Pimsleur Eastern Arabic

Book Review



Pimsleur Eastern Arabic


Simon and Schuster Audio


Simon and Schuster Audio Division, New York, NY



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

May, 2003



Pimsleur Eastern Arabic is a language  course for beginning students of the Arabic language. This course consists of  sixteen cassette tapes packaged in an attractive bookshelf style case and is  also available in an audio CD version.

Pimsleur Eastern ArabicFor  those unfamiliar with the Pimsleur method of language instruction, the course consists of a series of 32 lessons, each approximately one-half hour in length.  At the beginning and end of each lesson, a conversational dialog is read that includes both new words and words from previous chapters. In between the dialogs,  the student is expected to answer a long series of short verbal questions about the material. This method constantly reviews all previously learned material  at intervals designed to maximize memory and retention. The course focuses on dialects that are used in the eastern part of the Middle East including Lebanon  and Syria. In 2002, Pimsleur also introduced a course to cover Egyptian Arabic as well, and the new Egyptian dialect course is also available in cassette tape and audio CD versions.

This Arabic course covers a variety of vocabulary and grammatical concepts.  The student begins with learning basic pronunciation, greetings and concepts such as asking a person's name, nationality, and what language they speak. Slowly  the student progresses into more complex activities and concepts including how  to apply gender to the language and using tense with the verbs. Repetition is used throughout the program to review each bit of vocabulary and grammar until it becomes an unconcious reaction to respond to the reader's questions.

Although this course covers a smaller range of vocabulary and grammar than a fast track style course, the method of presentation ensures that the listener will remember the dialogs and vocabulary well after the course is completed  and put on the shelf. Another advantage of the Pimsleur method courses (and this one is no exception) is their adaptability for use either in the car or  at home - no textbook or written materials are necessary to follow along with the lessons.

Anybody wishing to develop a basic proficiency in the Eastern Arabic dialects  will find this course adequate to meet the need. After spending about one-half hour per day for a month, the student will have completed the course and will  be able to carry a basic conversation in Arabic.

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