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Arabic Pod 101 Review

Saturday, June 25th

2022 Arabic Lesson Reviews

Arabic Pod 101 Review 4.5 Star Rating

Arabic Pod 101

4.5 Star Rating
  • Five levels of Arabic instruction, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced
  • Several paid plans to choose from
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Content refreshes regularly
  • 7-day free trial of Premium features
  • Get one-on-one help from professional teachers with Premium Plus membership

Arabic Pod 101 is one of many languages offered by Innovative Language Learning, all called "Pod 101" or "Class 101" . In every language they teach, the company gives students access to an unparalleled amount of content, with updates that include vocabulary related to current events and pop culture.

Drop the sales pitch and get on with it!

We've evaluated this provider across lots of languages, and one thing stays annoyingly the same: the sales pitch! To create your free user account, you'll have to check off a lot of boxes - all with the hope that you'll be convinced to sign up right away for a membership or spend $1 for a "limited-time offer you'll never see again" . We wish they'd drop all of that marketing, because it obscures the fact that this is actually a solid language-learning platform and not some gimmicky service you'll regret using. On the plus side, you don't have to accept any of those "buy now" offers: just skip past it and finish making your user profile, no problem. When we did that, we still got a free week of Arabic Pod 101's Premium level of service, no credit card info needed.

Arabic lessons spanning 5 content levels

We're always excited to see Arabic lessons that provide enough room to grow. Arabic Pod 101 covers five different fluency levels: Absolute Beginner (can introduce yourself, count to ten), Beginner (can read and write basic Arabic script, greet people, order at a restaurant), Intermediate (can make future plans, follow simple instructions and give directions), Upper Intermediate (can speak in past/present/future tenses, make sentence with imperative and conditional verbs, tell a story or make an argument), and Advanced (can understand complex sentences, describe situations in detail, understand and discuss opinions). You can change your difficulty level at any time.

Fairly traditional approach to learning

You're not going to see a lot of game-like tools or fancy features here. Most Arabic lessons will include a native speaker dialogue, vocabulary, lesson notes and a transcript. We noticed that the lessons seem to focus both on MSA and Moroccan, and you can see the main or traditional script, translation in English, the Romanization for pronunciation purposes, vowelled text, or all of the above. Some exercises will ask you to listen to a native speaker, record yourself speaking the same text, and then manually compare your accent to theirs. We usually prefer automated speech recognition, but some experts rightly make the point that such software is infamous for over- or under-correcting students' spoken Arabic.

Best Arabic Lessons

An overwhelming, endless supply of new Arabic lessons

Where Arabic Pod 101 can be a little daunting is when you look at all of the possible learning pathways. Yes, you'll have one automatically populated according to the fluency level you set at the beginning, but there's so much more. Just click on "Add a Pathway" and you'll see what we mean! In the Classic Absolute Beginner Pathways alone, we found options for 3-Minute Egyptian Arabic, Alphabet Made Easy, Survival Phrases and many others. Even without considering the pathways, simply looking at your dashboard can send you off down any number of learning "rabbit holes" . There's free "gifts" every month that may include cheat sheets, vocab lessons and more, and you'll always spot new audio and video files under Newest Lessons. Yikes!


  • Free access to thousands of lessons
  • Basic membership: plans range from $8/month to $96 for two years
  • Premium membership: plans range from $25/month to $240 for two years
  • Premium+ membership: plans range from $47/month to $549 for two years

Premium Plus: expensive but potentially worth it

To minimize confusion and get the most out of your Arabic lessons, you may want to invest in the Premium Plus membership on Arabic Pod 101. It's not cheap at $47/month, but it gets you assigned to your own private teacher. He or she will customize your learning plan, so that you don't have to wade through all of the possibilities yourself. You'll also have the ability to get feedback on homework assignments, on your spoken and written fluency, and receive acknowledgement for all of your progress! Because this company has a 60-day money-back guarantee, there's nothing lost if you decide to give this top-tier subscription a try for a while.

Lower-cost subscriptions available

If you're not quite ready for the highest plan here, there are two more affordable options. The Basic plan lets you access all of the lessons and study tools, while the Premium incorporates more tools for review like transcripts of the audio dialogues and flashcards. Not sure if it's worth it? Use the 7-day trial of the Premium features, and then let your account revert to the free one - then see what you're missing as you continue to study!

Arabic lessons for everyone

Despite being a little overwhelming, Arabic Pod 101 gives you lessons that will keep you learning. Use it for a month or for years, and there will always be something new just around the corner. We'd be happy to see the marketing pitches dialed back by a lot, but besides that we give these Arabic lessons a strong ranking.

Where Can You Get the Best Arabic Lessons?

