FROM MSA to CA: A Beginner's Guide to Transitioning to Colloquial Arabic
Lina Gomaa, Portland State University
Pub Date: 2015
ISBN 13: 978-1-3299966-9-4
Publisher: Portland State University Library
Conditions of Use
For a beginner’s level of Arabic, the book covers some limited issues related to transitioning from Arabic MSA to Egyptian CA. It covers well some read more
For a beginner’s level of Arabic, the book covers some limited issues related to transitioning from Arabic MSA to Egyptian CA. It covers well some basic Vocabulary words and Grammar rules in contextual cultural content. It provides a glossary and introduction clarifying its contents and outcomes.
The content is accurate. However, as its title indicates, I think the book may benefit more by being more inclusive to other CA Arabic not only the Egyptian CA, otherwise it should have been clarified in the title. On the other hand, I think there might have been more vocalization on some words to help in correct pronouncing. For example, page 61 the word ????
I think the book could be more supportive by including more interactive exercises and diverse cultural activities.
The text is clear, informative and accessible to students of beginner Arabic.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
The four chapters of this book are clear and well organized. Each chapter can be downloaded as PDF which I think is helpful to learners. Adding more real life videos and images that can be downloaded would be more beneficial. I think there is a little educational benefit of most of the images found in the book.
The topics are generally presented in a clear and logical manner. It is suitable for the beginner’s transition from MSA to Egyptian CA. However, the presentation lacks coherence and flow between the chapters.
No significant interface issues.
The grammar presented is at the beginner level. No noticeable grammar errors.
While the book makes clear in its introduction that it will present cultural insights related to the main topics presented in the chapters which help the students become more familiar with acceptable behaviors in an Arab country, I think the topics of the book offer more cultural insights than the ones presented.
Overall, this book is useful for students learning Arabic. It is needed as a transitioning aid from Arabic MSA to Egyptian CA. Thank you for the effort and time in producing this book. However, given the lack of activities and diversity regarding another Arabic CA, such as Levantine, Gulf etc. I would recommend updating the book and develop material to fill this gap to become relevant to larger number of students learning Arabic.
The text reads easily and it is written with a simple, clear and understood language. The book is divided into four major chapters and each chapter read more
The text reads easily and it is written with a simple, clear and understood language. The book is divided into four major chapters and each chapter deals with one of the aspects of the overall content.
The content is relatively accurate when it comes to talking about the Egyptian Colloquial. While the author refers to other CA in the region, she failed to mention various other colloquials spoken in North Africa, Yemen, Oman, Sudan, etc...
The text might be relevant to the Arabic program at Portland State Universty, but not to all Arabic institutions in the nation. It is especially designed to serve the need of a small community of second language learners. The text needs to be integrated within the context of the ongoing debate about the "Integrated Approcah" championed by Younes Munther fron the University of Cornell. Lina Gomaa's theoretical approach is very limited.
The text is clear, easy to read and uses a very simple jargon accessible to both students, teachers, etc...The author's use of second language acquisition terminology is limited.
Yes, there is consistency in the organization and in the flow of ideas in the book. The author structures her narrative around a well defined content organized by chapters.
The division of the book into four chapters helps readers to approach it at ease and to use it when needed and according to the subject matter discussed in class. Each section of the narrative touches either on language varieties in Arabic or on cultural aspects of the Arab world.
The author organized the book according to subjects related to transitioning second language learners from Mid Novice to Low Intermediate when learning Egyptian Colloquial. each section introduces new vocabulary, dialogues and discussions in both MSA and CA with translations into English. The division of the book into sections helps the learner to navigate through its different parts.
The visual/interface dimension is clear and does not distract the reader from using the book. There are charts with columns that are easy to navigate.
The text is written with a simple language accessible to different groups of the readers.
The text is devoted to the study of Arabic as a second language, so its cultural component are only related to the Arab world. There is no reference to other nations, ethnicities, races, etc.
The book can be a useful additional reading for students interested in learning both MSA and CA either in High Schools or Colleges. It has its own shortcomings, but it could be revised and revamped.
Table of Contents
Abbreviations and Acronyms
A: Transitioning to CA:Final voweling and greeting terms in MSA and CA
B: Greetings and ending conversations
1. Formal greetings conversation: at work
2. Informal greetings conversation:
3. Practice: Complete the dialogue
C: Cultural insight: Ending a conversation in a culturally acceptable manner
A: Transitioning to CA: WH Question words in MSA and CA
Examples of using WH words in short dialogues
2. Requesting train tickets
3. At the restaurant
4. Practice: Complete the dialogue
C: Cultural insights: Giving directions
7 | From MSA to CA: A Beginner’s guide for transitioning into Colloquial Arabic
A: Transitioning to CA: Verb tenses
1. At the sports club (present tense
2. Missing a lecture at the university (future tense
3.What did you do yesterday? (past tense
4. Practice: Complete the dialogue
C: Cultural insights: Phone conversations and communicating among different age groups in the Arab world
A: Transitioning to CA: Negation in MSA vs CA
Mini-Dialogues: Examples of using negations and invitations
B: Accepting and rejecting invitations
1. Accepting an invitation to lunch
2. Politely rejecting an invitation to an outing
3. Practice: Complete the dialogue
C: Cultural insights: Tips on dealing with culturally sensitive situations
About the Book
This book is for students who have studied Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) for one year or more and would like to learn colloquial Arabic basics using their knowledge of MSA. It aims at transitioning learners from Novice Mid level to Intermediate Low through presenting situations useful for living in an Arab country. The book has several features including hyperlinks, practice dialogues with open answers, cultural tips, and more. To access the audio files to accompany this book, please visit http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/pdxopen/8/
About the Contributors
Lina Gomaa received an MA in Arabic/English Translation and Interpreting from University of Salford, UK. At Beloit College, USA, she obtained her BA in Creative Writing, with a minor in Journalism. Also at Beloit College, she obtained a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. In Egypt, Miss Gomaa obtained a BA in Arabic/English Translation and English Literature from the Faculty of Languages, Alsun, Ain Shams University. At the American University in Cairo, she received the Certificate of Teaching Arabic for non-native speakers. Miss Gomaa has taught Arabic and English to non-nativespeakers at several universities in Egypt and the USA. She is a fully certified oral proficiency interviewer by ACTFL. Miss Gomaa’s research interests are second language acquisition and translation including holy texts, focusing on the Holy Quran translations into English.