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Language Courses

Arabic Courses on AMIDEAST Programs

Arabic is a diglossic language. That is, there are two varieties of Arabic, one for reading and writing and another for speaking. The textbook series used in Arabic courses in all AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World, Al Kitaab fii Taallum al Arabiyya, introduces both from the beginning to help students engage easily in their host country and learn the language as its native speakers learn it. However, in the AMIDEAST programs separate courses address two the different varieties of Arabic – Modern Standard Arabic and the local dialect.

While the multi-media materials that accompany the Al Kitaab series are available only in the Egyptian and Syrian dialects, AMIDEAST, with partial support from the International Research and Studies Program of the U.S. Department of Education, has produced multi-media materials to accompany the series in Jordanian and Moroccan dialects. In addition, also with partial support from the U.S. Department of Education, AMIDEAST has produced multi-media materials to supplement classroom instruction and assist students in the development of cultural competence in Egyptian, Jordanian and Moroccan dialect and culture. All of those materials are used in the colloquial Arabic courses taught in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in those countries.

Students on the AMIDEAST Area & Arabic Language Studies program earn a total of 8 credits in the Arabic Language. Each student will receive 80 hours of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic (5 credits) and 45 hours of instruction in colloquial Arabic (3 credits). Students are placed into appropriate Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic levels based on an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and written Arabic exam conducted prior to their departure.

All students enroll in Modern Standard Arabic (5 credits) at a level appropriate to their proficiency. The following levels are offered:

  • Modern Standard Arabic I (Arabic 101; 5 credits)
  • Modern Standard Arabic II (Arabic 102; 5 credits)
  • Modern Standard Arabic III (Arabic 201; 5 credits)
  • Modern Standard Arabic IV (Arabic 202; 5 credits)
  • Modern Standard Arabic V (Arabic 301; 5 credits)
  • Modern Standard Arabic VI (Arabic 302; 5 credits)
  • Directed Studies in Arabic (Arabic 401; 5 credits)

Special tutorial arrangements are made for students whose proficiency is beyond the advanced level (Arabic 401); depending on student interests, various emphases can be offered in Arabic 401.

Colloquial Jordanian Arabic (3 credits) instruction begins during on-site orientation and continues throughout the semester. Students are placed in classes appropriate to their previous knowledge of Arabic:

  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IA (Arabic 135; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IB (Arabic 136; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IC (Arabic 137; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic ID (Arabic 138; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IIA (Arabic 235; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IIB (Arabic 236; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IIC (Arabic 237; 3 credits)
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic III (Arabic 335; 3 credits)

 

Media Arabic is also available as an elective (3 credits) at both the 200- and 300- levels.

 

For more information about Arabic courses and the placement test process, please view the Modern Standard Arabic with AMIDEAST Overview here.

 

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) with AMIDEAST

 MSA Level

TextbookCoverage
Arabic 101Alif Baa (2nd Edition); Al-Kitaab, Book One (2nd Edition)Chapters 1-5
Arabic 102Al-Kitaab, Book One (2nd Edition)Chapters 6-13
Arabic 201Al-Kitaab, Book One (2nd Edition) and local supplementary materialsChapters 14-20
Arabic 202Al-Kitaab, Book Two (2nd Edition) and local supplementary materialsChapters 1-5
Arabic 301Al-Kitaab, Book Two (2nd Edition) and local supplementary materialsChapters 6-10
Arabic 302Al-Kitaab, Book Three (2nd Edition) and local supplementary materialsChapters 1-5

Arabic 401

Teaching Materials will consist of faculty selected materials from around the Arab world. Al-Kitaab, Book Three (2nd Edition) will also be used, but not as a primary textbook.N/A

 

Modern Standard Arabic Course Descriptions

ARAB 101: Modern Standard Arabic I (Arabic 101; 5 credits)
This course introduces the Arabic alphabet and sound system forms. Students will be given ample opportunity to practice and produce both the alphabet and the sound system; they will start developing their vocabulary via specific structures presented in the textbook. Students will learn simple grammatical structures and gradually listen to authentic and instructional materials that come with the textbook. Most of the exercises and the activities are task-based and student-centered. The course will cover the material in Alif Baa and Al-Kitaab, Part One, Second Edition, Chapters 1-5. By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Distinguish and pronounce all Arabic sounds;
• write accurately from dictation;
• initiate social interactions, ask for basic information, and be aware of basic cultural aspects of social interaction in the Arab world;
• talk about themselves, their education, and their family with native speakers of Arabic;
• comprehend simple written texts on familiar topics;
• comprehend simple audio/video texts on familiar topics;
• compose simple paragraphs about themselves; and
• be familiar with some of the differences between formal and spoken Arabic.

