VocabuLearn Arabic

Book Review



VocabuLearn Arabic Level 1


Penton Overseas Publishing,  Inc., Carlsbad, CA



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

November, 2001


VocabuLearn Arabic Level 1 is a cassette tape language program for beginning students of Arabic. The course is packaged in a compact plastic  case and includes two 90-minute cassette tapes and a study guide.

This is an entirely audio program that covers basic nouns, verbs, adjectives, and simple expressions. The program builds vocabulary by  first reading the text in English, then in Arabic. Some sections read the Arabic  portion first. In portions of each chapter, classical music is overlaid on the soundtrack, so that one hears both the vocabulary and the music at the same  time. All of the words and phrases are listed in the study guide in their order on the tapes. The listings are in English, Arabic, and include a pronunciation key.

The course covers a wide variety of common words and phrases one would expect to use in everyday situations. Another advantage of this program is that the listings in the study guide include the Arabic alphabet spelling,  and not just a Romanized pronunciation key like some of courses of this nature.  Since I am unfamiliar with Arabic, it was impossible to determine if the dialect  being demonstrated is Eastern, Egyptian, Modern, or another Arabic dialect, and the materials included with the course do not say which is used.

Two elements of the program were a problem for me. Since the order of word presentation changes from chapter to chapter (English to Arabic,  then Arabic to English), it was difficult to determine what to listen for when  starting after pausing in the middle of a chapter without consulting the study  guide. The classical music is meant to improve receptivity to what is being  taught, but I found it distracting since it made it harder to hear the vocabulary in those portions of the program.

VocabuLearn Arabic demonstrates the pronunciation of common  words and phrases to beginning level English speaking students. It focuses on the most commonly used words and phrases, and effectively functions to increase  student vocabulary beyond the basics. The all-audio format makes it easy to use this course while commuting or in other casual listening situations.

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