Some Student Testimonials Regarding our
Arabic Classes

"Taking Arabic at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies was one of the most worthwhile experiences I have ever had. I had no prior knowledge of Arabic and consequently needed a lot of clarification. Throughout the entire course, Lucy was very patient and thoughtfully answered all of my questions. She inspired me to take the subject seriously and to make a point of becoming fluent. Lucy provided a great foundation for helping me to know the rules of grammar and then to apply those rules in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. She was entertaining, but always maintained a disciplined approach. I especially appreciated her discussion of how the fundamentals of the language contribute to Arabic culture. You couldn’t ask for a better teacher!" Nate B.

“I've been really enjoying my MSA Arabic classes with Lucy. She's really a fantastic teacher, and while I'm not speaking with any fluency yet, I'm really absorbing what I'm learning, and having a great time.”R.B.

"I was amazed how quickly Lucy helped me to catch up with almost 3 lessons of MSA2 - I read the handouts at home and got the point, she still had to do numbers with nouns etc and left over of MSA1. I hope MSA3 will continue in a Monday eve spot. Thank you for your support and such excellent instruction! I am truly in awe of Lucy…I want to continue with Lucy indefinitely" V.

“My partner and I have had semi-private lessons with Arabic teacher Lucy for over a year now. Neither one of us has had any previous knowledge of Arabic, or for that matter, experience with any other Middle Eastern language. However, Lucy has made this ongoing journey of discovery entertaining and fun. From the very beginning Lucy combines the systematic and gradual exploration of the writing system and grammar with practical exercises of simple dialogue, such as greetings and introductions. She’s always encouraging, supportive, and patient, never tiring of explaining any puzzling element of the language one might ask her about. Very impressive too is how her knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic is complemented by her extensive knowledge of a wide variety of regional dialects from throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Her positive energy, her outgoing and friendly manner, and the variety of applied approaches to teaching the language, prove her to be a teacher with heart and soul.”
Helmut Reichenbächer

“It has been an extremely enriching educational experience studying MSA1 with Lucy. She is an outstanding teacher and has the great gift and ability to teach someone with no previous background to read, write and speak this new language. Having done other language studies in various schools/universities, I must say, her courses are amongst the best I have taken. Lucy is very systematic and patient, introducing the writing and speaking step by step - she demonstrates a deep understanding of the language and the nuances of the various dialects. The pace is good and she encourages every student to participate, creating a very favorable class environment. In just three classes, I was able to start to write and read at a basic level and this is truly encouraging for a beginner. I am also amazed at how well everybody in class is doing, which speaks highly for the teacher. I look forward to taking every course she offers and highly recommend her classes.” Student, October 2008 session.
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"I can't recommend the Centre highly enough. The atmosphere is welcoming and supportive, the class sizes are small, and the teaching is excellent and catered to students' needs and progress. I took Arabic 1 - 3 with Lucy, who is the best language teacher I've met. The course is geared for students with busy schedules, but the teaching is serious and we made remarkable progress. The classes helped me understand the language well enough early on to start picking up vocabulary on my own. The classes are an extremely high value for the price, and the small staff is generous, highly capable, and kind."

"That is great, thanks! I wouldn’t want to have any other teacher than Lucy! (Or support any other institution)" Janine

"I first came to The Centre for Middle Eastern Studies in the fall of 2006. Since then, I have enrolled in 5 group sessions, as well as some private lessons. Before coming to The Centre, I spent many months looking for a place to learn Arabic. After I first contacted The Centre, I was immediately impressed by the professionalism of its members and by how quickly I received replies to my inquiries. What kept me returning session after session was the quality of the instruction, the clear vision of The Centre and the genuine warmth of both Lucy and Mazen.;

I have seen The Centre grow from two Beginner's Arabic classes to the wide range of language courses that it presently offers. Whether your aim is simply to acquire some conversational skills or you wish to be able to read Middle Eastern literature in its original form, I have no doubt that serious students will gain immensely from instruction at The Centre.