Primary textbooks for Arabic 101:
Alif Baa Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
Al-Kitaab fi Ta’allum Al Arabiya with DVDs A Textbook for Beginning Arabic: Part One, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
• Locally produced materials, selected by program faculty

ARAB 102: Modern Standard Arabic II (Arabic 102; 5 credits)
This course consolidates material learned in Arabic 101, and introduces students to more advanced and more challenging linguistic and cultural material from Al-Kitaab, Part One, Second Edition, Chapters 6-13 as well as locally produced authentic materials. By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Activate the learned vocabulary through interactive activities;
• understand basic grammatical structures in Arabic;
• produce a lengthy descriptive and narrative discourse in speaking;
• express their opinions and show their preferences using structured language;
• follow and understand short written and spoken texts in the news in the TV;
• read mid-size texts, using skimming techniques appropriate for their level; and
• learn more aspects of Arabic culture.

Primary textbooks for Arabic 102:
Alif Baa Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
Al-Kitaab fi Ta’allum Al Arabiya with DVDs A Textbook for Beginning Arabic: Part One, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
• Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic edited by J.M. Cowan
• Locally produced materials, selected by program faculty

ARAB 201: Modern Standard Arabic III (Arabic 201; 5 credits)
This course is designed to reinforce all the linguistic skills at both the reception and production levels. Students will also get a wide exposure to many aspects of Arabic culture through integrated outings designed for them to practice Arabic language in genuine contexts. The material covered in this course is from Al-Kitaab Part One, Second Edition, Chapters 14-20. By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Use basic conversational tasks successfully in different social situations;
• understand and use basic grammatical rules;
• read mid-size texts;
• extract the main ideas of non-technical texts;
• extract the main points in video materials and be able to discuss important ideas;
• develop conversational skills using a variety of language functions (e.g., description, comparison, cause and effect, arguing for/against, etc.);
• engage in a variety of daily conversations;
• give short presentations on topics of interest;
• understand basic grammatical rules and structures in Modern Standard Arabic;
• converse in Arabic using a variety of language functions appropriate for their level; and
• acquire knowledge about major aspects of Arab and Islamic culture.

Primary textbooks for Arabic 201:
Al-Kitaab fi Ta’allum Al Arabiya with DVDs Part One, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
• Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic edited by J.M. Cowan
• Locally produced materials, selected by program faculty

ARAB 202: Modern Standard Arabic IV (Arabic 202; 5 credits)
This course is a continuation of Arabic 201. Course objectives are seen in terms of students performing linguistic tasks successfully, gaining self-confidence, and expanding their risk-taking in real-life communicative situations. This course covers the material in Al-Kitaab, Part Two, Second Edition, Chapters 1-5. By the end of this course, students will be able to
• Guess the meaning of new words from contexts;
• use skimming and scanning techniques;
• write short paragraphs correctly;
• read authentic material from Arabic advertisements, short narratives, descriptions of people and places, simple contemporary poetry, topics on Arab culture, etc;
• write both informal and formal letters;
• write medium length compositions on familiar topics, including descriptions, short narratives, etc;
• master and distinguish Arabic sentence structures;
• understand and construct simple paragraphs and simple texts;
• enrich their vocabulary;
• understand some Arabic spoken situations;
• read and understand short paragraphs and short texts;
• write correct sentences and correct paragraphs and short texts; and
• begin to acquire more developed ideas about Arab and Islamic Culture

Primary textbooks for Arabic 202:
Al-Kitaab fi Ta’allum Al Arabiya with DVDs Part Two, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
• Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic edited by J.M. Cowan
• Audio-visual materials, texts selected by faculty from Arabic newspapers and magazines, etc.

