For most students new to the school system, examinations don't mean that much. But this changes as studies advance and they take on more subjects. By then, the examination period starts to hold much importance for people.

Many schools in Nigeria, both those under private ownership and government ownership offer Arabic courses. However, even with the availability of Arabic classes, many Nigerian students still find it difficult to study this international language.

The problem with such classes is that they hardly cater to individual requirements students who learn Arabic have. For instance, while some students are hardly new to Arabic, some have never seen an Arabic language script.

Also, Muslim students who've studied Arabic during their Islamic education possess a greater level of familiarity with the language than non-Muslim students. Thus, they are likely to progress faster in their Arabic classes.

Equally, some students have relatives whose mother tongue is the Arabic language. By listening to such people speak, some can increase their command of the Arabic dialect, allowing them to advance quickly in Arabic tuition.

Despite their differences, these students end up in the same class, bundled to study and learn Arabic under the same teachers. Therefore, it's very easy to see why some students complete their Arabic courses successfully while some fail their examinations whether in secondary school or the university.

Superprof is committed to helping Nigerian students learn Arabic effectively and get good grades in their examinations. This article explores in detail how you can revise your Arabic courses while preparing to take your examinations, whether external or in-school, in Nigeria.

The Purpose of Arabic Classes

The guiding purpose of Arabic tuition is to create individuals who can understand, speak, and write in the Arabic language. Arabic classes usually cover pronunciation and writing in the Arabic language to increase students’ level of competency in those areas.

A page of the Quran
The goal of Arabic studies is to be able to read and understand the Arabic language and communicate with it. Source: Unsplash

Arabic tutors will seek to increase students' grasp of Arabic vocabulary to a level where students can express themselves eloquently in Arabic writing or speech. This is what most Nigerian Arabic tutors do — both in online or physical lessons.

Learning Arabic involves regular practice exercises on Arabic verbs, tenses, adverbs, and other parts of Arabic grammar. At the same time, you must practice your pronunciation of Arabic to accelerate the development of your fluency in the language.

Most Arabic classes or studies are designed to bestow the following competencies on students:

  • Ability to speak and converse in Arabic on any subject that affects life and society
  • Ability to listen to Arabic news, debates, radio programmes, speeches, films, documentaries, and so on
  • Ability to read and understand Arabic texts including modern Arabic texts, elements of Standard Arabic, texts of Arabic dialects, and modern Arabic literature
  • Ability to understand, explain, and synthesise any written or oral communication in Arabic.
  • Ability to interpret, rewrite and rephrase Arabic texts
  • Ability to form lucid and well-constructed arguments in the Arabic language on any given subject

The final phase of learning Arabic typically involves receiving lessons on elements of Arabic culture and literature. Consuming Arabic literature, especially via class reading sessions, aids your development as a student of the Arabic language.

Arabic studies are difficult, but learning the language can be a rewarding experience if you put enough effort into your Arabic lessons. However, you must know how to make effective use of your classes before you sign up for tuition. Not doing this means you'll be frustrated with the slow progress of your studies.

Subject Areas In Arabic Courses

In general, estimating the number of Arabic lessons required to learn Arabic is difficult. However, you should be able to meet the requirements for an expert Arabic speaker once you complete the new Nigerian Arabic curriculum.

You'll likely study the Arabic language, especially grammar, pronunciation, and so on. You'll also receive lessons on elements of Arabic culture, particularly Arabic literature.

Here are some subjects you'll consider in your Arabic study based on the national curriculum:

Comprehension

Under this, Arabic teachers will teach students the art of reading and understanding the contents of passages written in Arabic. Most of the passages used will cover various themes within the student's experience.

After lessons on Arabic comprehension, students should be able to;

  • Deduce major themes in passages
  • Interpret the meanings of words
  • Use appropriate words and phrases to express certain thoughts

Translation

The emphasis here is on making sure students understand the Arabic language enough to translate to English and vice versa. Examination questions set under this topic will consist of Arabic-English translation questions and English-Arabic translation questions.

Most of the translations will be based on Modern Standard Arabic, as this is the universal standard for Arabic teaching. After multiple lessons on this topic area, students should be able to;

  • Interpret idioms and proverbs in Arabic and English
  • Take ideas expressed in Arabic and convey them in English without errors and vice versa
  • Communicate effectively on any subject in both Arabic and English languages
  • Use correct Arabic words or phrases to convey the meaning of certain English words and phrases
  • Replace an Arabic word or statement with an appropriate English variant

Grammar

This topic area covers several grammatical features of the Arabic language. These include demonstrative and relative pronouns, masculine and feminine gender; sound plurals and broken plurals; pronouns, verbs, etc. You'll also learn about Kānā, Innā, Zannā, and their associates.

