This textbook is for beginning students of Arabic who are seeking to develop communicative oral skills in colloquial Levantine Arabic, the dialect used in Jerusalem and in contemporary Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine/Israel. It is the first textbook for colloquial Arabic developed according to the principles of the proficiency movement in foreign language teaching, in which the emphasis is placed on the use of meaningful drills, activities that are appropriate to the context in which the language will be spoken, and a balance between linguistic accuracy and active use of the language.
The first half of the teacher's manual is devoted to a series of "functions" that focus on specific spoken activities, such as greetings, identifying objects, or asking for information. Each function is accompanied by explication, classroom activities, and suggestions for other activities both in and out of the classroom. The second part provides a series of ten situations in which passages in the colloquial dialect, mostly in the form of narratives, are intended to take the students beyond the level of basic communication to a more descriptive and narrative mode. The text is accompanied by charts and glossaries. A set of audio tapes is keyed to the individual functions and situations. The second part of the teacher's manual is available as a separate book for student use.
Levantine Arabic may be used as the primary text for a course designed exclusively to teach colloquial Arabic, or in conjunction with beginning and intermediate courses in Modern Standard Arabic.
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