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Arabic Webcasts

آخر الأخبار
باللغة العربية المبسطة
A project of the National Capital Language Resource Center

NCLRC webcasts in other languages


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The News in Simplified Arabic is posted to the web twice monthly and delivers a survey of the previous two weeks' news in simplified standard Arabic. Listeners of Voice of America's "Special English" broadcasts will recognize the slightly slower rate of speech and textual redundancy which characterize these webcasts.

Why? In earlier times, the news was easy to understand. The formulaic messages were predictable and the diction clear and slow. But since the advent of modern media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, newscasts feature telegraphic speech and fast diction. Our webcasts serve as a stepping stone between the teacher talk of the classroom and the "real" Arabic of the media.

Authentic news. The news itself is taken from a number of Arabic-language sites, including BBC-Arabic Service, Al Jazeera, CNN, Al Hayat, and others. The editorial "slant" is left unchanged and should not be taken to represent the views of the NCLRC.

The accompanying exercises include pre-listening background information, vocabulary support, and post-listening activities. The exercises are written in the multiple-choice or fill-in formats. Listeners can check their answers with a mouse click.

Timeframe. The news cycle covered runs two weeks with new postings every other Monday or Tuesday.

Who can listen? The news items, style, and exercise level are aimed at students with listening skills at ACTFL Intermediate-mid to Intermediate-high. In most cases, this corresponds to college Arabic at the end of second-year.

Suggestions for listening. Listening to a flow-of-speech can be a daunting and frustrating task. Learning to live with the frustration is part of the learning curve. So we advise that you try these steps in this order:

  • Read all the exercises first! They will help you to understand everything you can.

  • Don't listen word for word. Try to get the gist. On the other hand, pay close attention to names and numbers.
  • Use your background knowledge and common sense. If you are listening to a report on a natural disaster in Brazil, chances are it won't have to do with snow.
  • While the scripts for the broadcasts are available, use them only as a last resort.

Copyright information. Users may download both the written and audio versions of the exercises, copy them, and redistribute them. The only restriction is that the material must be cited: "The News in Simplified Arabic, a project of the National Capital Language Resource Center:"

Complaints and kudos can be sent to the project director: Rana Kanaan Casteel.

Credits. Project director: Rana Kanaan Casteel. Executive Director: Richard Robin. rssSubscribe in a reader

®2009 National Capital Language Resource Center

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