Most of our review stands as published. However, here are Top Tips to Make the Best of Your Experience with Alif Arabic so you can gain the most from your time and investment, Insha’Allah.
During our four weeks of classes, eight weeks with working with Alif Arabic, we had five teachers for both Arabic and Qur’an.
NOTE: We would may have continued with Alif Arabic, but new personal opportunities became available to us. We miss the Instructors in our lives now, and make du’a for them all, because we love them dearly for the sake of Allah. My family and I still highly recommend Alif Arabic with the following tips to make your journey a lot less frustrating than ours. Please also note, that we are not a typical family–we’ve moved cross-country through three different timezones, and have four students willing to take both Qur’an and Arbaic studies. So, your experiences may be much better without all these additional tips. Allahu Alam.
Top Tips to Make the Best of Your Experience with Alif Arabic
- Alif Arabic accepts both genders, all ages starting at 6-years-old.
- Request an Instructor who has strong English if you’re not a native Arabic speaker. Not all are as strong in English, or have any conversational English skills as shared earlier. It wasn’t a problem most of the time, because we’re all conversational, and we turned to my husband for added assistance.
- Be flexible with Preferred Instructors. If you’re not picky with their level of education or experience, it does not matter if you switch teachers. However, if you want to maintain your perferred instructor and have a three-hour time difference change due to a move, like we did, having classes available 24-7 is not applicable. Masha’Allah, one instructor was even willing to teach at 3 A.M. Egypt time just for us. So, they’ll definitely try their best to accomodate you.
- The biggest strengths of Alif Arabic are their Instructors! Undoutedly they love their work; they’re great teachers who know how to teach. They are highly qualified and highly persistent. During our transition and our time to decide if we’re going to continue of not, all the instructors followed-up individually–they truly care and love for the sake of Allah. May Allah bless all our instructors handsomely in this dunya and the akhira. May our paths cross again, as we all love them dearly for the sake of Allah. Ameen!
- Make sure YOU know where you or your child stopped. I requested what page in Arabic they ended their session, and what’s their Qur’an homework was for the next day.
- Be patient with customer service reps. Ideally, get on the phone when possible; we’ve found a phone call to be much more expeditious.
- Request Teacher Surveys as often as you deem necessary. Of all five instructors, only my Qur’an and Arbaic teacher had daily surveys for me to fill out which I think is ABSOLUTELY necessary–if there were any technical difficulties, problems with Internet, Skype sharing, who was on time or tardy, etc. Not having it available to me for the other instructors for three daughters was a huge disadvantage, because Alif Arbaic didn’t know how often and regular we had technical difficulties, therefore hours of wasted instrcution time. They shared that they are “testing” this option with only a few instructors. From a consumer’s point of view, I recommend that you request this necessity.
- Request daily writing lessons in Arabic IF it’s important to you. My Arabic teacher had me writing from Day 1. My girls marveled at our fun activities and interaction. The girls had two Arabic teachers in four weeks and only one daughter had one writing lesson with one teacher. They were looking forward to using the Writing Pad, like I did. As a family, after reviewing the curriculum they were Intermediate for Reading, Comprehension and Speaking, but higher-end of beginners of Writing so we were all eager for them to get these lessons. When asked, if the curriculum is individualized by teacher or set by the organization, they said I’d have to ask the curriculum department. I have not followed-up, as we’re not continuing with the program.
- If you’re interested in Ijaza, ask how you can begin this regime. We prioritized the girls working with one of the Shaikh’s with an Ijaza and capable of giving it. We never determined if our daughters would be able to obtain it, as time didn’t allow. It is not stated how an Ijaza can be obtained on their website, and I was informed to ask the curriculum department as well.
- Try different computers, laptops together at different times. SubhanAllah, our biggest problem was the inabliity to have the Arabic tacher screen-share the Arabic lessons. SubhanAllah, we’d often show that we can “share our screens” but had major problems receiving a share screen. Three times we lost 28, 27 and 23 minutes of the 30-minute class because of these technical difficulties. SubhanAllah, it was more frustrating to three eager-to-learn girls let alone the time, money and effort lost. Brings me to why requeting Instructor surveys are so important.
- Keep classes at separate times. When we didn’t have problems in Connecticut, it was okay to have two teachers, Arabic and Qur’an, at the same time and just switch every 30 minutes. However, when we had two separate 90-minute blocks, there was less pressure on the girls and teachers because they weren’t forced to move from one teacher to the next.
- Rotate your kids. Due to technical difficulties, we found it best to have one day girl 1, 2, 3, next day: 2, 3, 1; next day: 3, 1, 2. There were always problems in the first and last 30-minutes of class, this way each girl missed some class, instead of one girl missing more.
- Stay by your kids during class. While typically Arabic and Qur’an class time is mommy-time, I found in Gaza that I have much to gain by staying by my girls–the hasanats of helping them with their ibadah of learning the Qur’an and Arabic, as well as mine. It’s an investment to take classes, so staying by their side protects this investment.
Still pending or unsure:
- Monthly reports. Looking forward to the professional, translated monthly report Alif Arabic stated as one of their differentiating factors for their students.
Please share your experiences below. I was told only one family tried the free trail; however I got emails and comments sharing you took classes or requested Financial Aid.
I believe wholeheartedly that there is a definite need for Alif Arabic and their services. I stand firm that they are a Start-Up with ambitious plans, and I want them to reach them. I’m committed to helping them and believe I’ve offered dozens of hours of business advice as a Muslim buisnss owner and a frugal consumer and pray that they implement for their growth and expansion.
Allahu alam. This is not the right time, but given the highly-unusual lifestyle my family lives and strong demands of our extremely limited time, it’d be hard…
I never envisioned a “perfect” program, but an ideal one; Alif Arabic comes extremely close!
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