Conversational "Shami" Arabic Classes Start After Labor Day


The Markaz is happy to announce registration has begun for a new term of Arabic classes, which will begin mid-September at the location on Pico Blvd. Beginning classes start on Saturday, Sept. 12, 9 am-12 noon and every Saturday morning thereafter, for eight weeks. Intermediate classes begin on Sunday 9/13, 1:30 to 4:30 pm for eight weeks. Syrian instructor Bassam Aljazairi has a unique approach to teaching this diverse language: his focus is on the Shami or Levantine dialect, while lessons are infused with Modern Standard Arabic and vocabulary common throughout most dialects.

Classes are three hours, once a week for eight weeks (a total of 24 hours of class time). Cost is $300 when you pre-register (25% off the standard $400 tuition for day-of registrants). Early registration is now open. To register or for more information, contact Lynne Mangione at or call The Markaz, 310.657.5511.

Why learn Arabic at The Markaz?

The Markaz is an Arab/Middle Eastern cultural center where you always mix with native Arab speakers at our public programs. And Arabic is one of the world's major languages, spoken in a broad belt extending from the Arabian Peninsula north to the Fertile Crescent and then west to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the official language of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, making it the mother tongue of about 230 million people. In 1974 Arabic was made the sixth official language of the United Nations.

Whether you are interested in the Middle East for professional purposes or you are looking to discover a whole new world displayed by a rich and different language, our conversational Arabic classes are the answer to your quest. 

Teaching methodology: Immersion

The concept of immersion is based on the idea that we acquire knowledge faster and better when we learn it naturally through comprehension. In practice an immersion curriculum does not rely heavily on grammar drills or assignments in translation. Grammar is learned by inference and gentle corrections of speech by the teacher. At the beginning level of our Arabic classes teachers will speak as little English as possible. From the intermediate level onward English will not be spoken at all. 

Students are encouraged to speak and use their new language skills, as much as possible, in order to incorporate them into memory. What this curriculum demands of students is merely that they be open to learning and willing to try to speak and practice the language skills the teacher wants them to produce. Such a methodology is unique to The Markaz in the Los Angeles area.

Feedback from our students

"I really enjoyed my time and can happily recommend Levantine classes to anyone. The enthusiasm of all the staff and the teacher are not only a fabulous background for the learning experience but really made this place feel like home! Thanks for everything!" —Sarah

"During my time at the Levantine Cultural Center, I made enormous progress in my writing and speaking in Arabic. The programs were flexible and adapted to my needs. My teacher was wonderful and helped me to understand the cultural aspects of his home country of Syria!" —Travis.

"The thing I am most pleased by is the quality of the teaching and instruction. The teacher is excellent and motivated. I also enjoyed my tutoring sessions. I liked the fact that the teacher encouraged the use of Arabic outside of the classrooms." —Eric.

"Overall, I was very impressed with The Markaz and would recommend it to friends, students, or university programs." —Jon M.C.

"I had a great time, received excellent teaching, and learned a lot. It is a friendly place and one I would highly recommend." —Suleiman 

Fees and Registration

The Markaz's everyday Arabic program runs for 8 weeks with 3 hours a week. Students are expected to pay the full tuition at the beginning of the program. No cancellations or refunds after the first week of classes. A 25% discount is offered on all Arabic classes when you register early (anytime before the first day of class), saving $100 right up front!

  • September 13, 2015 at 12pm – 3pm
  • The Markaz
  • 3 people are going
  • Lynne Mangione


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