If you are looking to undertake a language immersion programm in Amman, then that’s great news!
Amman is a great choice due to the abundance of opportunities to converse in Jordanian Arabic on a daily basis.
From shopping for groceries at a local supermarket to getting a haircut at a local barber shop. From getting a ride in a taxi or even extending your visa at the police station, chances are you’ll need a working knowledge of spoken Arabic to get by.
Amman is unlike other cities like Beirut where foreigners can easily get around daily without any knowledge of spoken Arabic due to the widespread usage of the English and/or French language.
So without further ado, let’s look at the seven language centers situated in Amman that you can choose from to jump start your Jordanian Arabic or take it to the next level.
Qasid Institute is a well-known and reputable Arabic language center.
Although more famously known for their Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) courses, the institute also offers Jordanian Arabic lessons as part of their their "Amiyya Program".
However due to their established reputation, it means that the prices of their courses are in a higher range compared to other language centers in Amman.
Qasid Institute is conveniently located right next to a shopping mall where students can do their grocery shopping. It's also ten minutes away from Sport City where students can maintain their active lifestyles and get access to sports and gym facilities for a fee.
In addition, the institute conducts an excursion trip to one of Jordan’s touristic destinations as part of its orientation programm to welcome their new students.
All in all, Qasid’s experienced instructors coupled with their proven teaching methodology will put you in good hands if you have the budget to spare.
You can find out more information on the Qasid Institute website.
Ali Baba International Center is an Arabic language institute that offers both Modern Standard and colloquial spoken Arabic lessons.
The center is conveniently located within walking distance to many local eateries, cafes as well as bookstores.
Importantly, the strategic location of being directly opposite the University of Jordan allows for plenty of opportunities to meet potential language partners.
Having language partners is a great way to gain valuable extra speaking practice opportunities. It's also a great way to exchange cultures and form friendships.
In addition, Ali Baba International Center has a free language partner program that helps you to find a language partner by matching you with a pool of local university students who are interested to learn your native language.
As a side note, I undertook a one year program at Ali Baba a few years ago and personally feel that the center hits the sweet spot in terms of pricing and quality of teaching.
You can find out more information on the Ali Baba website.
Sijal Institute stands out from the rest of the language centers in Amman due to its location.
While most language centers are commonly found in ordinary buildings, Sijal Institute is housed in an historic villa right at the end of Rainbow Street, Amman’s most famous street.
Being in Rainbow Street, which is a cultural district of Amman, means that students are surrounded by cozy quaint cafes, rustic restaurants and art galleries.
Sijal Institute also has an outdoor balcony and terraced garden filled with fruit trees where students can chit-chat while sipping on hot teas.
Furthermore, Sijal Institute holds additional programs such as calligraphy classes and a Brown Bag lecture series where different speakers are invited to give a short presentation on a range of interesting topics during lunch time.
If you’re interested in Sijal Institute, simply follow them on their Facebook page to check out their most recent activities.
Alternatively, you can find out more information on the Sijal website.
CGE Jordan is tucked away in a neighborhood called ‘Khalda’ and is located on the third floor of a furniture building.
Khalda is an ordinary neighborhood and the center is within walking proximity to numerous local restaurants and cafes.
The director of the center is the author of the book, 101 Most Used Verbs In Spoken Arabic: Jordan and Palestine which is a popular resource among students who are learning Jordanian and Palestinian Arabic.
CGE Jordan prides itself on its teaching methodology which differs from other traditional Arabic programs.
The center has its own specially designed curriculum for Spoken Arabic called the "Spoken Arabic Capsules of the Levant" that is designed to build students’ proficiency in a strategic manner.
In addition, CGE Jordan has many videos on its YouTube channel that help viewers learn Jordanian Arabic. Through these videos, you should be able to see for yourself the quality of the teaching that they offer.
You can also find out more information on the CGE website.
Ahlan Jordan is a branch of the parent company, Ahlan World, which has other centers located in Egypt and Morocco.
The center is located in one of Amman’s oldest neighborhood called “Jabal Al-Weibdeh” or “Weibdeh” for short. Over the years, the district has transformed into a cultural and artistic hub where artists and writers gather in quirky cafes and art galleries.
Students studying in Ahlan Jordan will be based in a charming and trendy neighborhood filled with painted murals and small independent shops.
Like other language centers, Ahlan Jordan organizes extracurricular activities such as calligraphy classes and weekend trips to famous touristic destinations in Jordan.
Besides offering Jordanian colloquial Arabic lessons, the center also offers one-to-one and Skype classes to cater to those with schedules that do not match the center’s standard curriculum.
You can find out more information on the Ahlan Jordan website.
Institute Francais de Jordanie, otherwise known as The French Institute of Jordan, is located in Jabal Al Weibdeh, which is the same neighborhood as Ahlan Jordan (mentioned above).
The French Institute conducts language workshops that teach students French as well as Jordanian Arabic.
Their workshop sessions range between two to four days a week and some being more intensive than others, thus catering to a wide range of students with different schedules.
Furthermore, the institute is a popular option especially among foreign expats who are working in Jordan and who wish to pick up the spoken dialect in order to better integrate in the community.
After all, the French institute is not only located in a cultural and trendy neighborhood but also home to pubs and bars, thus providing expats with nightlife options.
Besides holding language workshops, the French Institute also conducts a wide range of workshops that include capoeira and yoga.
You can find out more information on their website.
Al Mashriq Center which is located along Queen Rania Street prides itself on being one-of-a kind language center.
Other other language centers separate Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) studies from Jordanian Arabic. However, Al Mashriq Center offers students an integrated curriculum that teaches both Jordanian Arabic and MSA at the same time.
A balanced approach like this reflects the natural use of the language by natives and allows students to become all-rounded Arabic learners.
Although Al Mashriq Center is located in an ordinary neighborhood, it is still just a half hour drive to downtown Amman and other more happening districts.
Last but not least, the center also offers students field trips and volunteer opportunities with a number of non-profit organisations.
You can find out more information on the Al Mashriq website.
So there you have it: seven language centers that offer Jordanian Arabic lessons to choose from!
There are definitely more language centers than the seven mentioned in this post but these are the more popular ones among foreign students.
More research is obviously needed in order to narrow your choice down to one or two language centers.
However, rest assured that most language centers do assist students in terms of accommodation as well as airport taxi transfers.
Teachers and management style of the centers may change from time to time. It's always good to join Facebook groups such as Expats To Collaborate in Amman and ask for advice.
There is a high chance that you’ll find former students from different language centers in such Facebook groups that can provide greater insight on the quality of teaching.
Lastly, if a language program is not your thing, there are always freelance tutors who conduct private tuition at your place of convenience.
Have you studied in another Arabic language center in Amman that is not listed here? Why not drop a comment below and tell us all about it?
Have fun in Jordan and I wish you all the best!
This post was contributed by Harilyn Tahir.