"Conversations in Modern Standard Arabic" by Belkacem Baccouche

Conversations in Modern Standard Arabic Belkacem Baccouche, Sanaa Azmi

Yale Language Series
Publication date:
10 Sep 1984
Yale University Press
423 pages: 254 x 178mm

The Arab peoples of Africa and the Middle East speak to each other in a variety of local dialects, but the language that serves educated Arabs all over the world when they need to converse across national boundaries is Modern Standard Arabic.  Although it is otherwise chiefly a medium of written communication, it is also spoken on the radio and television, on lecture platforms, on the stage, at formal gatherings, and at business and diplomatic sessions.  Materials for the development of oral skills are therefore of prime importance in teaching it successfully.
This highly useful and effective textbook by Belkacem Baccouche and Sanaa Azmi is directed at students who have acquired basic skills in Modern Standard Arabic and wish to expand their vocabulary and improve their speaking ability.  The book takes the student step by step through a series of specific social situations, teaching the proper expressions and responses to be used.  It also contains lively conversation and narrative passages, numerous drills and exercises, glossaries in Arabic-English and English-Arabic, and tables of grammatical rules. 

"A highly useful and beautiful textbook which addresses a longstanding need in the teaching of Arabic, beautifully conceived and well-executed. . . . Settings and conversations are so naturally constructed and so idiomatically expressed that we have the impression that we know the real life prototypes of the characters depicted, that we?ve experienced the episodes recounted, and that we?ve visited the places described."?Nora Kalliel, Visiting Lecturer, Oriental Studies Dept., University of Arizona

"This highly useful textbook aims at presenting teachers and students of Arabic with the means of inculcating and absorbing the oral skills so necessary in modern Arabic. . . . The authors, both experienced teachers of Arabic, have produced an attractive, well-organized text that addresses a longstanding need in the field."?Middle East Journal

"The strengths of this book lie in that it uses real situational language rather than the dry grammar-based language found in so many texts."?Douglas R. MaGrath, Modern Language Journal

"I would recommend Conversations in Modern Standard Arabic as a basic text or a supplement to a high beginning or an intermediate level course. . . . The cultural material is informative and interesting, and it provides valuable insights into the everyday life of the Arab East."?Douglas R. MacGrath, Modern Language Journal

"A new and welcome contribution to Arabic teaching materials."?M. Mahdi Alosh, Al-[c] Arabiyya the Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic

"The stated goal of the book is to teach conversational skills in Modern Standard Arabic. . . . [It] clearly meets these objectives. The sketches are realistic and are filled with high-frequency words and cultural expressions. The exercises are mostly oral in nature, consisting of translations, sentence building, and verb conjugations. The strengths of this book lie in that it uses real situational language rather than the dry grammar-based language found in as many texts."?L. Krazl, Archiv Orientalni