General things to look for in a institute/teacher:
1) Reliability – This is the number one most important thing you need to consider before sending any money to begin your learning relationship.
Reliability in terms of:
– They are not going to run away with your money. Money is often requested through Western Union/Money Gram or Paypal.
– They are going to turn up on time. A positive sign for any decent institute/teacher is the speed in their reply to your correspondence.
2) Teaching quality – It is really hard to tell as a beginner, but other time you will find the teaching methods that would suit you. A 1 hour trial lesson should enable you to assess whether you can benefit from such a teacher or not.
3) Internet speed – Some teachers have really slow internet connection that really kills of any benefit from a interactive class. You should pay keen attention to this during your trial lesson/s.
1) Word of mouth referrals – This is the ultimate best method when trying to find a teacher online. Ask friends and their friends. Ask your local Imam or Islamic organisation. Ask in particular those who have recently returned from learning Arabic overseas. But if that is not an option there are other avenues listed below.
2) WizIQ – I don’t have a commercial relationship with them, but I do use them for the various courses I do study online. I have noticed they have have a substantial bank of private Arabic teaches. This recent screenshot (30/12/2013) shows 1,746 teachers. Remember to always ask for a trial class first.
3) Institutes via Search Engine – To help you start your search online, the filters I normally use are:
– Ignore sites that make pre-recorded lessons form a large part of the curriculum.
– Ignore anything above the USD $15 per hour mark. Anything more is quite pricy with little additional returns.
– Sites that have originated from the West. This is because they normally just charge a premium as the “middle man” and make a profit margin. It is always better to go direct right?
– My search terms are “learn arabic online” then I normally add the name of the country, to remove western sites. E.g “learn arabic online egypt”
I like Egypt, because teachers from there are highly educated and the pricing is very reasonable.
To start you off, below are just some examples of what I have found in the order I found them in a quick google search. Please note, I have tried to list the more popular institutes I don’t actively endorse any of the institutes below. It is up to you to do your own research as to the reliability of the institute.
May Allah bless your studies