The classes are extremely well-organized and Lucy always puts together a lesson plan ;that fully incorporates readings, group discussions and authentic media. The private lessons are especially good if you want to focus on strengthening a particular language skill. Overall, I've found that Lucy creates an extremely positive atmosphere for learning, and I think that may be the most important factor for successfully learning a language.

I'm sure you can appreciate how difficult it can be to learn a new language as an adult; especially one that involves an entirely new script. I know a few people who have tried to pick up a new language but who haven't been able to see it through. I really think that without Lucy's encouragement and amazing approach to teaching that I would not have managed to make it so far. Lucy's classes presented the material in such an exciting and engaging way that I really felt like I was learning more than a language. "

"I completed two courses in Arabic language with the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies. I found the school to be professional in all my dealings with them. I am not a natural linguist and was a little nervous about learning a new language but to my surprise, I found the lessons enjoyable as well as informative. Lucy is a wonderful teacher. She pitched the classes at just the right level for the group, she prompted everyone to participate so they improved their skills and she explained (sometimes complicated) concepts clearly and concisely. She also has a great sense of humour! Most of all, she was incredibly encouraging and full of praise and patience. My Arabic improved as did my confidence in speaking it. I can honestly say Lucy is the best teacher I've had! Thanks to Mazen and Lucy for a great experience, which I hope to continue one day when possible..."

"Thank you so much for offering ASL. I've had an interest in the language for some time, but there was no place affordable to study in Toronto. Lucy's approach is very effective and the vocabulary is easy to retain. I can even understand a lot of what I hear on Arabic news stations now, in formal speeches, newspapers, etc. It's been great working and learning with you and Lucy. I am having such a great time and I look forward to the next level. The classes are fun, engaging and all of my Arab-speaking friends are thoroughly impressed when I speak with them. Thanks again for everything and for helping me enroll in classes! Shokran... Al Saaf Mumtaz!"

“I am so glad that I found this centre. Although I had been learning Arabic for a while, I was missing the class interaction that builds confidence in language use. The structure of the class, using a variety of opportunities to interact with the language and other students, has helped me much. I find myself very engaged and enjoying the learning experience. Lucy's teaching style is very encouraging, and the content selection is very thoughtful. I happily look forward to more classes and learning.”

"I really enjoy starting again in a completely new alphabet and language, and Lucy and the Centre make it easy. Lucy’s patient, comprehensive Arabic teaching helps me feel confident leaving each class that I’ve learned something (or many things!) new. The Centre is a great cultural resource for the community--bravo to Lucy and Mazen and everyone else at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies!"

”I've really enjoyed both the private and group classes that I have taken at the Centre. Although I took a year of Arabic at university, I feel that in terms of communicating in Arabic, I have learned more in the three months that I have been at the Centre than I learned that year. Lucy's approach to teaching and her encouragement have really helped increase my confidence when speaking Arabic. I've found the private lessons, which focus on colloquial Arabic, to be particularly useful, as they challenge me to communicate in practical, spoken Arabic, which is what I am most interested in learning.”

"Learning Arabic language at the Center for Middle Eastern Languages and Studies with Lucy from Level 1 to Level 2 has been very useful to me: not only the instructor knows how to give us the beautiful basics of this broad family of languages and gives us an idea of its diversity, but also she keeps going back to the repetition patterns which enable the student to feel confident on how to build upon the beginnings and happy to measure the way towards an incremental and useful knowledge for daily purposes of Arabic. As ;a class, we feel as a group: this is very lively, funny sometimes and certainly inclusive. My motivations are to make a significant move in the ability to discover many aspects of a civilization through an inner knowledge of the Arabic: learning it with Lucy gives the feeling that we are going for it."

The Centre For Middle Eastern Studies & Languages

Private, Group, and
Condensed Daytime, Evening & Weekend Courses

427 Bloor Street West,
Suite B2, Toronto
Phone: 416-904-2216

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