Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world and it has almost 300 million native speakers. It is therefore no surprise that learning Arabic represents a major opportunity for the rest of us.
Learning a foreign language is always an asset, but with one as wide spread as Arabic, anyone who can speak this Semitic language adds a string to their bow when applying for jobs, not to mention the benefits for travel lovers who visit Arabic speaking countries.
What's more, learning Arabic opens the door to a fascinating culture, full of rich history and unknown contributions to our modern society. Perhaps you want to visit the pyramids in Egypt, or visit the Islamic holy city of Meccca in Saudi Arabia. Or maybe you simply want to wonder through the bustling markets of Marrakesh and experience its authentic Arab culture.
Whatever your desire is, learning Arabic will come in handy in a wide range of situations.
So you have decided to take an intensive Arabic course to try and learn Arabic quickly. So you do some research and you discover that there are several different dialects that you could learn, as well as Modern Standard Arabic (also know as Literary Arabic or Classical Arabic). Confusing right?
But don't fear, there is plenty of information online which can help you decide what type of Arabic to learn. What you need to be careful with after having decided, is the financial aspect.
How much does it cost ? What is the price of an Arabic course?
Can you learn Arabic on a small budget?
Are there any free options available?
The Cost of Arabic Classes: Rates According to Location and Teacher
Private Arabic classes are an excellent way to learn a specific Arabic dialect. Arabic dialects differ between each Arab country and so Egyptian Arabic is different from Moroccan Arabic. A private tutor from one of these countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, or anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa) can help you with the specific phrases, expressions and verbs, plus the different grammatical structures and Arabic letters, of his or her native language.
Your budget will heavily influence how you decide to learn Arabic, whether to learn Arabic online or engage a private tutor to come to your house.
How many Arabic lessons it takes will depend on your commitment and your end goals. The range of prices is dependant on a number of factors, such as geography and each individual teacher.
Learning is expensive. Especially since an Arabic language course is not like a math course: qualified teachers are more rare than English or French teachers.
Given this, Arabic teachers can demand more money as they have a rare linguistic skill set which not that many people have.
Don't be too downbeat. Below we will look at how the prices can vary, and we will try to give you some more economic options for learning Arabic.
Fluctuating Price of Arabic Classes Depending on Location
The hourly rate for learning Arabic is around $40. However, depending on the city and the state, the price could be higher or lower - Arabic courses London will not cost the same as lessons in Whitby.
In the big student cities, a half-hour lesson in the Arabic language will cost you on average between $15 and $20.
The price of a private lesson will be higher in big cities because the cost of living is higher there than elsewhere. Public transport is also more expensive than in other parts of the country.
As with any service, Arabic professors logically reflect the cost of living in the cities where they work in the prices that they charge.
Learning Arabic will be more expensive if you get Arabic classes from a good teacher who lives a long way away as they will have to travel to you in order for you to have the classes.
It is therefore important to choose your private teacher according to your geographical location. However, this is not the only criteria. The profile of the chosen Arabic teacher is very important as well.
Rates Vary From One Teacher to Another
Not all Arabic teachers structure the courses that they offer in the same way. For example teachers offer the first hour free so that they can assess the level of their pupil, while others do not.
Others offer discounted rates over the year in order to "keep" their students. All this inevitably affects the price of the course.
Then comes the Arabic proficiency level of the teacher. In the US, being a private teacher is not really regulated.
Thus, anyone of working age (16 years old) can give private lessons. But take into account the teacher who is offering the classes.
A student in Arabic language and civilization will not have the same level as a person whose mother tongue is Arabic. The price of the class will therefore change accordingly.
It is therefore imperative that you find the best Arabic teacher for you.
A native Arab teacher will be able to charge $40 per hour for classes of literary Arabic. On the other hand, a graduate of an Arabic degree who has a lot less experience will only realistically be able to charge $20 per hour.
Please note, in order to give classes in any language, the teacher shouldn't have an education level a lot lower than the pupil. This is one way of ensuring that the teacher is suitably qualified to be offering classes and that he or she has the required level in Arabic to merit teaching you the language.
