I wouldn't count on it.
If you were to learn English, would you choose any 'ole "Native English Speaker" to teach you everything about the language? Or would you choose someone who really knows the rules of English, who has studied it in depth and knows how to teach it properly? Would you choose that uneducated lad that lives in a Podunk town in the middle of nowhere? Would ya'll learn English from him? Sure, he may be able to teach you that "It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep" but is that really going to help you go study a complex book, a religious text or speak to a professional in your work-field?
The same goes for Arabic.
As there are many individuals and websites out there that claim to have teachers that are 'Native Arabic Speakers', this doesn't mean that they are or have teachers that have actually studied the Arabic language and how to teach it. Here are a few qualifications that I advise any Arabic student to consider when selecting who they learn the language from.
- An Arabic teacher should have a higher education degree in the Arabic language or at the very least should have a solid foundation of knowledge of the Arabic language as well as experience in teaching the language. Some programs on the Internet are deceiving in this aspect. Maybe the teachers do have a higher education degree (Bachelor, Master, etc), but it's not in the Arabic Language! Many 'Native Arabic Speakers' go to the university for an English degree and go on to teach Arabic. Would you hire a teacher who has a degree in English to teach you Arabic? I wouldn't.
- An Arabic teacher should know how to teach and convey the Arabic language. Not only that, but they should know how to teach it to a non-Arabic speaker, as the approach in teaching is very different than that of teaching an Arabic speaker.
- Learning any language, especially Arabic, is not just about learning vocabulary, reading and writing. It's about getting a peek hole into the culture and history. In addition, for the majority of Arabic students, it's about getting to a higher level of understanding and comprehending Al-Qur'an. A qualified Arabic teacher should understand this and know how to implement this into the studies and teaching of the language.
- Lastly, because learning Arabic for many students is about the Qur'an, an Arabic teacher should display the character of those descriptions in the Qur'an. Portraying good character (patience, kindness, etc) is an important quality of an Arabic teacher. If you have a teacher who is mean, demanding, impatient, etc...you might be turned off from learning the Arabic language.
The good news is, if you're reading this, you don't have to look further for a good, qualified Arabic teacher. Studio Arabiya sets very high standards for all of our Arabic teachers, including their educational background, their character in dealing with students, and how to teach non-Arabic speaking students. In addition to meeting these qualifications, our Arabic teachers are put through a specialized training course to develop their teaching to a totally different level.