ARAB 301: Modern Standard Arabic V (Arabic 301; 5 credits)
This course is designed to move learners from a stage where they have achieved the basic grammatical skills, to being able to use language in a wider cultural context. At this stage, learners will be widely exposed to the main issues related to the Arab world. This course adopts a skill-based approach in which learners gain mastery of the language through the use of authentic materials taken from various sources. Teaching techniques are student-centered, with the instructor as the facilitator, and the goal of teaching to make students independent users of Arabic. Encounters with Arab professionals and visits to relevant institutions will be integrated in the syllabus. Evaluation will be based on both achievement of syllabus materials and success in out of the classroom tasks. This course covers the material in Al-Kitaab, Part Two, Second Edition, Chapters 6-10. By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Understand more complex grammatical structures;
• listen to daily news, lectures, take notes, and make comments;
• describe elaborately things that are close to them;
• compare issues and show their preferences;
• express their own viewpoints and defend them; and
• linguistically behave appropriately in various situations.

Primary textbooks for Arabic 301:
Al-Kitaab fi Ta’allum Al Arabiya with DVDs Part Two, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
• Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic edited by J.M. Cowan
• Audio-visual materials, texts selected by faculty from Arabic newspapers and magazines, etc.


ARAB 302: Modern Standard Arabic VI (Arabic 302; 5 credits)
This course provides additional practice at the advanced level to help students attain a higher level of skill development (e.g., listening, speaking, reading and writing) and linguistic accuracy. This course covers the material in Al-Kitaab, Part Three, Second Edition, Chapters 1-5, with local supplementary materials. By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• Expand more essential vocabulary that helps them to cope with topics of professional interest;
• obtain information, to understand the ideas presented in a text, to discover the author’s point of view and to seek evidence for their point of view;
• enrich their grammatical knowledge and apply it as one of the analytical tools in comprehending reading texts;
• produce lengthy descriptive and argumentative discourse in speaking;
• summarize texts and express their points of view in writing and speaking; and
• interact with native speakers and engage in discussions of contemporary issues.

Primary textbooks for Arabic 302:
Al-Kitaab fi Ta’allum Al Arabiya with DVDs Part Three, Second Edition, by Kristin Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi
• Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic edited by J.M. Cowan
• Audio-visual materials, texts selected by faculty from Arabic newspapers and magazines, etc.

ARAB 401: Directed Studies in Arabic (Arabic 401; 5 credits)
In this course, students use authentic material from literature, academic research and both print and electronic media to develop their abilities to extract essential information and identity linguistic nuances. Students are expected to produce reaction papers where they express their own assessment of the content, the form of the text and the position and the arguments of the author. Students also are expected to be able to identify figures of style and produce texts demonstrating near native competence.  Teaching materials will consist of faculty selected materials from around the Arab world. This course may be repreated for credit up to three times.

 

Colloquial Jordanian Arabic Course Descriptions

ARAB 135: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IA (Arabic 135; 3 credits)

Co-requisite: ARAB 101

This course is intended for students who have no previous experience with Jordanian dialect and are studying Modern Standard Arabic for the first time.  Students are introduced to basic vocabulary, expressions, and grammar structures used frequently in the local environment. This course aims to help students reach a level where they are able to navigate a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in colloquial Arabic in straightforward social situations. Conversation in this course focuses on real life exchanges with host country nationals on common topics key to basic functioning in the target language and culture. By the end of the course, students are able to ask essential questions and understand the responses, express basic facts and opinions in simple sentences, and engage in simple conversations in colloquial Arabic with native speakers.

ARAB 136: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IB (Arabic 136; 3 credits)

Co-requisite: ARAB 102

This course is intended for students who have no previous experience with Jordanian dialect and possess a beginning proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic.  Students are introduced to basic vocabulary, expressions, and grammar structures used frequently in the local environment. This course aims to help students reach a level where they are able to navigate a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in colloquial Arabic in straightforward social situations. Conversation in this course focuses on real life exchanges with host country nationals on common topics key to basic functioning in the target language and culture. By the end of the course, students are able to ask essential questions and understand the responses, express basic facts and opinions in simple sentences, and engage in simple conversations in colloquial Arabic with native speakers.

