I'm about halfway through my first year of college-level Modern Standard Arabic, and would love it if someone experienced in Arabic instruction/linguistics in general could make some suggestions for materials with which I can supplement my textbook. Bonus question if you live in or around Chicago! Look inside!
We're using the Red Book
(aka Al-Kitaab), published by Georgetown University. It's been great so far--in no small part due to our instructor, who is competent and enthusiastic--but our text isn't without its detractors
. This review is for an earlier edition, but the primary criticism is still pretty valid: this textbook assumes that we will apprehend new vocabulary and constructions from contextual clues (or from our instructor), and often skimps on clear explanations. Therefore, it's awful as a systematic reference for stuff that we've already covered, or topics that need additional explanation as we progress.
So: I'm looking for a Modern Standard Arabic grammar to supplement our textbook. There are several out there
. They're generally around $50, and totally, completely special-order-no-return items at the local booksellers. Additionally, Amazon's 'look inside' feature is vexingly thwarted by long tables of contents and/or the reversed (from the Western style) binding of Arabic texts. Anyone out there have any reccomendations?
BONUS! BONUS! BONUS!
I may be in Chicago this weekend. Earn my undying gratitude by helping me find a bookseller there who stocks one or more title that I might be interested in, so I can hold it in my sweaty hands, turn it over, test its weight, etc.