Media Arabic for Beginners: A Coursebook for Understanding Arabic News

Laila Al-Sawi

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An introductory media Arabic book for the elementary and low intermediate levels

With the proliferation of satellite television news and social media channels, students of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) have access to an increasingly vast range of print and broadcast news from the Arab world. Media Arabic for Beginners is a unique textbook designed to lead elementary and low intermediate-level students of MSA to a solid level of proficiency in the language of Arabic media.

Through active engagement with authentic texts selected from a wide variety of news sources and websites, learners are familiarized with vocabulary, idioms, lexical items, and collocations, while grammatical concepts are introduced and explained in context. With sixteen texts accompanied by sixteen audio files and supportive PowerPoint presentations, this content-based approach allows students to develop and enhance their reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Vocabulary and grammatical points are presented as PowerPoint slides, making for discrete and manageable learning targets.

Media Arabic for Beginners is structured around four themes, each devoted to a dominant news topic: Official Visits and Talks; Elections and Referendums; Attacks and Explosions; and Demonstrations and Protests. Each unit is in turn made up of four lessons, each lesson featuring a text from a particular perspective together with pre-reading activities, reading activities, post-reading activities, and a section with a particular focus on grammar. The texts progress from very simple to more complex, as students steadily increase their reading fluency. Each unit ends with a thorough review section with various activities, such as comprehension questions, vocabulary translation, and role play.



"Media Arabic for Beginners is a unique and timely resource for learners and teachers of Arabic who want to explore the language of Arabic media at the elementary stages of language acquisition. Offering an easy-to-follow format, clear structure, and texts that are relevant, current, and interesting, it engages learners and gives them a real world context for their learning." —Nevenka Korica Sullivan, co-author of Media Arabic

"This book successfully integrates different language learning skills, using authentic texts appropriate to the target level. These are accompanied by excellent listening texts, in addition to presentations that focus on key linguistic and structural phenomena in the language of the media, all in an easy and very clear way."—Saaed Alwakeel, Ain Shams University

“This is a well-structured, well-thought-out textbook that focuses on media Arabic for beginning learners, and targets all four language skills. The activities are varied and engaging, and focus on vocabulary and grammar, as well as collocations and appropriate usage.”—Nader Morkus, Indiana University


About the Authors:

Laila Al-Sawi: is a senior instructor of Arabic as a foreign language in the Department of Arabic Language Instruction (ALI) at the American University in Cairo. She holds a master’s degree in teaching Arabic as a foreign language (TAFL) from the American University in Cairo. She is co-author of al-Murshid: A Guide to Modern Standard Arabic Grammar for the Intermediate Level (AUC Press, 2013) and Kalaam Gamiil, An Intensive Course in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, volumes 1 and 2 (AUC Press, 2010 and 2013). She lives in Cairo, Egypt.

Shahira Yacout: is a senior Arabic language instructor and Arabic Language Courses (ALNG) unit director in the Department of Arabic Language Instruction (ALI) at the American University in Cairo. She holds a master’s degree in teaching Arabic as a foreign language (TAFL) from the American University in Cairo, and received her PhD from Ain Shams University. She lives in Cairo, Egypt.

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