ALCASA offers the Monthly Conversation Sessions where this year members have had the opportunity to practise conversing around various topics with native speaker volunteers.

These sessions were facilitated in small groups according to participants’ proficiency level and choice of language (Fusha or ‘Ammiya). This year, the topic of conversation was often related to the themes in the Cultural Workshops which were conducted beforehand.

ALCASA’s Monthly Conversation Sessions support ALCASA’s mission to share the Arabic language and promote cultural awareness. It creates an opportunity for South Australians of Arabic and non-Arabic speaking backgrounds to come together and build bridges for respect and harmony.

ALCASA also hopes that these sessions sustain the interest of Arabic language learners to continue developing their language proficiency.

Sue, a long-time member of ALCASA says that these sessions are useful. “The Arabic conversation sessions are beneficial for learners to practise speaking out loud in front of others. The native Arabic speakers can correct our pronunciation and give an insight into the differences in pronunciation.”

July 2016 Monthly Conversation Session

July 2016 Monthly Conversation Session

“As a learner, I always get a little nervous and feel out of my comfort zone but it is something that must be done in order to eventually become more proficient at speaking the language,” she added.

In addition to the Monthly Conversation Sessions, ALCASA hosts Arabic classes for adults.

Alison, an advanced learner of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) says the lessons are taught in a challenging and tailored way using a variety of topics. Jackie, another advanced learner of MSA learner says the instruction is quite thorough and finds it useful that the lessons are targeted for each student.

“I have had Arabic instruction in the Middle East and in universities and privately but this class in Adelaide is excellent in comparison. It covers all the important aspects, listening, writing, and speaking, and reinforcing those skills through practice,” says Jackie.

But for learners of the Arabic language, Sue who is also an intermediate learner of the Levantine dialect, has some advice for learning the language:  “I love listening to Arabic but just listening does not help me become fluent – all areas have to be given equal time – listening, reading, writing and, most of all, speaking and working it out yourself.”

Hafiz Abdul Nasir