If you have Arabic-speaking parents, you will likely learn the language from them. But for those who want to study Arabic, it can be tricky to find where to take lessons.
How can those who are not from Arabic backgrounds enhance their language skills? Where can they learn the Arabic language in Australia?
If you want to learn basic Arabic, Quranic Arabic, or even Arabic calligraphy, there are options that will help you.
Private institutes, schools, associations, websites... There are solutions! But you should utilise all the tools available to learn Arabic if you wish to be successful.
Not a Popular Language in Australian Schools
Today, Arabic is the 3rd most spoken language in Australia behind English and Mandarin (Chinese). Arab speakers constitute 1.4% of the Australian population, making the total number of Arabic speakers 321,728.
Proficiency in Arabic ranges from colloquial Arabic taught by parents to Classic Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).
But this figure says a lot linguistically speaking!
Considering this figure, it is fair to assume that there must be many ways to learn Arabic, and to question why the language is not a popular one for language learners.
The Arabic language struggles to attract sufficient numbers of learners in Australian secondary schools. Thus, Arabic is not widely offered in Australian schools.
Those who wish to learn Arabic are challenged by a diminishing supply of professionals, the use of ineffective methodologies, and the absence of school textbooks designed for learners of Arabic as a foreign language.
Despite being the fifth most spoken language in the world (274 million speakers), Arabic is spoken in the second-highest number of countries after English (57 countries), and the third most spoken language in Australia, it is only number 10 in the top 10 languages studied in Australian schools.
Now that we have recognised the unfair absence of Arabic in Australian schools, let’s look at the various places where you can discover Arabic elsewhere in Australia.
Learn Arabic with a Private Tutor
This is one of the most accessible and easiest ways to learn Arabic, available across Australia! If you take one-on-one Arabic tutoring, you do not have to be located in a specific geographical location.
Superprof's Arabic tutors will come to you - whether it be in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide! All you have to do is find the right person located near you. But there are other advantages of Superprof tutors.
Firstly, it is less expensive to learn the Arabic language with a private language tutor than it is to go to a private language institute.
Additionally, if you’re introverted, shy, or just don’t want to be in a classroom setting, learning one-on-one and face-to-face is the best option for you. You will feel more comfortable speaking just in front of your tutor rather than in front of a whole classroom of students.
You are also more likely to learn Arabic more quickly using this method compared to others. One-on-one sessions means the Arabic tutor can focus their full attention on the individual student in lessons lasting 1 hour or more.
It also allows the tutor to examine the student's strengths and weaknesses, and develop tailored lesson plans that will assist the student more readily in enhancing their proficiency.
So if you are struggling with vocabulary, pronunciation, or even Arabic script, your own personal teacher will be available to assist you.
If you would like to find out your other options, keep reading to learn where you can study Arabic in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, or Adelaide.
Don’t forget, there are a number of fantastic books to learn Arabic which will be a great supplement to your Arabic lessons with your tutor.
Take Arabic Classes in a Private Institute or School
Another option for learning Arabic is to go to a private language institute or school specialising in the Arabic language. This ensures you will have certified teachers and participate in a validated and trusted Arabic learning method. Here are some establishments you can find in Australia.
Institute of Australia Middle East Business and Education (IAMBE) in the ACT
The IAMBE offers Arabic language courses and tutoring for people of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Their courses and tutorials are perfect for anyone who wants to learn Arabic, whether you plan to holiday in the Middle East or want to seek employment there in the future. Lessons are tailored to learner’s needs whether academic, business, diplomatic, or daily life.
Parramatta Arabic School in NSW
Parramatta Arabic School is a non-profit educational organisation that offers Arabic classes for school-aged students (aged between 5-15 years old) who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to help them learn the Arabic language in a fun, safe and interactive educational environment.
Arabic Culture School (ACS) in Victoria
ACS is a non-for-profit educational provider teaching Arabic language and culture. They run government-accredited Arabic classes catering to both native and non-native Arabic speakers. There’s something for everyone; from Prep through to Beginners, and even Intermediate classes for adults who want to reconnect with their cultural language.
Take Arabic language course here.
Enrol in an Arabic Language Course at University
Here are some of the Australian universities offering Arabic language courses:
Institute of Modern Languages (IML) - The University of Queensland (UQ)
The IML provides Arabic classes that are interactive, communicative, and affordable. You will learn Arabic for everyday situations from a qualified Arabic tutor and meet like-minded language students. IML Arabic language lessons are offered online via live Zoom video conferencing software or in-person on the UQ St Lucia campus. There are no entry requirements - all you have to do is enrol online to begin your language journey!
Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies - Australian National University (ANU)
ANU has introduced an innovative way to study Arabic online through the Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies (The Middle East & Central Asia). Students at ANU, and those from universities around Australia and internationally, can apply directly to study Arabic online and obtain credit towards their existing program at their home university. You can enrol in Arabic online courses as electives or as part of a major or minor.
Discover different Arabic lessons here on Superprof.
The University of Melbourne (UOM)
Attend a university with a worldwide reputation that offers many different ways to learn Arabic.
At UoM, not only will you learn how to speak, read, and write Arabic – you’ll also be able to learn about the nature of living, seeing, acting, and interacting in the ‘Arab way’, and gaining insight into Arabic literature, history, political geography, religious traditions, current issues, and popular culture.
You’ll take a placement test to ensure you’re in the correct class for your level, whether you’re a beginner or more advanced. What’s more, there are opportunities to study overseas!
The University of Sydney (UOS)
With UOS’ Arabic courses, you won’t only learn Arabic, you’ll also learn about the literature, festivals, and foods that define Arab cultures. UOS teaches Modern Standard Arabic, the formal Arabic that is written and spoken throughout the contemporary Arab world. Their beginner's Arabic courses are open to everyone and are suitable for people who have no prior knowledge of the Arabic language.
If you’re ambitious, you could even take Arabic classes Sydney (for example) alongside other language classes such as French or Spanish.
Learn Arabic Online
The final solution available to you in Australia to learn Arabic is online learning. Teaching in Australia is not only limited to private institutes, non-for-profit schools, and universities. You will discover that there are also many options available to you online.
Firstly, there’s the free language learning site Duolingo. Duolingo uses gamification to make learning languages fun. You earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up. Their bite-sized lessons are effective, and they have proof that it works.
Secondly, you could also try Memrise. Memrise teaches you real-world phrases with real locals. You can learn languages via videos of native speakers in real-life situations. Their courses are written by language specialists so you will learn the phrases that locals actually use. You can watch videos of how the locals use the phrases so you can learn their real accents.
Users are able to connect to these sites directly from their Facebook accounts. These language learning platforms will enable you to learn the Arabic alphabet in a fun way whether you are in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide or elsewhere!
You can access these sites 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. If you’re having trouble sleeping, then why not do some Arabic lessons in the middle of the night!
They are lots of options to learn Arabic online. Most language courses will be MSA-based due to their widespread use throughout Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
However, there are some sites that specialise in various Arabic dialects. Don’t forget, Egyptian Arabic is very different to Iraqi Arabic, which also varies to Moroccan or Lebanese Arabic.
Therefore, if your motive for learning Arabic is to visit or live in a specific country, keep in mind that you should specialise in the Arabic spoken there, whether it’s Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or any other country on the Arabian peninsula.
So what are you waiting for? Use these sites to get on your way to becoming a fluent Arabic speaker now!
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