ARAB 137: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IC (Arabic 137; 3 credits)

Co-requisite: ARAB 201 or ARAB 202

This course is intended for students who have no previous experience with Jordanian dialect and possess an intermediate proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic.  Students are introduced to a range of vocabulary, expressions, and grammar structures used frequently in the local environment. This course aims to help students reach a level where they are able to navigate a number of communicative tasks in colloquial Arabic in straightforward social situations. Conversation in this course focuses on real-life exchanges with host country nationals on common topics that are key to functioning in the target language and culture. By the end of the course, students are able to ask questions and understand the responses, express facts and opinions in simple sentences, and engage in conversations in colloquial Arabic with native speakers. This course builds on vocabulary and concepts studied in previous Arabic courses which allows for quicker progression with the colloquial dialect.

ARAB 138: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic ID (Arabic 138; 3 credits)

Co-requisite: ARAB 301, ARAB 302, or ARAB 401

This course is intended for students who have no previous experience with Jordanian dialect and possess a high-intermediate to advanced proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic. Students who have studied Modern Standard Arabic for several terms are introduced to a wide variety of vocabulary, expressions, and grammar structures used frequently in the local environment. This course aims to help students reach a level where they are able to successfully navigate a number of more complicated communicative tasks in colloquial Arabic in social situations. Conversation in this course focuses on real life exchanges with host country nationals on topics key to communicating in the target language and culture. By the end of the course, students are able to ask questions and understand the responses, express facts and opinions in simple sentences, and engage in conversations in colloquial Arabic with native speakers. This course builds on vocabulary and concepts studied in previous Arabic courses, which allows for quicker progression with the colloquial dialect.

ARAB 235: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IIA (Arabic 235; 3 credits)

Pre-requisite: ARAB 135 or ARAB 136 (or the equivalent)

Co-requisite: ARAB 102 or ARAB 201

This course is intended for students who have already studied one term of Jordanian dialect and have limited experience with Modern Standard Arabic. This course aims to strengthen all-around proficiency and speaking skills in a wide range of daily situations and common tasks. The course prepares students to understand conversations about personal life and the surrounding environment. In addition, this course exposes the student to real-time speaking.  Students learn to converse and describe all major time frames (past, present, and future), as well as to contribute to conversations on a variety of familiar topics, with a high degree of accuracy, clarity and precision in the local dialect. This course builds on vocabulary and concepts studied in previous Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic courses and allows for more advanced practice using colloquial dialect.

ARAB 236: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IIB (Arabic 236; 3 credits)

Pre-requisite: ARAB 137 (or the equivalent)

Co-requisite: ARAB 202 or ARAB 301

This course is intended for students who have already studied one term of Jordanian dialect and have studied Modern Standard Arabic for several terms.  Students with a high-intermediate background in Modern Standard Arabic develop the capacity to understand main ideas and details in continuous speech on various topics in colloquial Arabic. While full understanding is still limited, by the end of the course students are able to ask questions and understand the responses, express facts and opinions in complex sentences, and engage in conversations in colloquial Arabic with native speakers on a wide range of topics. This course enables the student to meet daily and situational needs and requirements of a study and work routine. Students learn to handle complex conversations with confidence and social attitudes in simple non-academic language. This course builds on vocabulary and concepts studied in previous Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic courses and allows for more advanced practice using colloquial dialect.

ARAB 237: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic IIC (Arabic 237; 3 credits)

Pre-requisite: ARAB 138 (or the equivalent)

Co-requisite: ARAB 302 or ARAB 401

This course is intended for students who have already studied one term of Jordanian dialect and have studied Modern Standard Arabic for several terms.  Students with a strong background in Modern Standard Arabic develop the capacity to understand main ideas and details in continuous speech on various topics in colloquial Arabic. While full understanding is still limited, by the end of the course students are able to ask questions and understand the responses, express facts and opinions in complex sentences, and engage in conversations in colloquial Arabic with native speakers on a wide range of topics. This course enables the student to meet daily and situational needs and requirements of a study and work routine. Students learn to handle complex conversations with confidence and social attitudes in simple non-academic language. This course builds on vocabulary and concepts studied in previous Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic courses and allows for more advanced practice using colloquial dialect.

