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Arabic Courses

The first in a sequence of courses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the language of all official forms of communication and media throughout the Arab world, the register of Arabic taught in countries where Arabic is an official language, the liturgical language of some 1.6 billion Muslims and millions of Arab Christians, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. In this course, students will be introduced to the letters, sounds, and symbols that make up the Arabic writing system, and acquire basic skills in the areas of speaking, reading, writing, and listening. They will develop the ability to speak about themselves, their lives, and their environment; to initiate and sustain conversations on daily-life topics with educated native speakers; to read simple, authentic texts on familiar topics; to write formal notes and sentences on subjects connected to daily life; to comprehend and produce accurately the basic sentence structures of Arabic; and to understand aspects of Arab culture connected to everyday life, including culturally significant idioms used among friends and acquaintances and important expressions for polite interaction with speakers of Arabic.

This course is a continuation of the first-year language study of Modern Standard Arabic by which students improve their language skills from the Novice High level to reach the proficiency goals of the Intermediate level. The course enables students to acquire more vocabulary and learn fundamental morphological and syntactical structures that allow them to express themselves and respond to communication with ease in predictable situations, request and provide information, write and speak comprehensibly on sentence-level, read basic texts through making use of contextual knowledge and familiar vocabulary, and listen to and comprehend simple and straightforward speech—one utterance at a time. Learning about Arab culture is an integral component of an Arabic language class. Therefore, in-class activities will include authentic audio-visual materials.

This course is designed to help students of Arabic (especially those at pre-advanced levels) improve their knowledge of the most basic word patterns in the language, which are both 1) very predictable and 2) the key for allowing rapid vocabulary build-up in all skill sets (reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking). Arabic works on a pattern system. By mastering these predictable patterns, students can intuitively (and quickly) grasp the meaning of many words that share the same basic letters (typically only three).

The sequel to ARAB 305, this course prepares students to reach or surpass the goals of the advanced-low level of proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Throughout the semester, students will significantly expand their vocabulary and acquire further knowledge of fundamental morphological and syntactical structures that allow them to express themselves orally and in writing with increasing grammatical accuracy. Students will build capacity to read a range of authentic texts from formal to informal and journalistic to expository with economical use of a dictionary; carry out basic research and understand the main ideas in specimens of technical and non-technical writing; use context and grammar to identify the form and guess the meaning of unfamiliar words; initiate discussion on topics of general interest; present information and basic narratives in formal language; understand the main points of lectures and media programs on familiar topics; and identify a range of important figures and ideas in Arab literary and cultural history. Students should expect to complete several lessons of al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya, Part 2 (2nd edition). Assessment will be based on active participation, daily homework assignments, two substantive in-class oral presentations, a writing project, quizzes, and a final exam. ARAB 306 is a designated Community Engaged Learning (CEL) course: "a credit-bearing academic course in which students are involved in a community setting such that the experience is linked to course content, enriches learning, and benefits the community in some way." As part of the course requirements, students will engage in a language and cultural exchange with immigrants and refugees from the greater Binghamton community at the American Civic Association.

This course is an introduction to the vernacular of Arabic used in Egypt, for students who have completed at least three semesters of training in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) is not only the native language of the most populous Arab country, it is also the most widely understood spoken variety of Arabic, due in large measure to Egypt's geographic location, its social and political influence, and the proliferation and popularity of Egyptian cinema, music and literature throughout the Arab world since the early part of the twentieth century. Students will acquire basic conversational skills in the Cairene dialect of ECA, with an eye to future travel to Egypt. By the end of the course, students will be able to greet others and initiate conversations; introduce and speak about themselves, their lives, their daily routines and their environments in general terms; express their likes and dislikes and their plans for the future; and understand aspects of Egyptian culture connected to daily life, including culturally significant idioms, adjectives and proverbs used among friends and acquaintances. Significant attention will be directed to highlighting and exploring phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic differences and similarities between MSA and ECA. Assessment will be based on consistent and punctual attendance, engaged participation, daily homework assignments, quizzes, a final exam, and other activities. Class time will mainly be devoted to activating vocabulary and grammar learned at home by means of an assortment of drills and exercises. In addition to the textbook, students will experience the language through a variety of media, including movie scenes, blogs, music videos, songs, and advertisements. Prerequisite: successful completion of ARAB 101, 102 and 203, or the equivalent level of proficiency as determined in advance by the instructor.

This is an advanced-level Arabic course where students have the opportunity to achieve proficiency in discussing and interpreting pressing contemporary issues in Arabic. The course will focus on reading, writing, discussing, and listening to specialized studies, commentaries, and media coverage in Arabic that treat the current refugee crisis fleeing the Middle East, political unrests, competing media outlets, economy, culture and the arts,...etc. THIS CLASS MAY BE REPEATED SINCE ALL MATERIAL IS NEW. PREREQUISITE ARABIC 204; STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE THIS COURSE CONCURRENTLY WITH ARABIC 305 OR HIGHER.

Perhaps the most venerated book in human history, the Qur'an remains a challenging text for both the Arab and non-Arab reader. This course will focus on the text of the Qur'an in the original Arabic, with attention to vocabulary, tropes and expressions, grammar (syntax and morphology), and rhetoric. Selections from commentaries produced in the classical and modern periods as well as secondary sources written by western scholars will be consulted, but the main text will be the Qur'an itself, in particular the chapters attributed to the Meccan period, as well as sections dealing with major themes of the Qur'an such as the nature of God; the nature of man; reason and revelation; eschatology; Jesus and Mary; the status of women; and typological figuration. PREREQUISITE: successful completion of Arabic 204 or permission of the instructor.

Gives practice in preparing lessons and teaching. Various assignments closely directed by the instructor in the course, including development of syllabi and other materials; construction and reading of examinations; lecturing and/or discussion leadership; and language supervision. Open to majors and non-majors, although the credit cannot be applied to the major.  Variable credits but no grade.

Last Updated: 2/12/19