Finally, the price per hour of Arabic classes can vary according to the frequency with which the student wants classes. Some teachers agree to lower the price per hour if the student wants a high volume of classes.
It is therefore better for the teacher to have a regular student for two hours a week at $15 per hour ($120 per month) rather than receive $20 per hour from the same student but for only one hour per week ($80 per month).
Another factor to note is the level of the student. Prices will vary according to the student's Arabic experience which is something we will now go on to look at.
How The Student's Level Can Affect The Price of Arabic Lessons
There can be a sizeable difference in the cost of private Arabic lessons depending on the educational level of the student (are they in primary school or university), and their experience with the Arabic language (are they taking Arabic for beginners classes or intermediate classes).
The methodology, the level of Arabic needed and to a certain extent the preparation required, will all differ drastically depending if the classes are for children or adults, beginners or advanced language learners. These factors will therefore impact on the price that the teacher charges.
What's more, courses, and their prices, taken at school will differ depending on if it is a primary school or a secondary school. This will again differ for courses at universities and for private adult learners. As a general rule, the price of private Arabic classes increases with the age of the student and their level of Arabic.
The level of the student is important for the price of the classes because in order to teach more advanced levels of Arabic, the teacher needs to be an expert in dialectical Arabic or literary Arabic, which is not the case for teaching classes to young beginners.
Finally, the rates for adult classes can fluctuate between prices as high as $50 and $100 per hour in language schools or specialized organisations on Arab-Muslim culture.
Different Prices for Arabic Lessons Depending on The Type of Lesson
To choose the right option for you to help you achieve your objectives, it is important to know all the types of classes and online resources available to you.
- Private lessons at home:
These will allow you to learn Arabic from a private teacher who will give you personalized classes.
This is a good opportunity to learn the alphabet, Arabic script, Arabic grammar, Arabic verbs, the structure of a sentence, and oral conversation in Arabic, with a focus on Arabic pronunciation. This form of private tuition is for help with school if you are already studying Arabic, for students with an advanced level and for adults who want to learn a new language.
- Intensive classes and courses:
If you want to improve your level and pass exams, you can take intensive courses. These are home school tutoring classes or intensive Arabic classes in a language school. If you are a beginner, this is a good chance to learn Arabic quickly. You will learn about Arabic culture, as well as reading and writing of Arabic words.
- Private tuition in a language school:
Ideal for having a solid foundation in Arabic, private courses in a language school allow for good learning of Arabic: learn the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet, Arabic grammar and Arabic writing.
If you are religious, go to a specialized Arabic language school, and you may even be able to receive Islamic education classes in Arabic from your local mosque.
- Free online courses:
If you want to learn literary Arabic on a modest budget, find a website that offers free Arabic classes online.
For any purpose - intensive courses, to learn or increase your level of Arabic learning, improve your pronunciation, learn the alphabet or even to learn to read the Quran - lessons will help you develop although the self-driven nature of such classes and the lack of a teacher makes it difficult to progress if you aren't fully committed or if you get really stuck.
What's more, such websites often offer affordable online classes with a teacher as well (around $30 per hour).
- Private lesson by a freelance tutor:
These are Arabic classes provided by people with qualifications in teaching, but teaching Arabic is perhaps an independent second job that they have to make ends meet.
Although these teachers are freelance, they often work with the help of agencies and therefore prices can increase to about $35-40 per hour once the extra fees have been taken into account
Specialized Institutes For Arabic Tuition
There are also organizations and mosques that teach you to read, write and speak Arabic with a focus on Islam and the Quran. They are therefore specialized in religious teachings, and often offer multi-level courses.
So, what is the price of a private Arabic course? Well, it all depends the learner's budget and what you're ready to put in, really.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for so if you are not willing to invest in learning Arabic, then expect the Arabic classes to be of a lower quality.
One is for certain, if you do enrol, be sure the make the most of your Arabic Lessons.
With the importance that Arabic has in the world, knowing how to speak this Semitic language will be an asset for you! Even basic Arabic will take you a long way in the Arab world as you will pick up enough vocabulary and Arabic phrases to have a conversational level with a native speaker.
It is most definitely worthwhile.