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should I learn Arabic with a partner?

Should I learn Arabic as an individual, or with a partner?

This is a question many Arabic learners face. Up front, it’s good to be aware that personality has a significant impact in terms of whether or not people decide to partner or whether or not the partner they have is the right fit.

Partnering may not be a great option for you if you are quite competitive or insecure. Having someone else with you in your Arabic sessions may bring both of these traits to light. Taking individual sessions does allow you to move at your own pace entirely, with no interference. But that does not always mean you will move faster.  The key learning Arabic successfully with a partner is to be paired up with someone who has a similar strength for language acquisition.  

Benefits to learning Arabic with a partner

Aside from the fact that sharing sessions with a partner is financially beneficial (generally 3 JD per hour less than the individual rate, which amounts to 4,800 JD saved over 1600 hours), having a partner can offer some other advantages. A fellow sojourner who going through all the same growing pains and joys of learning can make the process more enjoyable. To be able to debrief the cultural concepts and practices you are learning with another person can also be an asset. Showing up with someone who knows if we reviewed our recordings from previous sessions can hold us accountable to learning Arabic at a steady pass.

Some people like to be pushed in this way. Like training for a marathon, a buddy can help you get up and out the door in the morning when it’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself.  

Be aware of your needs

For some people, having a partner alongside you as your learn Arabic together can be like playing ping-pong in pairs versus one on one. Some learners like to take a step back and have someone else take a turn in communication. This offers a brief respite and can make more hours at a quicker pace less intense. It’s helpful for Arabic learners to be aware of their preferences in this area. Sharing speaking time can be helpful to some, while others find hearing someone else make mistakes frustrating.  

A scenario that allows for both of these options would be to take Arabic sessions 4 days a week with a partner, leaving one day to take private sessions focused on any points of growth or specific areas you would like to develop.