Item description for AL-KITAB AL-ASASI V.1 by Badawi...
This two-part course in Modern Standard Arabic for nonnative speakers has been used successfully in classrooms at Arabic teaching centers around the world since its first publication in 1987. Approaching the language through a series of themed topics, Part 1 deals with daily life in the Arab world and related matters, concentrating principally on listening and speaking skills. In each section, vocabulary is built up as various linguistic structures and strategies are introduced and practiced in a simplified introduction to Arabic grammar. A full glossary of the vocabulary items introduced in the books is given at the end of each volume, with meanings in both English and French. Comprehensive and easily digestible, varied and informative, these books make an ideal basis for a classroom-based course in Arabic anywhere in the world.
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Reviews - What do customers think about AL-KITAB AL-ASASI V.1?
major, but fixable minuses Mar 10, 2009
This book (and the one preceding it in the same series) should not be confused with the better known (and much worse)'al Kitaab', from Georgetown University Press- the graveyard where the hopes of the current generation of would-be Arabic language learners go to die. This is actually a work of some potential that could become a four star work (or better) if some holes were plugged.
Material is well-organized: each lesson focuses on a topic in Arabic history or culture, and the vocabulary is thematically very unified. The topics for each lesson are well chosen and the presentation is interesting as well- conversations between an English speaking learner and an Arabic speaker are rarely dull (a great break from the tedious characters of the other 'al Kitaab) and the exercises are organized to each focus on a particular point in Arabic grammar that learners might find difficult. So what went wrong? Well, there are no vocabulary lists to accompany the lessons, so with almost every sentence the learner is forced to look in the glossary and/or the dictionary (your Hans Wehr will get very well thumbed, if you are foresighted enough to have bought a copy) and you might as well start with the dictionary since the glossary of the book is frustratingly incomplete. If vocabulary were provided, there would be no need to vowel the lessons, a poor practice: the standard method of introducing vocabulary is to provide a list with fully vowelled items, for the purpose of learning the pronunciation- a student can then progress to an unvowelled text (in short, the way Arabic is usually written). The lack of previously introduced vocabulary is frustrating for a student working through the book and forces them to break the flow of their work with constant looking-up of new words. Also, no audio available? How didn't that happen?
These flaws are fixable. The authors and publisher should consider the addition of vocabulary lists for the lessons and also providing CDs or MP3s to accompany this book. There is a lot in here that is worthwhile, and the competition ain't exactly world class.