Academic Programs 

Intermediate Arabic, Part I    (LG-650)
Fall 2003

This course is designed for participants to consolidate their knowledge of Arabic. Prerequisite: LG-597 and LG-598 or permission of the instructor.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Thursdays, 4:30-6:50
Dr. Steve BlackburnSteven Blackburn
Adjunct Professor of Arabic and Reference and Learning Resources Librarian

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9561 


Course Syllabus

Textbook:         Al-Kitaab fi ta`allum al-`arabiyya by Brustad et al

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

During this semester we will begin by retracing some of our final steps of LG-598-0 before continuing our work in Egyptian Colloquial and Modern Standard 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, 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.

Homework assignments will be graded and will account for 20% of the final mark.  Vocabulary Quizzes, one per unit, will cumulatively account for 20% of the grade.  Chapter tests will also come to 20%; the Final Exam alone will also count for 20% of the semester’s grade; the remaining 20% will be based on attendance and class participation.

While ANY syllabus is tentative (and this one is fairly ambitious for a non-intensive course), every effort will be made to adhere to the following schedule:


Thursday, September 11               Grammar Review; Lesson 7 Review

Thursday, September 18               Lesson 7 – Completion

Lesson 8 – Vocabulary Quiz

Thursday, September 25               Lesson 8 – Completion

Thursday, October 2                                Lesson 9 – Vocabulary Quiz

Thursday, October 9                                Lesson 9 – Completion

                                                            Lesson 10 – Vocabulary Quiz

Thursday, October 16                              Lesson 10 – Completion

Thursday, October 23                              Exam – Lessons 8-10

                                                            Lesson 11

Thursday, October 30                  Lesson 11 – Vocabulary Quiz and Completion

Thursday, November 6                 Lesson 12 – Vocabulary Quiz

Thursday, November 13               Lesson 12 – Completion

Thursday, November 20               Lesson 13 – Vocabulary Quiz

Thursday, November 27               THANKSGIVING DAY (no class 

Thursday, December 4                 Lesson 13 – Completion

Thursday, December 11               FINAL EXAM – Lessons 8-13


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, “I’m not here to hand out bad grades” is one of my mottos.   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 you’ve learned by this point that Arabic is NOT an easy language, it CAN be enjoyable.  I’ll 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