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Kalamazoo College



Program Overview:

The Arabic Program at Kalamazoo College introduces students to both Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the written lingua franca of the Arab World, and at least one colloquial dialect (Egyptian and/or Levantine). The three-course sequence emphasizes reading and writing in MSA and listening comprehension and speaking in both MSA and dialect, in addition to introducing students to the history, geography and cultures of the Arabophone region through authentic media and diverse projects. Students also have the opportunity for service learning initiatives serving the Arab refugee population of Kalamazoo. Completion of the sequence fulfills the K language requirement, and prepares students for K’s newly offered study abroad program in Amman, Jordan.



ARBC-101 This beginning course in Modern Standard Arabic and colloquial Arabic covers the Arabic writing system and phonology, basic morphology and syntax, and introductory conversational skills in a spoken dialect, as well as an introduction to the geography and cultures of the Arabophone region. Students will demonstrate their beginning skills largely through oral presentations and dictation.


ARBC-102 The second in the three-course sequence in Beginning Arabic emphasizes vocabulary acquisition and foundational grammar (gender and number agreement, subject and object pronouns, present-tense verb conjugation), building toward simple narration in written compositions and oral presentations. Students explore Arab cultures as well as practice reading and listening skills through a variety of authentic media.


ARBC-103 In the final course in the sequence, students continue intensive vocabulary building and more complex grammatical topics including gerunds, superlatives, past and future tense verb conjugation, and conditional and comparative phrases, as well as Arabic’s dazzling root and pattern system. Students continue to explore Arab cultures and history through a series of documentary and feature films in addition to other authentic media, and develop their composition and presentation skills through written and oral projects.


Instructor: Anna Swank, M.A. New York University, B.A. Washington University in St. Louis, Advanced Certificate in Arabic, American University in Cairo.