Alif Baa

Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds

Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi

"Along with teaching the alphabet, this book prompts the students to start producing the language at the novice level, also from the first chapter."
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Alif Baa is the first volume of the best-selling Al-Kitaab Arabic Language Program, now in its third edition. In this edition of Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, English-speaking students will use the integrated method of learning colloquial and formal (spoken and written) Arabic together. Alif Baa provides learners with all the material necessary to learn the sounds of Arabic, write its letters, and begin speaking Arabic.


• Four-color design throughout the book features over 100 illustrations and photographs
• Gives learners and instructors color-coded options for the variety of language they wish to learn in speaking: Egyptian, Levantine, or formal Arabic (MSA)
• Introduces over 200 basic vocabulary words in all three forms of spoken and written Arabic side by side, including expressions for polite social interaction, and activates them in interactive homework exercises and classroom groupwork
• Includes video dialogues in Egyptian and Levantine, filmed in Cairo and Damascus, streaming on
• Includes video footage of an Arabic calligrapher, capsules on Arabic culture, and images of street signs from Morocco, Egypt, and Lebanon, streaming on
• Includes English-Arabic and Arabic-English glossaries

Alif Baa provides the essential first 20-25 contact (classroom) hours of the Al-Kitaab Arabic Language Program, accompanied by 40-50 homework hours. Students who complete Alif Baa should reach a novice-intermediate to novice-high level of proficiency.

NEW: Audio and video content needed to complete the homework exercises is available to stream online for free on (DVDs that once featured the audio and video are now obsolete and no longer included in the books.)

Table of Contents


"Along with teaching the alphabet, this book prompts the students to start producing the language at the novice level, also from the first chapter."—Camelia Suleiman, Al-'Arabiyya Journal


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Kristen Brustad was an associate professor of Arabic at the University of Texas at Austin until her retirement in 2019.

Mahmoud Al-Batal is a professor of Arabic at the American University of Beirut.

Abbas Al-Tonsi is a former senior lecturer at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

pp., 8.5 x 11

Aug 2019

pp., 8.5 x 11

ISBN: 978-1-62616-694-3
Aug 2019


Aug 2019

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