Curriculum Overview 

Arabic is a rich and varied language spoken in over two dozen countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Arabic Program at Arabic Franklin & Marshall focuses on developing students’ communication skills in both spoken dialects (Egyptian) and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) used in more formal contexts. Students begin reading and writing in Arabic during their first semester of study and continue to improve these skills along with their speaking and listening abilities throughout the Intermediate and Advanced level courses. Courses at all levels regularly integrate authentic materials and technology in order to introduce students to the history, politics, and culture of the Arab world. Students are strongly advised to take Arabic 101, 102, 201 and 202 prior to a semester of study abroad in an Arabic-speaking country. Most students who study abroad attend the CET program in Amman, Jordan or the Arabic Program at Middlebury Language Schools.

An Area Studies minor in Middle Eastern Studies may be arranged in consultation with Professor Christine Kalleeny, Director, Arabic Language Program, or Professor Carrie Landfried, Chair of French, Francophone and Arabic Studies, and with the permission of the Chair of International Studies, Professor Doug Anthony. Students interested in a joint major with another program should contact Professor Kalleeny.


Courses Offered 

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

101. Elementary Arabic I.
In this introductory course, students develop their oral communication skills in both colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic while learning how to read and write Arabic. By the end of the semester students will be able to use appropriate greetings and traditional expressions, introduce themselves and talk about their family and studies. For students with no prior knowledge of Arabic. Offered every Fall. 

102. Elementary Arabic II.
This course is a continued introduction to the Arabic language in a cultural context, with an emphasis on expanding students’ vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. Students learn how to speak in the past and future tenses in addition to developing an understanding of the root and pattern system. Prerequisite: ARB101 or placement by director of Arabic Program instructor. Offered every Spring. 

201. Intermediate Arabic I. (NW) (LS)
The second year Arabic course continues to build on the skills and materials presented in Beginning Arabic II. It takes a four-skills approach with emphasis on listening, speaking, reading and writing. During the semester, students continue to expand their knowledge of grammatical concepts and vocabulary in order to be able to speak, write and read about more complex political, historical, and cultural subjects. Prerequisite: ARB 102 (formerly ARB 172) or placement by director of Arabic Program or instructor. Offered every Fall. 

202. Intermediate Arabic II. (NW) (LS)
The fourth semester Arabic course continues and builds on the skills and materials presented in Intermediate Arabic I. It takes a four-skills approach with emphasis on listening, speaking, reading and writing. Prerequisite: ARB 201 (formerly ARB 271) or placement by director of Arabic Program or instructor. Offered every Spring. 

218. Narrative Journeys in Arabic Literature. (H) (NW)
This course introduces students to a variety of narratives in different literary genres from the Arab world. The organizing theme of this course is that of the journey, whether it be a physical trek through the desert or a metaphorical one such as an inward psychological quest. Students will encounter narratives by both male and female writers from various parts of the Arab world and from different periods of Arabic literary history. All texts are translated from the Arabic into English. Same as AFS/LIT 218. 

301. Advanced Arabic I. (NW) (LS)
The third year of Arabic builds on the material covered in Arabic 202 or Intermediate Arabic II. The goal of this course is to focus in more detail on particular grammar concepts, building students’ vocabulary and ability to utilize the root and verb pattern system to understand and form new vocabulary. This course also develops students’ listening skills, understanding certain nuances of texts, exposure to Middle Eastern culture and history, and ability to speak in depth on a variety of topics with confidence. Prerequisite: ARB 202 or placement by director or instructor. 

302. Advanced Arabic II. (NW) (LS)
The second semester of third year Arabic builds on the material covered in Arabic 301 or Advanced Arabic I. This course also goes into more depth regarding certain grammatical concepts, building students’ ability to discuss a variety of topics through the use of new vocabulary and expressions or conjunctions. Students continue to be exposed to cultural and historical aspects of the Arab world through written texts and listening exercises. In addition to this, the course underlines the importance of communication through, for example, class discussion and group exercises. Prerequisite: ARB 301 or placement by director or instructor.