Modern Standard Arabic

Modern Standard refers to the standard literary and communicative language of the Middle East and North Africa, recognized as one of the UN’s six official languages. It is the common medium for nearly all formal communication, both printed and spoken. And, as the official language of all Arab countries, it provides the most versatile tool for those interested in living or working in an Arab country, or those whose occupational field intersects with any aspect of the Arab world.

The first four levels of the track follow normal undergraduate curricula, each level equivalent to an entire year of university Arabic. Currently, the base text is the now standard al-Kitaab series (our own unique curriculum, similar to the Classical track, is in the works), ensuring a smooth transition for those continuing studies at their home institutions. All four language skills are emphasized from the outset of class such that students develop balanced, confident command of the language. Actual texts are introduced early, such that by the end of the fourth level, students are fully functional outside the classroom.

Level 5 provides advanced students with an opportunity to further enhance their language skills through rotating modules (normally 2 or 3 per term) dealing with a variety of topics. Topics include Media Arabic, Readings in International Relations, The Arabic Novel and Short Story, Poetry, Literary Criticism, and Economics. Students may also custom design modules that suit their needs and goals. No language acquisition materials are used other than the very books and audio used by Arab university students. Graduating students will thus find themselves well-equipped and literate enough to engage Arab society, culture and literature with ease.