Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sunnipath not a sunny path.

This is going to be a whiny post so run now while you can. I just completed the sunnipath arabic 101 course. It teaches you how to read arabic and quranic arabic; its in two parts. After learning online a couple of times with the pakistani teacher that I mentioned in my other post here, I thought this course would be the same. I thought I would have a live teacher teaching me quranic arabic everyday or a few days a week until I became proficient and passed the course. But not so. The course consists of a recorded lessons with a teacher telling you the theory of the tajweed rule for each week. Each week when you get to the quranic arabic you have to learn two new rules per week. The first half of the course teaches you the alphabet and the rules for reading standard arabic. Each week you also have to do the practice work; you click on the word or letter and its read out for you. You can have up to 49 slides like this to learn per week x 2. Once per week you get to meet live with your teacher but not alone but with up to 10 other students for one hour. You do the math. So basically you are lucky to get a live teacher for 10 minutes a week. The suggested amount of studying you should do per week is 5 hours. So basically this course is a teach yourself course except for a couple of minutes per week. During the week there is an hour you are supposed to be able to access the teacher. When I tried to use this service it was to no avail. I was sick for a week and behind so wanted to make up what I missed. The teacher said sure but then never answered my email to meet up with him. For the weekly session I sort of got to make up for this course by reading one or two lines. This course also had lots of glitches with their eluminate program. So many students couldn't log on. I was constantly having mic problems and ended up buying  a new mic. This mic seemed to work only slightly better. However when most of the class disappeared and there was only two of us left by the end of the course then all the problems disappeared as well. I can only guess that maybe there was bandwidth problems. Don't ask me either where the students disappeared to. I have no idea. Perhaps they got fed up. At the end of the course is an exam to see if you can read the quran. In order to pass you need to get 80%. I think that's fair but nearly impossible without an actual constant live teacher. Did I pass? Sadly no. Was this a paid course? Yes. Would I recommend it? Only to someone who thinks they can completely learn on their own or someone who is just brushing up on their previous knowledge or someone who has a teacher on the side. Otherwise save your money. That's my opinion and its not just sour grapes. If I had even passed I know it would have been by the skin of my teeth and that's not what I was aiming for. Can I read better than before? Yes, alhumdullilah. What is needed is a combination of the constant teaching and correcting the pakistanis are doing with the theory and proper arabic pronounciation that Sunnipath offers. I would also like to add that I appreciate the fact that my teacher is operating under guidelines set out by Sunnipath and that he is probably just as frustrated as we are but should work with the administration to change the program and not blame the students. I worked hard on this course and it was a real jihad for a mother of 10 to get through this with so little help. I pray that everyone out there is able to learn the quran and pass it on, for those are the best of people. Amin.

1 comment:

  1. ASA,

    I'm really sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience. Learning anything online is difficult if you don't have the correct support -- and 6 minutes/week with a teacher (60 minutes divided by 10 students is just 6 minutes, not 10) -- anyhow -- that's simply not enough time to ask question, get answers and ensure that your pronunciation is correct. InshaAllah, you'll be able to find something that works for you.