Academic Programs 

Intermediate Arabic, Part I   LG-650-0   Fall 2002

This course is designed to supplement students' basic knowledge of modern Arabic with classical grammar and vocabulary in preparation for work with Islamic theological and legal texts.  Prerequisite: Introduction to Arabic, Parts I and II (LG-597-0 and LG-598-0) or permission of the instructor


Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.
Location: 76 Sherman Street 
Steven Blackburn  
Adjunct Professor of Arabic and Reference and Learning Resources Librarian

Contact Information:

(860) 509-9561 
Dr. Blackburn's web page
Course Syllabus
Class web site

During this academic year we will complete making the transition, begun last year during LG-598-0, from Egyptian Colloquial and Modern Standard to fully Classical Arabic.

It is difficult to learn any language when contact with the Professor occurs only once per week. Accordingly, students will be asked to complete homework assignments by the Monday 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 and word processing program). Assignments will be reviewed, returned to the student by Tuesday, along with a new assignment, which can be handed in the following class time.

In effect, the attempt will be made to combine traditional "contact" with "distance learning" aspects of education in this course.

Textbook: An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic by W. M. Thackston

Dictionaries: A Dictionary and Glossary of the Kor-an by John Penrice OR

A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Wehr), edited by J M. Cowan

Homework assignments will be graded; cumulatively they will account for 25% of the final mark. Chapter tests will also amount to 25%; the Final Exam alone will also count for 25% of the semesterís grade; the remaining 25% will be based on attendance and class participation.

While ANY syllabus is tentative, every effort will be made to adhere to the following schedule:

Thursday, Sep 12 Grammar Review; vocabulary assignment

Thursday, Sep 19 Lesson 8

Thursday, Sep 26 Lesson 9

Thursday, Oct 3 Exam on Lessons 8&9; Lesson 10

Thursday, Oct 10 Lesson 11

Thursday, Oct 17 Exam on Lessons 10&11; Lesson 12

Thursday, Oct 24 Lesson 13

Thursday, Oct 31 Exam on Lessons 12&13; Lesson 14

Thursday, Nov 7 Lesson 15

Thursday, Nov 14 Exam on Lessons 14&15

Thursday, Nov 21 Lesson 16

Thursday, Nov 28 THANKSGIVING DAY (no class)

Thursday, Dec 5 Review

Thursday, Dec 12 FINAL EXAM

NB: When 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, since this is NOT a "teach yourself" course.

As you already know, "Iím not here to hand out bad grades" is my own motto. Every effort will be made to keep all of you up to speed, that being one of the luxuries of having a small class.

Most importantly: HAVE FUN! Even though youíve learned by this point that Arabic is NOT an easy language, it CAN be enjoyable. Iíll continue trying to make it that way; if you work, there is that much more chance of making it that way for yourself.


Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500