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Arabic Curriculum

First-Year Arabic
100A-105A.First-Year Arabic I, II (six semester credit hours each). This is a course in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), which is the written language used by Arabs in 26 Arab countries. MSA is used as a formal medium of communication between Arabs. It is also the language in which modern and contemporary Arabic literature, Arabic newspapers, and Arabic textbooks are written. Although each Arab country has its own unique dialect, knowledge of MSA can enable you to communicate in any Arab country. Sporadically, we will teach some famous colloquial Egyptian expressions that are widely used and understood all over the Arab World. In addition to the thorough coverage of the required textbooks, we will be working with outside materials such as internet materials, Arab films, Arab songs, and Arab newspapers.

Course Goals
By the end of the course, you are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand some formal and informal Arabic speech.
  2. Respond meaningfully to Arabic native speakers, describe, give directions, and be able to survive everyday life situations in Arabic.
  3. Read simple Arabic newspaper articles (with the help of a dictionary).
  4. Write a 2 paragraph essay on a familiar topic.
  5. Have a good grasp of elementary Arabic grammar.
  6. Acquire basic knowledge of Arab culture.


Second-Year Arabic

110A-115A Second-Year Arabic I, II (six semester credit hours each). This course is a continuation of Elementary Arabic I and II and requires that students have completed a year's work of beginning Arabic or its equivalent. The course emphasizes grammatical and conversational skills and reviews grammar and vocabulary studied in beginning Arabic. By the end of this level, students are expected to read Arabic texts with more ease and speed; write paragraph-length compositions in Arabic about school, family, jobs, and other related topics; read and identify familiar sentence structures; engage in conversations on general topics, like greetings and the weather; and develop an understanding of the social life and cultures of the Arab world, with particular emphasis on the Middle East.

Intermediate Arabic II helps students move from a low intermediate level of skill--understanding and expressing familiar daily life topics--to a more solid one--using Arabic for general as well as professional interests, including many aspects of Arab culture. By the end of this course, students will understand, with the use of a dictionary, the main points of any non-technical text; use grammatical skills to identify the meaning of unfamiliar words; initiate and sustain discussions of topics of general interest; be able to write short essays and opinion responses on topics studied; and talk about a number of important figures and ideas in Arabic cultural history.

Third-Year Arabic
200A-205A. Third-year Arabic I, II (six semester credit hours each). Third-year Arabic is designed to review, advance, and expand students' knowledge of the Arabic language. The primary emphasis is to extend students' comprehension, communicative, and writing abilities in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).   This course will give students the opportunity to further improve their oral and writing skills. The primary texts will be Al-Kitaab II and Al-Kitaab III, which will help students work with MSA in a variety of contexts that foreground various linguistic skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), in addition to a rich cultural component. Supplementary texts will be used to improve students' comprehension of Arabic media and various aspects of popular culture. Students will continue to develop a large body of active vocabulary and begin to acquire strategies for circumlocution and to handle language situations with possible complications. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate better communication abilities, understand narrative, and describe in a variety of time frames as well as speak and write in paragraph-length discourses.

Fourth-Year Arabic
220A-225A. Fourth-year Arabic I, II (six semester credit hours each). Fourth-year Arabic will further strengthen the skills that students began to develop in third-year Arabic. This course will use Al-Kitaab III as its primary text, which will help students work with Modern Standard Arabic in a variety of contexts that foreground various linguistic skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), in addition to a rich cultural component. Additionally, a significant amount of authentic supplementary texts will be used from a variety of genres (literary, journalistic, etc). Students will learn to use more precise vocabulary and be able to make more complicated arguments and begin to engage in abstract topics. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to communicate and understand narrative and description in all time frames as well as begin to support opinions, hypothesize, and speak and write in extended discourses.