Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Curriculum and Classes

Instruction is based on a pedagogical approach in which students gain competency in both MSA and colloquial Arabic. All ASI levels consist of two sessions: June 7 – July 12 (session 1), and July 16 – August 17 (session 2). Final exams are administered at the end of each session, with continuation to session 2 conditional upon earning a final grade of “C+” or higher in session 1.

Students may choose to apply to one or both sessions. Each session makes up one of the two courses of your admitted level, beginning, intermediate or advanced. Preference for admission will be given to those who apply to both sessions.

Arabic Course Listing

Beginning Level, 12 credit hours, ARA 601C & ARA 611C

Intermediate Level, 12 credit hours, ARA 621K & ARA 621L

Advanced Level, 10 credit hours, ARA 531K & ARA 531L

Please note: These courses do not provide in residence credit at UT.

Beginning Arabic “First Year”

This course supports students with no prior knowledge of the Arabic language in developing strong communication skills in formal and colloquial Arabic. Beginning with a focus on reading, pronouncing and recognizing Arabic sounds, the course progresses quickly toward developing intermediate reading, writing, speaking and listening proficiency as well as cultural competence. Beginning Arabic prepares students to communicate with others about daily life topics, understand simple texts on familiar topics, and to actively use a vocabulary of approximately 600 words. Beginning students strive to reach Intermediate proficiency according to the ACTFL language proficiency guidelines by the end of the summer [1]. Students should expect to spend four to five hours of daily homework and preparation in reading, writing and listening. Course requirements include active participation in class and ASI cultural events, daily homework, occasional presentations, quizzes and tests.

Texts used in this level:

  • Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds (Third Edition)
  • Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-’Arabiyya with DVDs: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part One (Third Edition)
  • Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic

Intermediate Arabic “Second Year”

This course introduces students to various topics in Arab culture in order to expand language skills, advance vocabulary acquisition, and build toward Intermediate High proficiency in all skills. Coursework focuses on helping students master and activate large amounts of vocabulary and utilize the root and pattern system to increase fluency and accuracy in communication. We continue our work on reading and listening strategies to enable students to comprehend main ideas of authentic texts.  Preparation for active, cooperative participation in class activities is an essential component of the course. Students should expect to spend four to five hours daily on homework, review and class preparation. Course requirements also include active participation in class and ASI cultural events, occasional presentations and exams, and weekly writing activities.

Texts used in this level:

  • Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-’Arabiyya with DVDs: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part Two (Third Edition)
  • Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic

Advanced Arabic “Third Year”

This course aims at helping students reach Advanced proficiency in Arabic through language and content work focused on Arab history, literature, thought and other cultural manifestations. We continue to focus on developing truly active control of a large vocabulary thru communicative activities. Grammatical work focuses on complex grammatical constructions and demands increased accuracy in understanding and producing complex structures in extended discourse. Preparation for class and active, cooperative participation in group activities are essential to students’ progress in this course. Students should expect four to five hours of homework and class preparation daily. Requirements also include active participation in class and ASI cultural events, weekly essays, occasional exams and presentations.

Texts used in this level:

  • Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-’Arabiyya with DVDs: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part Two (Second Edition)
  • Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-’Arabiyya with DVDs: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part Two (Third Edition)
  • Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic

ASI Cultural Activities

Each week, we will have two cultural events. On Tuesday afternoons we will typically have workshops on various aspects of culture and language. On most Wednesdays, we will screen an Arabic language film (subtitled), and the film will be followed by a discussion.  On certain Wednesdays, we will have a lecture instead of a film.

Office Hours

Each ustaaz (instructor) and mu3iid (TA) will have office hours available to students each week for discussion of grades or general performance review.  Instructional Support assistants will be available for additional language practice and assistance outside of the classroom.

[1] For more information on the ACTFL Language Proficiency Guidelines: http://www.languagetesting.com/scale.htm


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    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712
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