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Modern Standard Arabic

Modern Standard Arabic

Designed for students who want to learn the formal language used in books, newspapers, scripted news broadcasts, and speeches across the Arab world, this course is offered as part of Hebrew University’s Arabic Immersion Program and Undergraduate Study Abroad Program through the Rothberg International School.

Your Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) classes will follow the “Al-Kitaab” textbook series, in addition to materials prepared by your instructors.

This six-credit, beginner-level course is part of the intensive summer program Foundations in Literary Arabic. The program is designed for students who have little or no background in Literary Arabic, and consists of 120 instructional hours offered over the course of four to five weeks in late August through September. (Check our academic calendar for specific dates.) Foundations in Literary Arabic includes excursions to Arab communities throughout Israel, as well as extracurricular cultural activities. Classes meet daily, Sunday through Thursday, for approximately six academic hours. Learn more about Foundations in Literary Arabic.

In this six-credit, intermediate-level course, you’ll continue studies of the “Al-Kitaab” textbooks, completing several chapters of Part 2.

Learning Objectives

  • Read and comprehend a variety of texts in MSA.
  • Compose paragraphs using an intermediate level of MSA.
  • Understand the phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics of Arabic at an intermediate level.
  • Familiarize yourself with Arabic culture and literature, and learn culturally appropriate responses to everyday situations in Arab society.

Grading

  • Active participation in class and current preparation of assignments: 20%
  • Weekly quiz: 10%
  • Midterm exam: 20%
  • Final exam: 50%

Required Books

You must purchase the required textbooks before arrival.

  1. Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. “Al-Kitaab fii Tacallum al-cArabiyya: A Textbook for Intermediate Arabic, Part 2,” 3rd ed. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2013.)
  2. Hans Wehr, ed. “Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic,” 4th ed. (Urbana, Ill.: 1994.)

This six-credit, advanced-level course will prepare you for independent study in MSA, with a special emphasis on communication skills and vocabulary. You’ll move beyond the textbook, using additional materials like newspapers and the internet to access the real and current world of Arabic.

You and your fellow students will read about and discuss issues in the Arab world, dealing with topics such as political Islam. You’ll also study cultural traditions in Arabic literature and poetry.

Grading

  • Active participation in class and current preparation of assignments: 20%
  • Short writing assignments: 10%
  • Midterm exam: 20%
  • Final presentation: 50%

Required Books

You must purchase the required textbooks before arrival.

  1. Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. “Al-Kitaab fii Tacallum al-cArabiyya: A Textbook for Intermediate Arabic, Part 2,” 3rd ed. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2013.)
  2. Hans Wehr, ed. “Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic,” 4th ed. (Urbana, Ill.: 1994.)

Return to the main Arabic page.

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