Ice Methodology

Five Levels to Language and Cultural Proficiency

Immersive, personalized, and experiential from day one, ICE Methodology leverages your brain’s natural learning process, so you get better results in less time

Level 1: Vocabulary Explosion

  • Here-and-Now Play

  • 100 hours with your guide

  • 1000+ words gained

Start your journey into Saudi Arabic with 100 hours of here-and-now play in Level 1.  Best experienced in a dynamic, interactive small group setting, you attune your ear to Arabic by pointing, listening, and performing various actions as you gain confidence understanding objects and situations around you in everyday life.

Completing Level 1 enables you to say and respond to basic greetings and have simple conversations. Most importantly, you create a strong foundation of Saudi Arabic words, expressions, and mannerisms on which your entire language journey is built.

Level 2: Conversation Building

  • Story Building with Pictures

  • 150 hours with your guide

  • 1200+ words gained

Continue building your vocabulary while speaking more extensively. Level 2 employs wordless story books, combining Level 1 material with present and past verb tenses. In addition to dedicating focused time to practice pronunciation and grammar patterns, further immersion allows you to pick up Saudi idioms, expressions, and conversational sentence formation.

Level 2 gives you useful tools to tell simple stories from your life and communicate about many everyday situations.

Level 3: Knowable

  • Stuff-We-Both-Know Conversations

  • 250 hours with your guides

  • 2000+ words gained

Hear and retell longer stories. Level 3 incorporates a mixture of well-known world stories with classic local tales as well.  You and your guide venture into the city to have shared experiences, then discuss the outing together and build vocabulary from the experience. Shop for a thobe or abaya, get a haircut, cook local cuisine, or create your own adventure. The possibilities are limitless.

With the skills gained from Level 3, you can sit with your Saudi friends and share simple life stories – knowing others and being known in Arabic.

Level 4: Deep Personal Relationships

  • Deep-Life Conversations

  • 500 hours with your guides

  • 3000+ words gained

While Level 4 can seem formidable at 500 session hours, it is also one of the most fun and rewarding.  At this level, you and your guides share meaningful life stories and explore fascinating cultural topics. You progress beyond simple exchanges to discussing deep thoughts and opinions. Throughout the level, you experience Saudi culture through the eyes of your guides as they talk about that are important to them. You also grow in your ability to read and write texts.

After Level 4, you’ll be in an exclusive category of the few non-Saudi communicators on earth who can easily handle most life situations and have smooth-flowing conversations about a variety of topics in the local Saudi dialect of Arabic.

Level 5: Widening Understanding

  • Conversations about Native-to-Native Discourses

  • 500+ hours with your guides

  • 3000+ words gained

When native speakers interact with non-native speakers, they often simplify their language considerably. Level 5 equips you to understand and participate within a group of Saudis conversing at full speed. With your guides, you watch and listen to local media designed for native audiences, then walk through them at a pace that allows you to understand the content, along with cultural nuances.

Completing Level 5 makes you eligible to apply for Saudi citizenship. Just kidding, but you will be able to join native-to-native conversations without slowing down or disrupting the native speakers.

After Formal Study: Ever Growing

  • Extensive, ongoing participation in host communities of practice

  • Unlimited hours with host people

  • Slow and steady growth in vocabulary through encounters with new words during lifestyle participation

The road goes on forever, and the Arabic never ends. In Level 6, you learn through living.  At this point, you’re able  to understand enough native-to-native discourse to regularly be making deposits to your Arabic knowledge bank. Continuous natural exposure to a variety of accents, dialects, and colloquial speech adds breadth and depth to your understanding of Saudi language and culture. To support your ongoing journey, we offer targeted sessions with our guides to help you fill any gaps, e.g. to break any bad habits, improve pronunciation, focus on a different dialect, or learn specialized vocabulary for your particular personal or professional needs.