Russian in the land of sands

A Case study by The Arabic Institute

Read this story in Russian - Beautifully translated by Vicki Doronina

Ariana S. a 33-year-old Russian mother of a 2-year-old girl, she has been living in Khobar along with her husband since 2012. Trying to adopting the new culture she found herself in, she paid an interrupted effort to learn Arabic on her own. However, it did not yield any result. When she met Tanisha D., a student of ours in a Russian-speakers-in-Khobar Networking Event, she chose to contact us and see if we could ease her pain.

Her Challenges

Ariana has already been through a number of frustrating challenges since her desire to master the language first urged her, “The lack of professional resources for non-Muslim adults in the local bookstores was among the biggest discouragements” as she describes it.

“The lack of professional resources for non-Muslim adults in the local bookstores was among the biggest discouragements”

Alternatives such as surfing the web to find a suitable book, to begin with, was not much of a help either as she lacks for the academic English, in which the majority of recourse that she wanted to try are written with. In the absence of an objective judgment, her last resort was mainly people reviews of the highly ranked resources, but they were too vague to help her formulating an opinion, not to mention the regular devotion for long hours of surfing, saving to whatever favourites, adding to whatever basket cart, and then comparing, all require her to stay up late in the night constantly when she was in desperate need for those few hours to have a shut-eyes so she could store up some energy for yet another long day with her petite kid.

How We Help

After inquiring in one email about our programs, both Ariana and her husband have agreed to try a free two-hour demo session with a female tutor as they precisely requested on an agreeable date and time, at their home. After the introductory session, Ariana, her husband and our tutor gathered around their dining table to discuss what we can offer based on her native language, other acquired languages, availability, and social circles (or who she shall be practicing the language with).

Despite the doubts regarding the upfront financial investment, Ariana was very clear about her wish of finding the kind of curriculum that will empower her to carry on with learning the language all by herself no matter how it would cost her.

Accordingly, the tutor strongly suggested the General Arabic program in a flipped classroom as the learning track, twice a week.

She was pleased enormously when she discovered that she can choose a dialect to master along with her studying of MSA, she will “finally get the chance to communicate in Arabic with my two dearest neighbors the Palestinian next door and the Syrian downstairs” from day one!

Finally, they chose the 80-hour package, divided into 4 breakable rounds, to start with.

“finally get the chance to communicate in Arabic with my two dearest neighbors the Palestinian next door and the Syrian downstairs”

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

The selected program, the flipped classroom track, and the harmonized discipline of both Ariana and her tutor all have contributed to her fascinating ever-quick achievement. Even without the need for an intermediate language, she made her way into the language in a matter of days.

Listen to her language after the second meeting:


But three weeks later, and as the materials get denser, her performance has deteriorated notably and her Student Progress Report (generated automatically) communicated that so clearly while pointing out the weakness areas alongside the completely skipped assignments:

Page 4 of the Student Progress Report
Page 5 of the Student Progress Report

In a frank conversation, Ariana has opened up to her tutor that the reason behind her passing the deadlines of the speaking and reading exercises, that the two-session/week pace was placing an additional pressure on her already-full schedule, let us not forget that she is a full-time mother and wife.

Accordingly, both Ariana and her tutor agreed to slow the pace down to one session a week for the remaining portion of her package.

Afterwards and in less than three months, Ariana was able to communicate full phrases with clear language. Listen to her exactly half the way of her package:


By passing the final exam from the first attempt, Ariana finally got the confidence she always needed to be in charge of her own learning.

Listen to her astonishing results from the graduation project, a phone call with her tutor:

Along with the handwriting project:

Part 2 of the free handwriting graduation project

Those concrete results made the ROI very visible to her as well as to her husband who has never stopped supporting her emotionally and financially.

As she reaches her final session, the curriculum designing team gifted her with a free customized plan along with a list of the resources that will assist her best as a self-learner.


Her new ability in communicating freely with Arab while speaking, reading, writing, and understanding was “just the beginning of my never-ending journey”.

“just the beginning of my never-ending journey”

How will your journey look like?

The Arabic Institute 2017/18 Arabic/Russian Brochure


  • In respect for their privacy, the students’ real names has been pseudonymous.