Middle Eastern Studies | College of Liberal Arts
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Arabic language training at UT is a part of a comprehensive program in Middle Eastern Studies offering coursework in formal and spoken Arabic at all stages of proficiency. ARA 601C is open to anyone with no background in Arabic who wishes to learn the language.

Students taking Arabic have the opportunity to study the language for 4 years with the goal of achieving a minimum of Advanced proficiency. The first 3 years of the language learning focus on building vocabulary and grammar, while the 4th year of Arabic is dedicated to content classes. Students learn about a specific topic entirely in Arabic.

The Department of Middle Eastern Studies offers a minor in Arabic that can be completed in 3 semesters/18 hours by taking ARA 601C, ARA 611C, and ARA 621K.

Arabic Sequence

The core Arabic curriculum consists of three years (six semesters) of language-centered coursework that aims to build skills in reading, listening, speaking, writing, and culture.

First Year Second Year Third Year Content Courses
ARA 601C ARA 621K ARA 531K Varied Topics
ARA 611C ARA 621L ARA 531L Varied Topics

Content Covered

These courses offer a proficiency-based curriculum based on the methodology of the Al-Kitaab textbook series, which introduces students to both formal and spoken Arabic from the beginning, and focuses on developing learning and comprehension strategies in addition to the active acquisition of vocabulary and grammar. The program is demanding, and requires a significant time commitment on the part of the student, but the reward for that commitment is steady progress toward Advanced proficiency and beyond (based on the scale of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).

Students are expected to reach Intermediate Low to Mid proficiency by the end of the first year, Intermediate Mid to High by the end of the second, and Advanced proficiency by the end of the third year. Below is an approximation of chapters covered in each class:



ARA 601C

all of Alif Baa, chapters 1-4 in Alkitaab 1, 3rd edition

ARA 611C

chapters 5-11 in Alkitaab 1, 3rd edition

ARA 621K

chapters 12-13 in Alkitaab 1, 3rd edition; chapters 1-3 in Alkitaab 2, 3rd edition

ARA 621L

chapters 4-8 in Alkitaab 2, 3rd edition

ARA 531K

chapters 9-10 in Alkitaab 2, 3rd edition; supplementary material

ARA 531L

authentic material (articles and videos); reading of a short Arabic novel

Beyond the three-year core, students may choose from a large number of upper division and graduate courses taught in Arabic that focus on an area or discipline, such as linguistics, literature, news media, cinema, history, political science, culture and thought.

Heritage Learners, Bilingual Students, and Native Speakers

All students who have not previously taken Arabic classes at UT but who have some prior knowledge of Arabic, however obtained, must take a placement test before registering for any Arabic class. The test includes listening, reading, writing, and an oral interview with the test proctor. The test is given during the week before classes begin, and the exact time and date are announced on the Middle Eastern Studies website under Placement.

Students who wish to receive credit for ARA 601C and ARA 611C may take the credit-by-exam (CBE) which is only offered once a year in the Fall. Details on the CBE can be found here.

Native speakers are not allowed to take Arabic classes at UT.

Program Contacts:

Megan Conner Undergraduate Advisor for Middle Eastern Studies

Olla N Al-Shalchi, PhD
Arabic Language Coordinator
CAL 508