You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.

~ Geoffrey Willans ~

Arabic is one of the sixteen recommended languages in the Australian Curriculum, however, in terms of popularity, it lags behind languages such as Japanese, French, German, Mandarin, Italian and Indonesian. This means that, although it is approved as a subject that can count towards Year 12 graduation results for entrance into university, it is harder to find a school that offers it.

When you do find a school that teaches Arabic at Year 12 T level, here are a few things to expect from your Arabic lessons.

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Can You Study Arabic in High School?

The Arabic curriculum contains outcomes for students as young as five — Foundation (or Kindergarten) level and there are certainly schools that are teaching it. As an elective language in high school, any student is able to study Arabic.

The curriculum covers not only the language — grammar, phrases, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking and listening — but also culture, including contemporary society and history.

Get started with Arabic lessons in Melbourne.

Where can I learn Arabic in Australia?
If your school doesn't offer Arabic, there are other ways you can learn it | Source: Pixabay - Fang_Y_M

Unless you attend one of the Islamic schools, it is unlikely you will be able to learn Arabic in primary school. Arabic courses are also not overly common in secondary schools (again, unless they are secular schools). Part of the reason for this is the lack of teachers who are trained in teaching the language. The other reason is community demand — if the local area has a high demand for a particular language, they are more likely to teach it. Of course, there is also history and tradition.

More often than not, it boils down to the school's decision and their ability to source qualified teachers of Arabic — still a rare commodity.

Even if a school has a teacher of Arabic on their staff, there still needs to be enough students who want to learn it. There are many secondary teachers who teach courses other than their subject of specialisation due to lack of demand.

If local schools can not offer Arabic, students often have the option of private study with a suitably qualified tutor, night classes or weekend classes.

With the proper permissions, it is possible for students to gain credits towards their ATAR results by taking approved courses externally. A student that does this will still sit the ATAR exam (or HSC, VCE etc. depending on their state) in their school, but will be given credit towards their Year 12 certificate for any approved course they study outside of the school.

Discover more about learning Arabic

Year 11 Arabic Lessons

If you choose to study Arabic in Year 11, there are a couple of entry points — one for complete beginners and the other for students who have completed previous studies, including students who have native speaking backgrounds.

The course for beginners can be fast-paced as students learn the alphabet, essential grammar, vocabulary and phrases with the aim of moving on to practical use of the language in different contexts (which is where the continuing course often starts).

Do you need to study Arabic in high school to enrol in university?
If you want to pursue Arabic at university, it would be beneficial to study it in Year 11 and Year 12 | Source: Pixabay - F1Digitals

Often, students will take on more study in Year 11, then drop some subjects in Year 12 to enable them to focus more on results. While the continued study of languages is preferable through Years 11 and 12, even one year of study can make a difference in your university application. And, of course, it is also possible to commence learning Arabic in Year 12.

If, however, you have your sights set on enrolling in a university-level Arabic degree, as much prior learning as you can manage will make life easier once you get to university.

Check here for some more information about Arabic studies at school.

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Mohamed
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Salwa
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$25
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Ayman
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Rachmiel
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Rachmiel
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Fatima ezzahra
5
5 (18 reviews)
Fatima ezzahra
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nivine
5
5 (4 reviews)
Nivine
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mohamed
5
5 (23 reviews)
Mohamed
$38
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Salwa
5
5 (9 reviews)
Salwa
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Mahdiyya
5
5 (15 reviews)
Mahdiyya
$25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kinda
5
5 (5 reviews)
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$50
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Ayman
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Year 12 Arabic Course

If students have completed Arabic classes at Year 11 level, in Year 12 they will focus more on Arabic language skills (reading, writing, speaking) in context as well as the history of Arabic society and its influence on contemporary society today.

Essentially, learning Arabic in Year 11 and 12 provides a student with some background knowledge and a little breathing space once they commence university. University courses are built around the assumption that students will enter with varying degrees of language experience, so they do start from a beginners level but progress extremely rapidly through the basics.