If you've tried to find classes near you, you already know that it's a challenge. Without a university or an Arabic-speaking community nearby, your opportunities to learn the language might seem pretty slim. Fortunately, there's no shortage of ways to study Arabic from home - or from anywhere you've got your phone or tablet!

We also congratulate you on your interest, because Arabic speakers are in high demand. As one of the official working languages of the United Nations and spoken by over 400 million people, Arabic can open doors to business, travel, or intercultural friendships.

The Best Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lesson Reviews What are the best Arabic Lessons Best Arabic Lesson Reviews

Arabic Lesson FAQ

It is estimated that there are over 420 million speakers of Arabic worldwide, making it one of the five most commonly-spoken languages around the globe. This includes both native and non-native speakers.
Generally speaking, there are two basic forms of Arabic: standard and colloquial. The former is used by the media and in universities, literature and formal writing. If you take Arabic lessons from a Western school, this is probably the form you'll get. But, this isn't the way Arabic speakers use the language in their day-to-day lives! If you know that you'll be using Arabic mainly in one particular location (e.g. Egypt vs. Persian Gulf nations vs. Lebanon), it might be worth looking for an Arabic course that at least introduces the dialect of that area. On the other hand, of all of the Arabic dialects, Egyptian is the most widely-understood by all speakers (largely due to the nation's popular music, film and TV industry), so learning the Egyptian dialect is a safe bet too.
If your first language is English, be prepared for your Arabic studies to require some work! Ranked as a Category IV language by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, Arabic is "exceptionally difficult" on par with Japanese, Korean and Chinese. But, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it's definitely doable!
Your first step should be to learn the Arabic alphabet, so that you don't have to depend on transliteration into English. Arabic experts also recommend that you memorize the plural forms of every noun you learn, because they can be very different (no tacking on an "s" like we do in English!), as well as the verb forms and any prepositions that go along with them. Finally, as with learning any language, give yourself plenty of time to study regularly; a few minutes here and there won't get you speaking Arabic fluently!
Availability, affordability and access: for those three reasons alone, you should consider studying Arabic online. Many colleges and universities don't offer courses in the language, and there's no guarantee you can secure one of the coveted seats in the class if your school does. Studying Arabic online can be done according to your preferred schedule, and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay per credit hour at a local school.
If you're studying Arabic online, you will probably need to take a few extra steps to enable the language on your computer. The steps depend on whether you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, so search for the instructions according to your operating system. There are also online Arabic keyboards you can use without changing your computer settings.
No! They're definitely less costly than taking in-person courses. Some programs charge a one-time fee, while others use a month-to-month subscription format. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a one-off software purchase, or between $10 and $30 per month for an online course that lasts up to two years. You've got lots of options!
That depends on the provider you choose. Some offer satisfaction guarantees ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase or start of the subscription plan, while others only allow you to cancel future months without refunding past payments. We recommend that you use any free materials offered by the Arabic lessons platform prior to making your choice: you can often take full sample lessons or watch a demo of how the program works, which will help you get a feel for which Arabic lessons are the best fit for your preferences and learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Learning Arabic has other advantages. Mastering it lets you quickly grasp related languages like Hebrew, Urdu, Turkish or Farsi. Fluency in Arabic can help you understand Islam, read the Qur'an, or delve into the history of the Middle East. And, don't overlook how the work required to comprehend a different writing system from English can benefit your mental agility!

Now that you're even more convinced that it's the right time to take Arabic lessons online, where should you start? That's the perfect question! One size does not fit all, so here are some factors to bear in mind as you sort through the options and choose the ideal path for your studies:

  • Arabic Dialect: Arabic varies greatly depending on where it's used. Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA, is what's typically taught in schools. But did you know it's not used as spoken Arabic...anywhere? Consider how you plan on using the language and choose the dialect that makes the most sense. Not sure? Then Egyptian might be the most logical choice: you'll find it in a lot of the TV shows and movies you might wind up watching later on!
  • Teaching Methods. How do you learn best? Do you need in-depth explanations of grammar and pronunciation, or would an app you can use from day-to-day for quick vocabulary practice be enough? How important is it to you to speak fluently and not just read/write in Arabic?
  • Value. What does the program offer? Can you get a free trial or sample lessons to try before you buy? If you choose a paid subscription or make a one-time purchase, what's included? Will your Arabic lessons last long enough to keep you progressing?
  • Refund Policy. If you pay for a membership or language program, can you get your money back if the lessons don't live up to your expectations?

To help you with your language goals, TopConsumerReviews.com has tested, evaluated, and ranked the top Arabic lessons available today. Your journey can start today as you find the program that's right for you!

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