Tomas Flynn (USA)

I had the good fortune to study with Muhammed Ghudai for seven months in Damascus. His instruction methods and learning materials greatly assisted my development into a confident practitioner of the language; able to positively contribute in discussions spanning a variety of topics, understanding Arab news media, and writing effectively. Our studies focused on three units. Modern Standard Arabic, Syrian Colloquial Arabic, and News Media. Ustaz Muhammed was thoroughly prepared for each. He lectured on diverse topics including sports, contemporary politics, and dating and socializing and prepared lists of vocabulary related to each. He utilized Syrian television shows, and explained and explained colloquial phrase and words and demonstrated their proper usage. He prepared questions about prerecorded Aljazeera programs which trained my ear to understand subtle differences in words. He assigned pertinent homework, always related to the lessons studied, and demanded that I use new vocabulary in my homework and outside of class to speed the learning process. Most importantly he encouraged active discussion and classroom participation and would repeatedly ask me questions to gauge my understanding of the subject matter. I have studied Arabic for five years now at the Lebanese American University, the University of Damascus, and at the University of Minnesota and the best teacher I have studied Arabic with is Ustaz Muhammed.