Arabic grammar is one of the most complex topics because it is broad. Nonetheless, it's useful because you can't speak the language properly without understanding it.

Composition

This topic mostly involves learning how to write in Arabic on different topics. By learning the guidelines of Arabic composition, you'll be able to communicate effectively with Arabic and convey your ideas on different subjects.

Examination questions under this topic area will require you to write an essay of your choice in Arabic that could either be expository, descriptive, or argumentative.

Arabic Literature

Here, you'll read works of prominent Arabic authors whose works have had great impacts in the Arabic world and influenced Islamic thought greatly. These works usually fall into the following categories:

  1. Pre-Islamic Period (500 — 610 C.E.)
  2. The Islamic Period (610 — 1798 C.E.)
  3. The Modern Period (1978 — present)
  4. West African Literature in Arabic
A stack of books
Reading Arabic literature is expected to enhance your proficiency in Arabic. Source: Unsplash

In Nigeria, the national examination board or university examination board selects the texts for reading. After studying Arabic literature, students are expected to;

  1. Identify and analyse the style of figurative expressions used in Arabic literature
  2. Identify and assess pre-Islamic poetic conventions and traditions
  3. Identify aesthetic devices in Arabic literary texts and evaluate their cultural values
  4. Assess instances of successful use of Arabic by West African novelists and dramatists, give an in-depth analysis of such works and identify their major features and plot lines.

Taking Advantage of Private Arabic Lessons

When studying world languages, it's often better to hire private teachers. Whether you are in big cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, or Abuja or Nigerian modest cities, getting private Arabic lessons is perhaps the best way to learn Arabic quickly and enhance your development as an Arabic student.

Private Arabic lessons afford you one-on-one tutoring tailored to address your needs, suit your style and pace, and enhance your understanding. You also get the chance particularly hire and learn under a tutor who has Arabic as his/her mother tongue and can discuss extensively on elements of Arabic culture and literature. Also, being a native speaker means s/he can guide you through the process of learning Arabic pronunciation better.

However, before you experience any of these benefits, you'll need to find a reliable Arabic tutor. If you need such reliable teachers who provide expert Arabic tuition at friendly prices, try Superprof.

Why You Should Learn To Write In Arabic

Among the requirements to be an excellent Arabic student is the ability to write fluently in Arabic. Under Arabic composition, you'll be taught how to learn Arabic fast and how to write in it. Every year, school exams test the Arabic writing ability of students. Therefore, you should pay attention to this section of your Arabic study very well.

Composing Arabic sentences
One important aspect of Arabic tuition is Arabic writing and composition. Arabic students are tested on the ability to write and compose sentences in most exams. Source: Research Gate.

Requirements of a well-written composition include a brief introduction, an identifiable structure, and plenty of examples to back up statements. It should have well-defined arguments delineated into paragraphs as well as a strong conclusion.

Try asking your Arabic tutors for digital learning tools and resources that will enhance your Arabic learning. Arabic examination questions used for the previous years can be downloaded from educational sites online. The consensus is that solving such questions will help your revision efforts.

Arabic composition is perhaps the hardest section of the examination; you'll need to think and at the same time, state your thoughts clearly. Mastery of Arabic composition is often the difference between candidates who pass Arabic examinations and candidates who don’t.

If you're willing to try it, you can visit an Arabic-speaking country anywhere in the world and immerse yourself in the culture and language. Several Islamic nations speaking Arabic offer immersion courses in their universities which you can take. Some of these include countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, etc.

If you want countries closer to home, there are Islamic, Arabic-speaking nations in Africa such as Egypt and Morocco.

You must, however, remember that national Arabic dialects will vary according to the country you find yourself in. Thus, the Moroccan dialect will be significantly different from the Qatari dialect. To avoid confusion, you can just opt to study a Modern Standard Arabic course. Modern Standard Arabic is the new standard for Arabic and is used widely in international circles.

With many resources and avenues to aid your Arabic education, learning Arabic just became easier. Now, it's easy to get help on how to learn Arabic fast — exploit that advantage for better performance in your Arabic examinations this year.

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Muhammad

A Nigerian freelance SEO Writer-cum-Editor and 2019 Writing Fellow of ALWF who blends creativity with rich content to produce sterling copy — persuasive, informative, or expository. He loves nature and trains in Karate, and he loves to help others grow — individuals and brands.