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Arabic Language

Why Study Arabic?

The study of Arabic is essential to gaining insights into the cultural, religious, and political contexts of the Middle East, which is ever-present in our daily lives. The United Nations adopted Arabic as one of its six official languages in 1974; the governments of twenty different countries list Arabic as their dominant language. It is the native language of over 200 million people within the Arab world, a region that stretches from Southwest Asia to Northwest Africa.The Middle East is the birthplace of civilization and filled with warm, hospitable people. In addition to informing your academic studies, a good knowledge of Arabic will greatly enhance your travels to the Middle East and your ability to work and interact effectively with Arabic-speaking people.

The study of Arabic and the Middle East can lead to an interesting career as a foreign correspondent, reporter, translator, international banker, international consultant, political risk analyst, manager of government relations for oil companies, market analyst for export companies, foreign service officer, development program officer, intelligence analyst, government relations specialist, interpreter, contractual and corporative consultant, or as an educator. The US government currently considers Arabic a critical language and many scholarships and study abroad opportunities are available.

Language Program Information

The Arabic program at UM is a proficiency based, learner-centered one which aims to support students to engage actively and interactively with reading, writing, listening and speaking Arabic. The program has a strong focus on developing students’ autonomous language learning ability through the development and application of good language learning strategies and critical thinking skills so that students learn not just Arabic but learn how to learn Arabic or any other language they may choose to study in the future. The program requires a serious time commitment for success and seeks to challenge students to excel.
Michigan is the home to the second largest population of Arabic speaking Americans, which offers a special resource for language learners. Beginning in the second semester class, weekly conversation practice with a native speaker is an ongoing, required part of the Arabic curriculum.
An Arabic club, run by students, offers students the opportunity to get together informally with other students and Arabic speakers. We also maintain an MCommunity group called “arabicactivities” used to disseminate information relevant to learners of Arabic including information about study abroad, lectures and films. Students in the program are automatically subscribed. It is an open group so any UM student or faculty member can join.

Arabic Language Courses

Fall term courses:

ARABIC 101: Elementary Arabic I

ARABIC 201: Intermediate Arabic I

ARABIC 401: Advanced Arabic I

Winter term courses:

ARABIC 102: Elementary Arabic II

ARABIC 202: Intermediate Arabic II

ARABIC 404: Advanced Arabic II

Beyond the advanced level, each semester the Arabic Language Program offers at least one language proficiency class at a fourth year level as well as one higher level content/culture class taught in Arabic.

Arabic Textbooks

For the first two years of the program, we use the Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al'Arabiyya series, 3rd Edition published by Georgetown University Press, which includes an extensive interactive online website companion. The 2nd Edition materials are used during the third year courses.