I received an extended trial period in exchange for writing this review. Getting the extended trail period in no way colored my review or changed any of my opinions.
Studio Arabiya is an online one-to-one tutoring service with a live teacher for learning Qur’an and/or Arabic. On their About page they are described as:
Studio Arabiya is the home of the premier Online Arabic and Qur’an Teaching Specialists. Whether a child or adult, beginner or advanced student, Studio Arabiya has specialized Arabic and Qur’an teachers for all ages and levels. With our online programs, learning Arabic is maximized at your convenience from the comfort of your own home. By using our innovative virtual classrooms, you will be able to see and hear your teacher as if you were sitting in the same classroom with them.
We’ve been looking for online Arabic lessons for quite some time, and I’ve never heard anything negative about Studio Arabiya from friends, so I was excited to try them! We had gotten to a point where I think Care Bear was being slowed down by the way I was teaching her. Since I don’t know the suwar (chapters) she’s working on, I can only point her to outside resources. We have been using QuranExplorer.com for a few years now, which has worked fine, but we aren’t correcting her tajweed (pronunciation) along the way. Alhamdulilah, I can see us using Studio Arabiya as our online Arabic solution for a long time, in sha Allah.
Specific Feedback of Studio Arabiya Qur’an Class
Signing up was very simple with the streamlined form in which you describe what level you believe you are at currently, and what course you want to take (Qur’an, Arabic, both, or Advanced Studies), of course along with your personal information. We have chosen to do the Qur’an Lite program at this time since we are balancing Care Bear’s schedule at her dad’s and her first year of high school, plus honors level courses. During sign up, you choose a couple available time slots for your initial assessment and the final time is confirmed via email. All lessons are conducted via Skype, which I like for the sake of simplicity. Too often there are technical issues with online classes, and it’s nice that the lessons are on an established platform with great online documentation for support.
The initial assessment was short, just 12 minutes, and a few key items were covered to see what was Care Bear’s true level. She was asked to recite Surah al-Fatihah, read the first two ayat of Surah Baqarah, and read a few words and sentences in Arabic via the shared screen on Skype. The person conducting the assessment called five minutes after the agreed upon time, though it was not clear who was supposed to call who initially.
Care Bear’s lessons started with the last suwar, in which she has had memorized for quite some time now. Her teacher had her work on her qaf, dal, and ba specifically to perfect her pronunciation. I’m really happy with how the teacher told Care Bear to focus on a specific letter, then had her repeat the one word with the focus letter a couple times until she got it. What’s more, if I did this with Care Bear, she likely would have gotten a bit discouraged, but with her teacher she listened attentively and continued trying to do as she was told.
Here’s what Care Bear has to say about the class and how it works also:
Every week, we start with a short review. It’s typically the last 2 or 3 suwar depending on how long they are. During our first lesson, we worked on my pronunciation. We covered Suratun-Naas, Suratul-Falaq, and Suratul-Ikhlaas.
When learning a new surah, or going over an old one that you don’t remember fully, you’ll go over a few ayat at a time, repeating each one twice before moving to the next one. After going over the set a few times, the teacher asks for you to read them by yourself, and after doing that a few times, the teacher will ask for you to recite it from memory.
When I mess up, my teacher is very patient. I enjoy this class,and I’ve found it helpful with my memorization skills, and remembering my suwar.
I like that the text used is simply the Qur’an. We have gone through so many programs that it feels like a jolt to start yet another book, so this was a breath of fresh air to simply use the Qur’an instead of a supplementary text.
Summary of Studio Arabiya Trial
I can say both Care Bear and I are very happy with Studio Arabiya at this point, alhamdulilah. I like that it is one thing off my plate, and it motivates me to get to a point where I can take a class also, in sha Allah. Before, Qur’an work seemed so hard when we would do it together since neither of us are an expert, so it seemed like such a big hill to climb. I started wondering if I’d ever get ahead of my kids and be able to teach them myself. Now watching Care Bear work with her teacher and make great progress on reviewing her suwar and perfecting her tajweed, it seems more within my grasp.
She’s been very happy with her teacher who doesn’t overlook mistakes, and corrects her with care and respect. The fact that I never have to remind Care Bear of her lesson is impressive. It seems things she doesn’t like very much gets forgotten about easily and that’s not been an issue at all.
As I said earlier, I can see us using Studio Arabiya for quite some time. See my curriculum post for how I’m supplementing our Islamic Studies outside of just memorizing Qur’an.
Studio Arabiya offers a one week free trial to everyone! No credit card numbers to enter, no tricks… just a way to try out their classes and find that you love it, too!