How to find a teacher for private Arabic lessons

If you’ve decided you want to learn Arabic, you’re very unlikely to find a classroom course in your local town. If you want to learn a colloquial dialect, you sadly have almost no chance of finding a classroom course.

When I was learning Levantine Arabic, I was lucky enough to be living in London, where the University of London specifically offered a Levantine Arabic course. But it was the only one in the whole of the UK.

How to find an Arabic course or teacher

For most people who are serious about learning Arabic and want to follow a structured course there are really only two options:

  1. An interactive online course which you study alone at your own pace. Rocket Arabic is a good example.
  2. One-to-one lessons with a private teacher, using video calls. iTalki is a great website for finding professional Arabic teachers.

What about finding a teacher in your local area for face-to-face lessons? It’s possible, but I’m not sure where you would look. You could try searching for relevant Facebook groups for your town.

Taking private lessons online is much more convenient and is also very cost effective. There are many professional Arabic teachers on iTalki offering lessons for as little as $10 (£7.46) per hour. Here are three examples of teachers who teach Modern Standard, Levantine and Egyptian:

Arabic teachers on iTalki

Example of an Arabic teacher on iTalki

Example of an Arabic teacher on iTalki

Why are private Arabic teachers such good value for money? Many of these teachers are living in countries where the cost of living is much lower than in the English-speaking world, so they are able to charge low prices.

My tip for private lessons

If you’re going to pursue the route of private lessons. I have one key tip for you: To really make progress in a language, you need to study regularly. At least once a week.

When you’ve found a teacher you like, book a package of lessons with them and schedule the lesson times in advance. Having a regular lesson booked every week, will help you progress more quickly.

If you don’t schedule a package of lessons in advance, you’ll find it’s easy for a week to pass by without you finding time for a lesson. Or your teacher may be already booked up for that week.

The other advantage of booking in advance is that some teachers offer a discount if you book a package of lessons.

[Feature image by Chevanon]