LingoStories – Personal Interview with Omer Kurlender, Online Arabic Course Student at LingoLearn

Learn about the personal experience of Omer Kurlender, 40, agriculturist, who successfully completed two Spoken Arabic courses, and is now beginning his third with LingoLearn:

Tell us about your personal background. What brought you to LingoLearn’s online Arabic course?

Ever since my childhood and to this very day, I’ve been living in an area where a significant part of the population speaks Arabic. I have always wanted to know how to speak Arabic myself, and have been looking for a way to learn this language.
I’m quite fond of learning languages in general, and it seemed odd to me that while I know English at a high level, and can have a conversation in Spanish, I am not able to speak Arabic at all. Moreover, I have actually spent a significant amount of time studying Arabic during my time in university. Unfortunately, the lessons focused mainly on reading and writing, and I ended up only remembering the Arabic letters.
I feel I have been missing out on many possibilities not knowing Arabic all these years – from simply watching television and listening to the news in Arabic, to my professional field of agriculture, which involves many interactions with native Arabic speakers.

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How did you hear about LingoLearn?

I had been looking for a way to study Arabic in my area of residence, which is quite remote and distant, for a long time. I had trouble finding a private tutor or a group course near me, besides one institution which did not seem professional enough and whose hours conflicted with my schedule. I tried learning by myself using books and the internet, and found LingoLearn in the process. The possibility of learning from anywhere I want, at any time I want, was very attractive to me.

What were your expectations from the course?

My goal for the first course was reaching a level of basic conversation. When I registered for the second, more advanced course, I wanted to be able to listen to the news and tackle more complex texts.

Did you have any reservations?

Not really. I’m very much into technology, so I didn’t view e-learning as an inferior option at all. The trial lesson I had was very important, as it provided me with a better understanding of how the course works and showed that there’s a dedicated teacher and a well-structured curriculum.

Tell us about your impression of your teachers.

My teacher for the first course was Ebtisam, and for the second one – Saja. They were both professional and friendly. I truly enjoyed talking to them, and would like to use this interview to thank them. There was actually a certain point where I felt that the course was too intensive, and told them that they were teaching me expressions I didn’t even know in my native language…

By how much has your online Arabic course at LingoLearn improved your level?

Both courses have given my Arabic a significant boost, allowing me to form sentences, understand when someone speaks to me, develop decent conversational abilities, watch Arabic television, and much more. I see my studies as a continuous process, and would like to keep on improving.

In retrospect, what’s your opinion regarding online learning? What are the main advantages versus conventional learning in a physical classroom?

The main advantage is flexibility – the lessons can be held from anywhere, and do not require travelling or being situated in close proximity to the school. In that regard, I have also been given a very considerate customer service, and was allowed to change and postpone lesson hours according to my convenience and availability.

Could you describe what a typical online Arabic lesson looks like?

Most lessons, especially in the more advanced stages, begin with a casual conversation in Arabic. Afterwards, we would start going through the materials from the presentation, reading them out together, and would even sing some nice songs occasionally. I would quite frequently ask to pause the lesson in order to ask questions about topics which seemed important to me, such as vocabulary and conjugation, making sure to write them down for myself. Saja used to put every explanation in writing using the virtual classroom’s board, which was very helpful.
At the end of the hour, I would receive homework, which mostly consisted of reviewing materials or other tasks suitable to my level.
During my next course, I’m hoping to face more complex assignments, such as reading and translating an item from the newspaper – something I was frequently asked to do in my academic studies, but did not yield much result.

Describe a memorable experience from the course, or an occasion where you enjoyed using your newfound knowledge.

I use Arabic all the time and keep improving with every lesson – for example, whenever I build a house and meet a new handyman, our meeting would start with a conversation in Arabic, which is much more advanced and interesting than a basic introduction. I really enjoy the idioms I have learned, and had actually asked Saja to teach me more than what the original curriculum included. My ability to come up with an Arabic expression for any situation in my everyday life is a great pleasure.

What would you say to someone who’s considering learning languages with LingoLearn?

I would strongly recommend it!
I have already referred a few of my friends to LingoLearn, and have not been shy in general with demonstrating my Arabic knowledge and sharing additional information with anyone who’s interested.
LingoLearn offers an unrivaled opportunity to study Arabic for anyone living in a remote area such as mine – there are simply no other solutions at the same level.

LingoLearn is an online language school which offers beginners’ level language courses, as well as intermediate and advanced level courses. Learn a language with our experienced teachers and excellent learning materials, in a state of the art virtual classroom!

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