Guided Arabic Reading – Level 1
Start date: Friday, 30th September 2022
End date: Friday, 14th July 2023
Fridays: 7pm - 8.15pm (30 weeks)
Ustadh Sulayman Mohammed Shahnawaz
You must have completed a basic level Arabic grammar (nahw) and etymology (sarf) course – ideally you have finished Medina Course Books 1 & 2, or have worked through the first 100 or so pages of Haywood & Nahmad’s A New Arabic Grammar, or another similar level course and have some understanding of basic verb structures and have an appreciation of the 10 forms of the verb. Mastery in not required, though; just the ability to recall, and apply the previous knowledge.
You probably acquired enough basic knowledge of Arabic grammatical concepts quite early in your learning but were held back from using them to access level appropriate texts because every course you have taken never really tell you what happens next or what you should do: you should have been adequately equipped but were not let out to swim, not even to get your feet wet.
However, in this course, you will dive straight into a text from the first lesson, using the appropriate skills to develop reading speed, unlock the array of structures within both the nominal and verbal sentence; but you will not be left to swim these occasional dangerous waters alone, with proportionate guidance from the instructor and other aids, you will learn to float and eventually swim through any turbulent waters, surprising yourself of how much you can manage on your own. Remember, it is your yearning that will improve your learning!
This course will set you up for life – with Arabic – something you have aspired for. The teacher is passionate and wants you to come with your enthusiasm and energy, which you will transfer into your work. You will leave each class feeling more empowered and ready to do lots of independent reading, in sha’ Allah.
The tutor will provide support, but the ultimate goal is independent reading to comprehend the meanings of the assigned materials. The instructor, when required, will:
· front-load new or technical vocabulary
· highlight unfamiliar language structures or features of a text
· focus on a decoding strategy that will be useful when reading
· promote the different levels of comprehension – literal, inferential, evaluative.
“Ustad Sulayman has an in-depth knowledge of modern and Classical Arabic. He is extremely humble and wants the best for his students. The course goes into a lot of details showing how the verbs are conjugated and what grammatical rules are being applied.” (Hassan Ali)
Course Materials: Specially selected texts from al-Qira’ al-Rashida (Part 1 & 2) will be made available for each class
Initial 20 weeks (2 semesters) will focus on reading and comprehending text with full vowelling; the final semester will introduce text with no (or minimal vowel text)
Course Duration: 30 x 75 mins sessions
Commitment: Attend weekly live class – though recordings will be made available, complete homework to prepare text(s) to be covered in the live session, memorise vocabulary and grammatical concepts, and master the 10 forms table
Assessment: 2 Hour Exam at end of course – translate seen and unseen passages
What does the programme offer and allow you to achieve?
1. Detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the structures, registers and varieties of Arabic.
2. Effective understanding of the linguistic principles required to analyse Arabic.
3. To make the student competent in Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.
4. To familiarise the student with the culture and history of the Arab Middle East.
You must have completed a basic level Arabic grammar (sarf) and etymology (nahw) course – ideally you have finished Medina Course Books 1 & 2, or have worked through the first 100 or so pages of Haywood & Nahmad’s, A New Arabic Grammar, or another similar level course and have some understanding of basic verb structures and have an appreciation of the 10 forms of the verb. Mastery in not required, though; just the ability to recall, and apply the previous knowledge.
Given below are sample texts for Level 1. If you can make a decent attempt at translating Sample 1 with a dictionary and some assistance from the teacher in the live lessons with any structures and vocabulary, then this is the level for you.
Laptop/tablet and a good internet connection.
“This course has benefited me in many ways and I would recommend it to anyone wishing to practically apply their knowledge of Arabic syntax and morphology to contemporary and classical texts, to gain a deeper understanding of the language. The texts were carefully selected and the engagement with the teacher truly guides the student, facilitating their comprehension of how the writer explains concepts pertaining to themes in Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and general Arabic literature. In particular, I greatly benefited from the exposure to new vocabulary, recognition of repeated patterns in sentence structures, use of a dictionary to prepare translations, familiarisation of stylististic variations and encountering new phraseology. This course has increased my confidence to open, read and understand unvowelised Arabic texts and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to do the same!”
Ashfaq, Leicester, UK