this course students will be introduced to two modes of Arabic:
the "Standard" language based on the Classical Arabic of
the Qur’an, and a spoken version "colloquial" from the
educated classes of Egypt.
No one can be said to
"know" Arabic unless both types, "standard"
and "colloquial", have been mastered. This semester
begins the lengthy process of doing just that.
It is difficult to
learn a language when contact with the Professor occurs only once
per week. Accordingly, students will be asked to complete homework
assignments by the Thursday following each class; these may be
sent to the Professor by fax or by email (the latter, of course,
assumes access to an Arabic font). Assignments will be reviewed,
returned to the student by Friday, along with a new assignment,
due the following classtime.
In effect, the attempt
will be made to combine contact and "distance learning"
aspects of education into this course.
Alif-Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds by
Brustad et al.
ta`allum al-`arabiyya by Brustad et al.
A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Wehr), edited by J
will be graded; cumulatively they will account for 25% of the
final grade. Chapter tests will also amount to 25%; attendance and
class participation, 25%; the final exam in December will also
amount to 25%.
While ANY syllabus is
tentative, every effort will be made to adhere to the following schedule:
Week of September 16
Unit 1, Alif-Baa
Week of September 23
Unit 2, Alif-Baa
Week of September 30
Exam, Units 1&2; Unit 3, Alif-Baa
Week of October 7
Unit 4, Alif-Baa
Week of October 14
Exam, Units 3&4; Unit 5, Alif-Baa
Week of October 21
Unit 6, Alif-Baa
Week of October 28
Exam, Units 5&6; Unit 7, Alif-Baa
Week of November 4
Unit 8, Alif-Baa
Week of November 11
Exam, Units 7&8; Unit 9, Alif-Baa
Week of November 18
Unit 10, Alif-Baa; learning to use a dictionary
Week of November 25
READING WEEK – no classes scheduled
Week of December 2
Lesson 1, al-Kitaab
Week of December 9
Lesson 2, al-Kitaab
December 16 Final
learning a language, it is (infinitely?) better to work a little
each day than to cram on weekends or over large chunks of time. In
other words, an hour each day of review and
preparation during the week is to be preferred over spending the
entirety of a Saturday or Sunday trying to catch-up.
Also, in learning a
language, it is better to use your out-of-class time to work on
material that has already been presented in class, rather than to
"work ahead". Working ahead risks internalizing faulty
linguistic input: This is NOT a "teach yourself" course!
"I’m not here to
hand out bad grades" is my own motto. Every effort will be
made to keep you all up to speed, that being one of the luxuries
of having a small class.
Most importantly: HAVE
FUN! Even though Arabic is NOT an easy language, it CAN be
enjoyable. I’ll try to make it that way; if you work, there is
that much more chance of making it that way for yourself.