This fall we have opened up 6 courses in Arabic: 2 in Level 1 (beginners), 2 in Level 2 (advanced beginners), 1 in Level 3 (intermediate) and 1 in Level 4 (advanced). Last year we had “just” 5 courses, and in the last years, because of the demand, we find ourselves expanding the number of courses every year.
The groups meet on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the newly renovated JICC building. This year, the participants enjoy the new heating and air-conditioning systems, audio-visual capacities for learning, new furniture and more. Following the renovations, we have now a much more adequate second floor for the courses – more space options for the classes, less noise and interruptions between the groups, and even more restroom stalls…
The goal of the courses is to train professionals who need to use Arabic in their professional capacities to communicate on a reasonable level, and the curriculum is designed for this purpose. Classes include a large component of discussions and listening to songs and other verbal material to practice. “After only 4-5 lessons, the teacher gave us a 30-minute lecture in Arabic – on the teacher’s family, on their pilgrimage to Mecca, etc. and we understood everything!” exclaimed one participant.
This year we have more than 70 participants – students, professionals and activists who come into regular contact with Arabic-speaking residents and who need it to communicate with them.
“I enjoy the course immensely,” said another participant. “I don’t believe I’ll ever be fully fluent, but it does definitely help me to understand Arab culture and history. I am now more aware of the presence and (or absence) of Arabic all around me – on signs, in stores. It is also very interesting for me to see the similarities between Arabic and the language found in Jewish sources.”
More on the JICC courses can be found in the blog post from last year.