Academic Programs 

Introduction to Arabic (LG-598) 
Winter/Spring 2004

A continuation of LG-597 Introduction to Arabic, Part I.  Prerequisite:  LG-597 or permission of the instructor.  


Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Thursdays from 7:00-9:20 p.m.

Steve Blackburn
Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures and Library Director

Contact Information:

(860) 509-9561 
Dr. Blackburn's web page


Course Syllabus

Textbooks:   Al-Kitaab fii Ta`allum al-`Arabiyya by Brustad et al.

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


This course is a continuation of last semester’s LG-597, when we worked in two modes of Arabic:  the “Standard” language based on the Classical of the Qur’an, and a spoken version “colloquial” from the educated classes of Egypt.  Indeed, no one can be said to “know” Arabic unless both types, “standard” and “colloquial”, have been mastered.

The following schedule is open to adjustment. As per usual, written homework will be marked/graded on a “check-plus/check/check-minus” basis.  Tests count for 100 points; quizzes depend upon the number items included.  Oral work, class participation, and attendance will also be factored into your final grade.

January 29                    Lesson 1

January 29                    Vocabulary QUIZ on Lesson 2; complete Lesson 1

February 5                   Complete Lesson 2

February 12                 Lesson 3 Vocabulary QUIZ

February 19                 Lesson 4 Vocabulary QUI 

February 26                 Complete Lesson 4

March 4                       MID-TERM EXAM Lessons 1-4

March 11                     Lesson 5 Vocabulary QUIZ

March 18                     Complete Lesson 5

March 25                     Lesson 6 Vocabulary QUIZ (incl. pg 91)

April 1                          Complete Lesson 6

April 8                          SEMINARY CLOSED – Reading Week

April 15                        Lesson 7 Vocabulary QUIZ

April 22                        Complete Lesson 7

April 29                        FINAL EXAM Lessons 1 – 7


Tapes:  Copies of the taped materials accompanying the textbooks will be provided to you, for both audio and video.  They will cost you $1 per tape (cheap at twice the price!).  BUT JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE INEXPENSIVE DOES NOT MEAN THAT TAPES ARE UNIMPORTANT.  They should be used EXTENSIVELY and EFFECTIVELY.

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.

“Every Day is Judgment Day”, as my father-in-law, a retired Congregationalist minister, is fond of saying.  You will be graded primarily on DAILY class participation, homework, vocabulary quizzes, chapter tests, and a final exam, each for about 20% of your grade.

As I said last semester, “I’m not here to hand out bad grades”.  If you improve over the course of the term, lower grades from earlier on may be de-emphasized, since language learning is largely cumulative (that is, you can’t get an “A” on chapter 6 if your mastery of chapter 2 is shaky).  I will also continue my earlier habit of dropping one low mark during the term if it is obviously way out of line with the rest of your performance – everyone is allowed a “bad day”.

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.


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