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Would you ever listen to anything by Innovative Language Learning again?
I may visit the website to find if there are other people providing the advanced Arabic lessons. The sales material preceding the sample lesson indicated that lessons are provided by a native speaker and an advanced student of the language; a native speaker of English reviewing the material before publication would have caught the error below.
How could the performance have been better?
The speaker pronounced the Arabic with an Egyptian accent. For learners unfamiliar with that dialect, this means spending time mentally replaying the text in one's mind replacing the Egyptian 'g' with 'j'. If this is intentional, it should be included in the information about the lesson/course with a statement along the lines of "This course teaches standard Arabic as it is used in Egypt". In the vocabulary section, the speaker offered the (supposedly) English word "pirette" for the learner to translate into Arabic. After hearing the Arabic (قرصان), I decided he was trying to say "pirate". Arrr.The person introducing the lessons encourages the listener to visit the website, but she pronounces the word "Arabic" with stress on the second syllable, and the first 'a' like 'pay', the second like 'rat'; ay-rAbic instead of Arabic.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
I was disappointed by this demonstration lesson. After hearing the introduction about the methodology, it sounded like this was a worthwhile approach to language learning, and I was looking forward to seeing how the advanced levels were handled.
Any additional comments?
The pronunciation errors may detract only slightly from the language learning opportunity, but they detract from the professional image of the program and make me extremely hesitant to spend money on these courses or a subscription to their website.
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