Ever loved someone and wished you could tell him or her in many colours? Wished you could say more than the cliched ‘I love you’? Wished you could sound more rhythmic and sweet? Let me introduce you to a certain language wherein there exist about 14 words that describe that “love” you so feel — the Arabic language.
The estimated number of native Arabic speakers stands at around 315 million with millions more who are non-native speakers. This qualifies the language as World’s 5th most spoken language. With this huge number of speakers, it is clear that learning Arabic has many power-ups and opportunities.
Language acquisition is fun. The experiences gotten from training to grow a new tongue help students stand out in their career and offer brain growth. Add these to the many prospects available with a proficiency in a popular language like Arabic, there is no doubt that learning the language is highly valuable.
More so, Arabic training lessons offer students of the language access to the rich Arab culture and Islamic civilisation. Although quite unpopular, the Islamic civilisation made great contributions to moulding the modern civilisation we are. Perhaps, you want to sojourn in the United Arab Emirates enjoying some architectural wonders or visit the grand Hagia Sophia in Turkey or maybe you simply want to commerce in an Arabic-speaking country. Whatever your intent is, learning to speak Arabic will be highly-beneficial in many regards.
- The Arabic language has sounds that don’t exist in many Nigerian local languages and the English language.
- Unlike the English language, there are no capital or block letters in the Arabic alphabets
- Contrary to the practice in many other languages, Arabic words are stringed from right to left.
But, don’t fret. These challenges are part of what makes the language intriguing, and after a few Arabic lessons, you should be enjoying the ride already.
As a prospective or new student, you will probably be asking what the financial implication will be. Of course, it is important to research the price of Arabic lessons to identify how much you will invest in learning this widely-spoken language.
The Price of Arabic Lessons: Between Your Mode of Learning, Location, and Tutor’s Proficiency
Albeit, there is the standard Arabic, there are about 30 more dialects you can choose from. Just like the Ìjẹ̀bú Yorùbá is different the Ọ̀yọ́ Yorùbá or the Ekpeye Igbo differs in phonology with the Ogwu Igbo or the Eastern Hausa Kutebanci is distinct from the Northern Hausa Arawa, the Gulf Arabic is different from the Najdi or Yemeni Arabic.
Although there are significant variations from region to region, there exist considerable degrees of mutual intelligibility. Whatever the variant that you intend to learn, private Arabic tuition is a worthy option to consider. With this, you can hire a tutor native to the region whose dialect you wish to learn. This specificity will afford you an in-depth understanding of the Arabic variant you desire, including its colloquialism and informal expressions. This is particularly advised if you plan to study, live, or trade in a particular region. In this instance, learning the dialect identified with the country or region may be a better option than learning the traditional standard Arabic.
How much you will spend learning Arabic depends on your desired mode of learning. Would you prefer an Arabic teacher online who teaches through the webcam or a language school where you can get short-duration intensive Arabic programmes or engage the service of a private home Arabic teacher or just start weekend classes at the nearest mosque? Your decision, here, will determine your budget.
Even if you take a structured Arabic course with a specific duration, say 12 months, your proficiency at the end of the course would still depend, not on the number of classes you sat for, but your zeal and commitment. There is no expert-approved number of classes you must attend to attain a level of competence in Arabic. Everything rests on your will and objectives.
In the succeeding sections, we will consider how the location and the tutor’s proficiency can also vary the cost of Arabic classes. Irrespective, know that language acquisition is quite an expensive but worthy investment. If we add that Arabic is again a top choice because of its many benefits, learning the language may be somewhat expensive.
But don’t give up just yet. By the time you finish this article, you should have several cost-effective options to consider in your Arabic tuition.
Location vs the price of Arabic classes
Averagely, you can get a good Arabic teacher for ₦3,000 per hour. Of course, the price is not cast in stone. Depending on what state you’re based in, the fee can be lower or higher. The cost of Arabic classes in Abuja will most likely be different from Imo or Ondo.
