NOTE: This post does not provide lessons, tips, or anything else to be used for learning the language. It is mainly a personal post, but is still relevant to Aramaic. I do not claim masterful knowledge of the historic or even contemporary use of Aramaic. Not even close.
I speak Aramaic, though it is unfortunate that I must say I cannot write or read it. It is also sad that I'm not certain what dialect or style I speak, but since my parents are from Iran it gives you and I a clue. According to my mother, her parents were born in Iran as well (her father is Armenian, and her mother is Assyrian). My father's father was born in Turkey, and his mother was born in Russia, and they were both Assyrian. So, I just claim that I am Armenian and Assyrian (mostly the latter, obviously), but who knows for certain....
Anyway, I MOSTLY speak Aramaic to the older crowd, such as parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc. but even to Assyrian strangers or non-family (teachers, family-friends, etc.) Of course, though, I do sometimes utter some words or phrases in Aramaic to my young cousins and Assyrian friends. Also, later on in using Aramaic I learned that there were a handful of Aramaic words replaced with words in Farsi, and even some Russian. Though I have learned the difference, I still use the Farsi word since I am so accustomed to it.
I should mention that, back in summer 2005 and back home in southern California, the first Assyrian school in the U.S. was founded, and I was one of the first students enrolled. I was also the oldest student to attend the school. However, I dropped out last year due to personal reasons. I would've been the first to graduate from the school, which would've been great for history, haha. Anyway, the classes consisted of general teachings you receive in public schools with the addition of religion, Mesopotamian history, and best of all, Aramaic! These were, or still are, to be taught to all grade-levels. The first year we had Father David teach us the lessons in each of those three classes. And though I was constantly absent, again for personal reasons, I eventually noticed that his teachings and lessons of the Aramaic language were slightly different from the teacher that would replace him the following year. I just don't remember what I had spotted out, BUT I have kept just about all the handouts and lessons I was provided for my time in that class/school. Because of the lack of discipline and due to my depression, I never studied Aramaic in school, or any other subject for that matter. Seeing and hearing the students who didn't really appreciate learning Aramaic or anything else in that case succeed makes me upset in a way. I just wonder if the students ever matured enough to understand just how great and important it would be for them to really learn what they were given daily.
I have not yet visited the helpful links posted above, but I'm sure I've been to at least one of those sites a long time ago. But, if anyone is interested enough I can dig up my old handouts (from alphabet to grammar to stories) and perhaps explain the lessons and notes to you.