Frequently Asked Questions


There are other GPA centers. What sets Shababeek apart?

Everyday we strive to serve you better. When our nurturers are not in sessions, they are working to create new stories, recordings and activities to enrich your time with us. Twice a month we do training workshops to keep improving as a team. If you’ve got ideas, we are eager to listen so that we can keep upgrading..

Online listening library: At Shababeek we want you to get your money’s worth for every hour. That’s why we have hundreds of stories and recordings we’ve developed and uploaded for you to use in your sessions. This saves precious session prep time and allows you to focus purely on your growth in understanding.

Also included in your session costs are monthly workshops on intercultural development and adaptation.

How many hours do I need to commit to my success?

As many as you can.  It takes around 1500 hours of sessions to build a vocab of 10,000 recognizable words.  This is when we start to understand most of what we hear around us.  We recommend taking 20 hours a week.

Ask yourself the question: “How long do I want to wait to know people and be known by locals?”  The more hours you are participating daily, the faster the “wall of noise” around you will come alive and the more you’ll feel a sense of belonging.

How long will it take me to become fluent?

In his book, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell highlights a study originally published in the “Harvard Business Review” The general premise has become known as the “10,000 hours to become an expert rule”. In the book Gladwell explains the research behind the notion that true expertise is achieved after an individual has invested 10,000 hours in learning or practicing a skill. This may be a sport, a musical instrument or the study of something.

There are many ways to define “fluency”.  If, for the sake of argument, we consider fluency to be the same as being an “expert” in speaking a language, then a learner may well invest 10,000 hours in their language studies to attain fluency.

Instead of asking “How long does it take to become fluent in another language?”perhaps a better question is:

“How do I get my 10,000 hours of study and practice to become fluent in a new language?”

For more information on this topic, check out this article.

When do I start reading and writing?

At Shababeek our efforts are focused on helping you quickly understand the world around you and develop relationships in it.  We focus on practical skills you need rather quickly, like reading sight words on signs and text messaging your friends.

We follow the same natural progress you took in your native tongue.  In first grade you began learning to read and write the words that were already familiar.  In the same way we want to build a first grade vocabulary before learning to text message our friends.  

What do I need to bring to my language session?

All you need is a recording device and both ears.  You can purchase one (Sony digital flash recorder or Olympus recorders are both good)  or use your phone or tablet/ipad.

Which recording Apps do you recommend?

If you have an iphone or ipad, we have heard good things about Recordium (Available in the app store).  For Android, try Audio Speed Changer PRO.  If you use a different app that you enjoy, please let us know!

How can I get from the airport to my hotel or apartment in Amman?

To arrange transportation from the airport to your doorstep, contact Engaging Cultures Travel, at [email protected].

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