In many cities in Nigeria, the price of Arabic classes will be high considering that the cost of living is high too. Home teachers, especially, will consider the total cost and duration of mobility and lessons before deciding their charge. This means that if you are planning to hire a private home Arabic tutor, ensure that he or she will not be coming from a location far from you.
But is the location all there is to think about?
Teacher’s proficiency as a factor
The level and experience of the tutor you wish to hire will also determine how much you will spend. Arabic teachers with many years of experience and deep expertise will charge more for their time compared to teachers who have a few years of experience.
Also, unlike some tutors who teach arbitrarily, some Arabic tutors have an organised curriculum they use in their pedagogy. Such tutors will most likely cost more than the former. More so, a native tutor may cost more than a non-native tutor.
It should also be mentioned that some tutors also consider the proficiency level of their students in deciding their charge while some consider the frequency of the Arabic lessons in deciding whether to charge high or offer a rebate.
The Influence of The Student’s Level on the Cost of Arabic Classes
The current level of a student will determine the efforts required of the tutor, and invariably, affect the price. Teaching an inexperienced student means less intellectual rigour as compared to teaching an intermediate or a university student. This seems the rule if you hire a home tutor or attend a language school, and this is because the better you want to become, the more expertise you demand from your tutor.
However, if you have little or no previous experience and wish to learn the language, over time, you may spend more on learning the language than an advanced student would at a go.
If you’re interested in learning the Islamic culture with the Arabic language, then, learning at a nearby mosque will be your best shot.
Types of Arabic Tuition and Their Cost Variations
In deciding the right option, it is important to know the various Arabic lessons that are and how they differ.
- Freelance tutors
Do you enjoy personalised learning? Hiring a freelance tutor affords you the chance to move from the rudiments of the language to more complex areas in grammar, literary Arabic, syntax e.t.c. while closely supervised.
With this option, your tutor will be able to watch you improve, provide corrections, and adopt a pedagogical approach that best suits your learning style. Price varies according to location, but it ranges between an average of ₦3,000 - ₦5,000/hr.
It is very ideal for beginner students, adult students, and working professionals.
- Intensive courses at language schools
This option often involves short-duration courses designed to award grades of proficiency upon completion. It is often used for academic purposes. If you have an exam or intend to study in an Arabic-speaking country, you may have to take intensive classes to up your proficiency as desired.
Most often, you will find intensive courses in language schools, and you may also browse language websites online. If you have a budget of around ₦75,000 - ₦90, 000 for the entire course duration, this is for you.
- Free online courses
Also, there are free Arabic language courses online that you may take. They are ideal for beginners or people who have no urgent need for the language but love to learn it.
Furthermore, e-learning apps like Babbel and Duolingo can be your language partner. However, it is usually a long journey that requires consistency.
- Arabic lessons with Private tutors
Like you find on Superprof, Private Arabic tutors are individuals who like to grow their expertise and experiences by working with different people and in different places. They possess ample knowledge of the subject to qualify them for tutoring and they provide services according to the needs of the clients.
Private tutors are also ideal for personalised learning and provide enough flexibility to fit your schedule. The price also depends on the location. An average lesson on Superprof costs ₦1500/hr with freelancers charging from as low as ₦500/hr to as high as ₦5,000/hr. Interestingly, Tutors on Superprof offer their first lesson free and available for home tutoring or online lessons via webcam depending on your choice.
Other Learning Centres For Arabic Lessons
As earlier said, many mosques and organisations also provide Arabic tutoring. This is a common option among Muslim faithfuls in Nigeria because they get to receive Islamic education alongside their Arabic lessons.
Summarily, there is no fixed price for learning Arabic.
It depends on what you need and how much you are willing to part. Irrespective, all of these options can move you miles closer to achieving your desired proficiency in the language and enjoying the benefits that come with it.
You must, however, show due diligence and commitment to enjoy the many perks attached to being a multilinguist and a speaker of the World's fifth most spoken language. Whatever is worth doing — and in this case worth investing in — is worth doing well, they say.