Offered: Term 1 and Term 3 each year.
Please note that this course will only be offered if sufficient numbers register. Please contact us (via the form on our Contact page using the Menu Bar above) if you are unsure about registering. If you do register, and this course is cancelled due to low enrolment, please be advised that we will refund your tuition in full.
Introductory Arabic 101 classes begin with a focus on learning the Arabic language from scratch, with learning how to read and write the Arabic Nasakh (قلم النسخ) script over the eight weekly sessions during the first Term. This course also introduces elementary grammar, basic vocabulary and gets students speaking with some basic conversational skills. Subsequent term courses of Introductory Arabic (i.e. our Arabic 102-104 courses) continue with reading and writing practice, introductory grammar, vocabulary, and conversation.
Those who already understand and speak some Arabic, but who do not know how to read and write, may also chose to enroll in the Arabic 101 course.
Day: Arabic 101 meets on Tuesdays and continues for eight weekly sessions.
Time: Our Term 1 Arabic 101 course meets from 6:00-7:30pm.
US Time equivalent for this course is Monday evenings 9:00pm (US Pacific) beginning 14 February 2022.
Location: EarthDiverse, 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (see map below under Location tab), on-line via Zoom, or through video recordings of our live-streamed sessions posted 1-2 days after each class.
Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:
- attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regular scheduled day and time,
- attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time,
- watch the live-recorded class sessions at you leisure at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.
These options can be mixed and matched throughout the course to suit your own availability and location.
Note: Those who cannot make the class meeting day and time either in-person or via live Zoom sessions may consider accessing this course through the weekly recorded video sessions. Class videos are posted within 24 hours of each live class session and are available for your own personal learning session on a day and time of your choosing.
Mayssaa Sheik Al Ard, our Introductory Arabic instructor, was born to a Syrian father and Egyptian mother and raised in the UAE. She is married to an Iraqi husband and currently lives in Hamilton, New Zealand. Mayssa grew up in a very diverse environment, which gave her the privilege to understand other cultures. This allowed her to be more open minded to the differences of people. A mother of six children and grandmother of five, Mayssaa graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Science, and began her career as a Laboratory technician in the UAE. After relocating to New Zealand in 1997, she completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Science at the University of Auckland. Her career path changed in 2009, when she decided to complete a master’s degree in Human Resource Management, followed by a Master in life coaching. In 2014, Mayssaa’s life underwent a transformation sparked after working with refugees in Jordan. Her passion to support refugees continued after she settled in Hamilton in 2016. With the first Syrian refugee families arriving, she took on the added responsibility of establishing a weekend school to teach these children their mother tongue, Arabic. The school is now in its 5th year with increasing numbers of students. Mayssaa continued supporting refugee families by working as an Arabic cross-cultural case worker with the Red Cross in 2017. She reinforced her skills with certifications and courses, such as the “Flourish leadership program for ethnic women” in 2019, and the “Leadership course for empowering Syrian women” in 2020 which aims to prepare Syrian women in the rebuilding of a new Syria. More recently, Mayssaa also launched a new project which targets the Arab community in Waikato, in an attempt to unite them in a safe space for networking and support. This has made her the founder and Chairwoman of the Waikato Arab Social Club.
In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our Arabic language courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.
Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.
Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.
There are no prerequisites for this course and anyone with an interest in learning Arabic may enrol.
Cost per person per Term (8 classes):
- Waged: NZ$150 (includes GST + online registration fee)
- Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): NZ$125 (includes GST + online registration fee)
Prices for Waged and Unwaged registrants remain the same regardless of your chosen method for accessing our courses. This means that you have the option to mix and match access between attending our regularly-scheduled live class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms, accessing our live class sessions on-line via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class meeting time (no matter where you are located), or watching the video-recorded sessions anywhere at a time and date of your choosing. This allows you to study at your own pace and in your own time.
Once registered, you have three choices for attending your course:
- attend our in-person class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms,
- Zoom in to our live classroom sessions and participate in discussions,
- access the live-recorded class sessions each week. This allows you to register for an entire course, even though the scheduled class session day/time may not be suitable to your schedule. You may also use this option to watch any recorded session for review, or in case you may miss a class session due to prior engagement, being away, or due to illness. This allows you to catch up with any “missed” sessions at a more suitable time.
Once registered, you will receive detailed instructions on how to access our courses via either of the distance-learning options, i.e. live access via Zoom, or watching the video-recorded sessions.
Course materials are provided to all registered students in the form of handouts, PDF attachments emailed to students, or digital materials made available to you for download. There is no need to purchase any additional Arabic textbooks for this course, although you may choose to do so to supplement your learning.
You will only require a pen or pencil and a notebook for taking your own class notes. Any notes that our instructor writes on the class whiteboard will be emailed to you as a digital PDF file so that you can print these out at home and add them to your own notebook.
LOCATION: All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse offices and classrooms located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the side of the building, see map below). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front on Anglesea Street.
DISTANCE-LEARNING: You get to chose your location when you Zoom in to our live classroom sessions, or access our classes at your leisure and at a time and day of your choosing by watching the video recorded sessions from each class. This allows you to study at your own pace.
“I wanted to learn Arabic however with work was unable to stick to the class room schedule. The classes with EarthDiverse were emailed to me each week with a link to the Zoom video of each class along with copy of the class notes. This allowed me to complete the lessons in my own time (and be able to pause and review) and still have the ability to contact tutors if necessary. I would definitely recommend this format which is informative, easy to follow and understand with ability to go over previous lessons if needed”. —Scott Percy, Tauranga, January 2021