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al-Kitaab: Part Two

al-Kitaab fii Ta`allum al-`Arabiyya: Part Two 2nd ed. by Mahmoud al-Batal, Kristen Brustad, and Abbas al-Tonsi

Primary Use: Textbook for moving from intermediate level Arabic to advanced
Format:10 chapters, each with new vocabulary, various lessons with the included DVD set, exercises throughout the chapter, and reading passages
Key:Separate volume
Meant For:Intermediate to advanced


The al-Kitaab books have a particular philosophy of teaching grammar. It states in the preface to al-Kitaab: Part One that "students acquire language by constructing their own internal grammar rather than by internalizing a presentation of grammar to them" (al-Kitaab: Part One p xii). However, beginning in al-Kitaab: Part Two, a slight departure from this philosophy is taken. Although certain grammatical concepts still remain embedded in the lessons, the lessons specific to grammar occur more frequently and in a more timely fashion. The longer vocabulary lists also include roots of the new words as well as various conjugations of new verbs and their masdars.

The grammar in al-Kitaab: Part Two focuses on two key areas of Arabic grammar. One is the root and pattern system; the other is complex sentence structure. The focus on the root and pattern system is why the vocabulary lists are structured in the new way in this volume. The practicing of complex sentence structure largely rests on translation exercises.

As in the previous volume, the grammatical concepts presented generally move from the simple to the increasingly complex. However, the grammar lessons are not tied down to any particular story in this volume.

How to Use It

In order to use this book to the fullest extent, one must already know the following:

  1. The Arabic script
  2. Arabic numerals
  3. solid foundation in Arabic at the intermediate level
  4. preferably have gone through Alif Baa and al-Kitaab: Part One
As with al-Kitaab: Part One, a computer with DVD capabilities is also necessary in order to do all the exercises in the book. However, this book focuses more on reading and less on listening in general.

The chapters in this book are meant to be gone through in order, as each chapter builds on the previous chapters, making it seem difficult to skip around. However, various grammatical topics can be referenced through the grammar index in the back of the book, and these can be skipped ahead to if so desired. Unlike al-Kitaab: Part One, and perhaps unfortunately, in al-Kitaab: Part Two there is only an Arabic grammar index and no corresponding English grammar index. The index is in alphabetical order and is not based on the root system. Some grammatical items in the index are located in al-Kitaab: Part One; these items are indicated by the page numbers in parentheses.

As in al-Kitaab: Part One, grammatical terms in Arabic are not found in the Arabic-English dictionary located in the back, although they can be found in the grammar index.

The table of contents also references some of the grammatical lessons, but as this is written entirely in Arabic, one must be aware of the Arabic grammatical terms before browsing this section.

Additionally, various charts are found in the back of the book. There is a diagram of parts of the body, a chart on colors, many charts on verbs, and so forth. A list of these charts can be found in the table of contents. It should be noted that these charts are written almost entirely in Arabic. It is worth browsing through these charts before beginning the book, as it is easy to forget they are back there and ready to be used.

The answers to the exercises are found in the key which can be purchased separately.


al-Batal, Mahmoud, Kristen Brustad, and Abbas al-Tonsi. al-Kitaab fii Ta`allum al-`Arabiyya: Part Two. 2nd ed. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2006.