ARAB 335: Colloquial Jordanian Arabic III (Arabic 335; 3 credits)

Pre-requisite: ARAB 235, ARAB 236, or ARAB 237 (or the equivalent)

Co-requisite: ARAB 201, ARAB 202, ARAB 301, ARAB 302, or ARAB 401

This course is intended for students who have already studied two terms of Jordanian dialect and have studied Modern Standard Arabic for several terms.  This course prepares the student to absorb most of the main ideas and details in continuous speech in colloquial Arabic on various topics, both academic and non-academic. This course enables the student to use vocabulary, expressions, and structures used frequently in everyday life at an advanced level. The student also learns to contribute to conversations on a variety of familiar topics, with a high degree of accuracy, clarity and precision. This course also aims to make students readily understood by native speakers unaccustomed to dealing with non-native speakers.  Additionally, students are able to state an opinion or cite conditions.  This course may be repeated up to three times.

 

Media Arabic Course Descriptions

ARAB 215: Media Arabic I (Arabic 215; 3 credits; Prerequisite: Mastery of the material covered in AMIDEAST’s Arabic 102; Co-requisite: Arabic 201 or Arabic 202)
The course introduces students to the Arabic used in the media. The course is designed to assist students to read simple news items in different newspapers from Arab countries; listen to and understand broadcast news; and understand the role of media in shaping Arab thought. This course utilizes the book Media Arabic: A Coursebook for Reading Arabic News (Revised Edition, 2014) by Alaa Elgibali and Nevenka Korica in addition to authentic materials, with an emphasis on the local media. Typically offered in both fall and spring terms depending on student interest.


ARAB 216: Media Arabic IA (Arabic 216; 3 credits; Prerequisite: Mastery of the material covered in AMIDEAST's Arabic 202 or higher; Co-requisite Arabic 301 or higher)
This accelerated course introduces students to the Arabic used in the media. The course is designed to assist students to read simple news items in different newspapers from Arab countries; listen to and understand broadcast news; and understand the role of media in shaping Arab thought. This course utilizes the book Media Arabic: A Coursebook for Reading Arabic News (Revised Edition, 2014) by Alaa Elgibali and Nevenka Korica in addition to authentic materials, with an emphasis on the local media. Typically offered in both fall and spring terms depending on student interest.


ARAB 315 Media Arabic II (Arabic 315; 3 credits; Prerequisite: Mastery of the material covered in AMIDEAST’s Arabic 215, Arabic 216, or the equivalent; Co-requisite Arabic 202 or higher)
This course exposes students to the Arabic used in the media. It focuses on mastering basic vocabulary commonly used in Arab print and electronic media, developing the ability to read and understand Arabic newspapers without using a dictionary, developing the ability to listen to radio and television news broadcasts, writing short summaries of news articles and broadcasts, and discussing current economic, political and social issues covered in the Arabic media. All of the material used is authentic, with an emphasis on the local opinion pieces and advanced news from local media. Typically only offered in the spring term when there is sufficient student interest.


Arab 316: Media Arabic III (Arabic 316; 3 credits; Prerequisite: Mastery of the material covered in AMIDEAST’s Arabic 315 or the equivalent; Co-requisite Arabic 202 or higher)

This is an advanced course for students who have taken at least two media Arabic courses previously. This course exposes students to the Arabic used in opinion pieces and on electronic media (radio, television, documentaries, etc.) and focuses on mastering vocabulary commonly used in Arab print and electronic media, ability to read and understand Arabic newspapers without using a dictionary, ability to listen to radio and television news broadcasts, writing summaries of news articles and broadcasts, and discussing current economic, political and social issues covered in the Arabic media. All of the material used is authentic, with an emphasis on the local opinion pieces and advanced news from local media. Only offered periodically.