Last week we discussed a few reasons as to why learning Arabic can be a highly advantageous addition to your CV. Our article revolved around how learning Arabic can benefit you economically, professionally and even psychologically. This week we thought it is only fair to complement our previous work and provide you with some hacks to guide you to the right path to learning Arabic.

Learning Arabic vs learning other languages

We must admit that there is a considerable overlap between the advice we could give about learning Arabic and any other language. We cannot think of any language that does not require you to unlock your brain power to learn words, conjugate verbs and master your pronunciation in that language. This means that every language demands the learner to expand their brain to be able to accommodate the massive amounts of data it needs to actually enable them to speak the language. For example, we estimate that the learner needs about 1,000 base words to reach level A2 of the language, 2,000 words to attain level B1 of the language, 4,000 to get to level B2 of the language and so on. We also believe that the choice of the language itself might have an impact on the degree of ease associated with it. Phonetic similarities, grammar rules and expressions can be a really quick shortcut to learn the language. However, the advice we will give in this article is custom-made for learning Arabic.

Why is learning Arabic difficult for the brain?

We spoke in a previous article about why Arabic can be particularly difficult for English speakers. It appears that the hemispherical function plays an important role in making learning Arabic an excruciatingly slow process for newbies.

We explained that learning Arabic requires maximum attention from the left hemisphere of your brain. This is because a lot of Arabic letters are visually similar and can sometimes be hard to distinguish without the interference of the left hemisphere. The problem is that the right hemisphere is hyperactive at the beginning of any learning process. This makes it harder for newcomers to learn the alphabet because the right hemisphere uses broad information to identify characters.

Add to that the confused state of mind the learner would be in for having to read in the opposite direction.

What is a good technique for learning Arabic?

This is why our advice is to follow a specific learning technique to exploit the brain’s ability to absorb linguistic information. An example of this is the spaced recognition system. This system is based on the theory that the learning process is optimized when it is spread out over time. In the case of learning Arabic, this method is particularly useful because it allows the brain to overcome the initial difficulties associated with the hemispherical function. And because Arabic words can be extremely different for English speakers, the spaced recognition system is a brilliant method to let the brain assimilate this completely strange information.

When does the spaced recognition system work best?

The spaced recognition system seems to work wonders when applied in educational practices where the learner must acquire a large amount of data for an indefinite period of time. This is why we recommend it for long-term language learning and for producing significant learning gains.

What can you expect from the spaced recognition system?

By using the spaced recognition system, the learner is projected to remember a massive percentage of the material learned and therefore retain a wide range of information in the targeted language, in this case Arabic.