Indiana University Bloomington
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Arabic Curriculum




Dr. Cigdem Balim

Director of Language Instruction

Indiana University Bloomington


Principles of the Four Year Curriculum for

Arabic Language Teaching

The Department aims to teach Arabic as a medium of understanding, expression, communication, and research. These aspects imply the acquisition of Arabic both at theoretical and practical levels. Teaching stresses reading, writing, listening, speaking skills, grammar, and vocabulary. The student will also need to learn the skills related to translation and interpretation. The study of Arabic requires that students learn the classical components alongside the modern, when possible.

At the end of four years of learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the students will have attained the following skills:


I. Use of Arabic

The students will:

1. be able to communicate (orally and in writing) effectively in MSA on a variety of topics and in a variety of settings, using appropriate registers

2. be able to read, understand, translate, and interpret (with the help of a dictionary where necessary) a variety of authentic materials written in MSA

3. begin to be able to make use of their knowledge of Arabic in a

professional context (such as social sciences research using Arabic, literary study, etc.)


II. Explicit knowledge of Arabic

The students will:

1. demonstrate a knowledge of the structures (syntax, phonology, morphology) of written MSA and its registers (varieties of the language, e.g. journalistic vs. formal; formal vs. informal)

2. demonstrate that they understand the linguistic principles required to analyze MSA (parse a sentence, and begin to talk about Arabic morphology, sound system, and syntax academically). These elements are necessary for students who are majoring in Arabic.


III. Knowledge of cultures where Arabic is used

Language teaching and culture teaching are not separated; therefore, students will have an understanding of the cultures where Arabic is used.


IV. Generic skills

During their study of Arabic, the students will also enhance or acquire generic and transferable skills. They will:

1. be able to use IT effectively

2. be able to work with others as a part of a team

3. be able to demonstrate some ability as an ‘independent learner’