The Arabic language program has two tracks. First, it covers three years of Standard Arabic which ranges from beginning to advanced levels. Second, after completing two semesters of Standard Arabic, the student has the choice to continue on the same track or move to a different track that focuses on reading medieval and literary texts such as the Qur’an, the Prophetic hadiths, philosophy, theology, Arabic poetry and literature. The latter prepares the student to be ready for advanced courses and Arabic Seminars. Details are as follows:
1) Beginning Arabic
Beginning Arabic is for those who have no prior knowledge in Arabic and wish to study Arabic for academic purposes. The student will take first and second semesters (L-1 & L-2) through an exposure of Phonology, Morphology and Syntax of MSA. Emphasis will be focused on functional and communicative approach of all four skills: reading, writing, listening, the speaking, in addition to culture.
2) Intermediate Arabic
This will be a normal continuation of L-1 & L-2. If students come from different institutions and have equivalent knowledge, they will take a placement test in order to place them at the right level. The aim of the course is to continue building on the four skills: reading, writing, listening, the speaking, in addition to culture. There will be emphasis on building vocabulary and grammatical structure. English language is not allowed in this level except in a very dire need and to a minimum.
3) Advanced Arabic
After completing L-3 & L-4 or equivalent knowledge, students are exposed to a variety of texts ranging from literature to modern media Arabic using the communicative approach. English is not allowed at all in this class: the discussion is always in Arabic. The course will reflect upon the major trends and movements in Arabic thought and culture.
1) Intermediate Classical Arabic (ICA)
This course is designed to equip students with the necessary grammar and structures and focuses on medieval Arabic texts on topics ranging from the Qur’an, literature, philosophy, theology, to criticism. Prerequisite of this course is having completed L-2 or permission of the instructor.
2) Advanced Classical Arabic (ACA)
These courses are for students who completed ICA or equivalent in MSA and who wish to continue studying Arabic heritage through classical literature, theology and philosophy. The students will vocalize the texts, analyze them, and translate them into English. Discussions will follow. Term papers will be assigned by professors who teach the course.