ARAB 100/6.0 Introductory Arabic
Instructor: Ayah A. Durkawi
This course will enable students to communicate in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) using four key skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The course is designed for beginners with little or no knowledge of the language.
A diversity of dialects exists throughout the Arabic speaking world, and MSA is considered the common denominator. It is used for formal spoken and written communication on official occasions, in education, and in the media. This course will also give students exposure to some colloquial elements of the language in order to prepare them to communicate in many real-life situations.
At the completion of the course, students enrolled in ARAB 100 will be expected to have gained the following knowledge and skills:
- Be able to read and write short sentences and paragraphs in Arabic;
- Be able to speak briefly about themselves and about topics from everyday life;
- Be able to initiate and maintain short discussions on personal and general topics; and
- Be familiar with the some basic aspects of Arab culture necessary for effective communication.
There are two field studies for this course. Students will visit the Islamic Gallery at the British Museum, followed by a Middle Eastern shopping experience on Edgware Road and lunch at the famous Lebanese restaurant, Maroush. As well, students will visit Al Souk @ Nour Festival in Notting Hill, which will be “bustling with the sounds of the streets of Cairo, Beirut, Aleppo, and Marrakech with a selection of the very best in design, fashion, jewellery, visual art, photography, music, literature, illustrated books, furniture, and stationery.”
This course aims to teach the Arabic language in an experiential manner, incorporating various aspects of Arab culture deemed indispensable for the learning experience. It is recommended that students acquaint themselves with certain aspects of Arab society, culture, history, politics, and religion, as these facilitate learning the language in its proper context.
Students will be evaluated on the following assignments over the two terms of the course:
- Class attendance will constituted 5% of the student’s overall grade, while participation will be worth 10%;
- Three written quizzes and a number of oral assignments that, together, will be worth 20% of the final grade;
- Short pre-class assignments will be completed throughout the length of the course and will be worth 20% of the student’s final grade;
- A cultural portfolio that consists of two 300-word essays written in English on activities that provide students with the opportunity to engage with Arab culture, which will be worth 10% of the student’s final grade;
- The presentation of a short skit in Arabic that covers one or more of the main themes of the course worth 15% of the student’s final grade; and
- A cumulative written exam worth 15% of the student’s final grade and an oral exam, which will test listening comprehension and speaking ability, worth 5% of the student’s final grade.