What do you learn in Arabic lessons?
Prior knowledge of Arabic language and culture is helpful for university but not essential | Source: Pixabay - Sidhick

Both beginners and continuing Arabic courses at senior secondary level aim to give students a solid grounding in the language, the ability to read, write and speak in different contexts and an understanding of modern Arabic society as well as historical perspectives.

Exams require students to use the language to discuss key concepts of family, environment and technology (among others) as well as demonstrate competency with written translation and reading comprehension.

Many students then move on to enrol in a university Arabic degree.

Reasons for Studying Arabic in Senior Secondary School

A student can have multiple reasons for wanting to learn a language such as Arabic. They may have family ties to the culture or merely be interested. They may wish to travel or work overseas and see that having other languages is beneficial. Or, they may wish to pursue a career where knowledge of modern Arabic culture and proficiency in reading, writing and speaking Arabic will be an asset.

What countries speak Arabic?
The more experience you have learning Arabic, including in-country study, the more impressive your CV will look | Source: Pixabay - SandraPV-hh

Starting your university course with some knowledge of Arabic is, as mentioned, useful but it is not essential and many students commence their university studies as complete beginners.

In your first year of university, if you can start your Arabic lessons with knowledge of the basics, you can then divert your concentration to other aspects of university study and life — such as managing your workload and developing your independent study skills. Of course, you will want to work on engaging in extracurricular activities and making friends as well — you can't spend your whole life with your head inside a book.

There are so many career options for a student who has studied Arabic.

What if my School Doesn't Offer Arabic?

This is a very real problem for many students given the current lack of qualified Arabic teachers. There is, however, a way around everything if a student is determined enough.

Your first port of call would be to book an appointment with your school's careers officer or student advisor. These people should know what options are available and are there to advise students on the best course of action for them as learners. Some of the options they may present to you (or you may ask about) include:

  • undertaking your Arabic course through another institution
  • online lessons with an approved institution
  • private tuition with a registered or approved tutor or provider.

The onus is on the student to make sure these options qualify them to gain study credits and that they cover the required reading, writing and speaking skills and senior secondary curriculum content.

If you're opting to work with a tutor (whether solely as an alternative to in-school lessons, or for a catch-up, practice or extension purposes), it is crucial they have in-depth knowledge of the Australian curriculum requirements — right down to specialised vocabulary.

Private Tuition Options for Arabic

Private tuition is the perfect way for learners to get exactly what they need. When it comes to learning Arabic, the needs of each student may vary from practice and reinforcement of the basics — alphabet, grammar, vocabulary and phrases — through to advanced reading, writing, translation and speaking. Apart from the language itself, learners may want to go further with regards to their study of Arab society and history.

There really is no limit to what you can learn with a private tutor.

Throughout Australia, there are well over 2,500 private Arabic tutors registered with Superprof so you are sure to find a tutor who will be able to help you meet your learning goals. Search specifically for a tutor who lists experience with the Australian Curriculum and who specialises in teaching senior high school students or first year university students.

There are three main modes of lesson delivery offered by most Superprof tutors — almost all of whom offer the first lesson for free as a trial.

Face-to-face tutoring

Your Superprof tutor will work with you one-on-one and in-person in a location convenient to both of you.

Online tutoring

With modern technology, online tutoring is almost as good as face-to-face. The bonus here is that you and your tutor do not have to be in the same city, state or even the same country. Also, online tuition is often slightly cheaper because travel expenses are not factored in, and there's no worry about forgetting to bring your resources.

Group tutoring

If your budget is limited, hiring a tutor to work with a small group is a great option as the cost is shared among students. While you won't get the individual attention full time, you do get to practise speaking with other students. The more opportunity to speak and learn from others, the better your skills become.

There really is nothing to stop you from achieving your dreams.

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.