ABSTRACT In teaching Arabic the cultivated speech of a significant cultural center can provide continuity and a relatively smooth transition from the familiar to the formal. It thus helps us avoid the present dichotomy of “colloquial” and “classical.” Furthermore, cultivated speech is the appropriate form for beginning a living language. It is easier and more appealing than any other Arabic variety. While syntactically it is characterized by nearly the same basic features as formal literary Arabic, morphologically it retains fewer distinctions. If the content is carefully selected, the controlled vocabulary and patterns will provide a common core throughout the learning stages. Careful consideration must be given to gradation and significant cultural context. Only then can the use of audiolingual/visual techniques be effective. Once the learner has mastered the cultivated spoken Arabic he can proceed to writing and literary varieties.