few weeks because I didn't even know it existed. You can do without it in the early going but starting with about Chapter 4 many of the drills are simply pointless without it.
Although the book's purpose is not to teach you vocabulary, you are of course encountering vocabulary as you go and it seems to me you might as well learn it, or at least have a consistent place to find it, while you're there. This book is practically coy about the vocabulary--presenting it indirectly (Guess their meaning from the pictues. They include near, far...) rather than simply listing their meanings. The pedagogical principle at play here I guess is that of avoiding the crutch of your own language and instead going directly from an image to the target language, but the effect is undermined by the comically ambiguous nature of many of the illustrations. They saved some money perhaps, using free 80's-style clip art. (Remember clip art?) Examples p 65--sunrise, sun, palm trees? Hand signals--okay?Read more ›
Some reviewers expressed outrage that this book is not designed to teach yourself Arabic, and that's true. It's not. Arabic is a difficult language and I don't recommend that anyone try to seriously learn it on their own. This series is, however, the current gold standard of Arabic textbooks. If you are taking an Arabic class and are using any other book than this, trash everything else and buy this one. If you're planning a trip to an Arabic-speaking country, you should get a phrasebook or something from the 'teach yourself' series instead. This book does have you speaking fairly early, which is a new, more modern approach to language learning.
The general problem with Arabic texts is that there are not many good options out there. Supplemental books, such as the '201 Verbs', is ok, but it quickly loses the average student who is unfamiliar with what the meaning of the 'jussive' verb form is in English. Avoid all books that were published in the 1980s or earlier. They are needlessly complicated.
The authors of the Alif Baa & Al Kitab series are long-time Arabic instructors. Al Batal and Brustad developed this book based on many years experience teaching at Emory University in Atlanta and Middlebury College in Vermont over the summer. They currently teach at UT Austin.
Having sung the praises of this series, there are some improvements to be made. I wish the 'root system' would be introduced earlier.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book and DVD set was extremely helpful. I bought this mainly for personal interest rather than as a textbook and greatly enjoyed using it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
I was excited to get this product. This product was promptly shipped and arrived right on time. Seller guidelines say I must write about the features of the product: While the DVDs... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jeff A. Spry
This book and cd kindof sucks. I'll tell you why: if your goal is to get a basic grounding in Arabic alphabet and pronunciation the stupidity of this book's editors couldn't be... Read morePublished 14 months ago by alice
It was suppose to have 2 DVDs with it and it was missing the first DVD.Published 17 months ago by peter a wood