Summer Arabic Intensive
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Learn Arabic This Summer

The Summer Arabic Intensive at Zaytuna College is a seven-week program that provides the equivalent of one year of Arabic language credit in an environment designed for concentrated learning. The program integrates reading, writing, and elocution at an accelerated pace. Students live in Zaytuna dorms and learn on our campus, located in Berkeley's "Holy Hill" neighborhood amidst a number of other religious colleges and just blocks away from UC Berkeley.

All students wishing to learn classical Arabic are welcome at the Summer Arabic Intensive, which is governed by all published College policies, available for review in the Arabic Intensive handbook. Zaytuna’s Arabic program seeks to provide a spiritually nourishing environment that supports Muslim life and religious practice, including norms of behavior that are inspired by Muslim tradition.

The Summer Arabic Intensive program provides 10 credits of college-level Arabic and fulfills the one-year Arabic language pre-requisite for admission into the undergraduate program at Zaytuna College. The Zaytuna College undergraduate Arabic curriculum begins with elocution, continues with systematic and sustained training in grammar, and culminates with rhetoric, poetry, and literature.

Core Courses back to top

Introductory Arabic

This course is an introduction to Standard Arabic and it aims to help students achieve communicative competence at the elementary level in listening, reading, speaking and writing following a proficiency oriented teaching method and to introduce the students to various aspects of Arab and Islamic culture through written and audio-visual materials. Further emphasis towards the end of the semester is placed on the Arabic grammatical tradition with a focus on morphology (صرف (syntax (نحو (and oral competence being developed through extensive use of reading exercises and small-group conversation practice.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Employ a wide range of frequently used Arabic vocabulary
  • Write comprehensible short essays and letters
  • Make brief oral presentations entirely in Arabic and make use of authentic expressions
  • Demonstrate comprehension of Arabic passages of medium length on some specialized topics
  • Read and comprehend verses from the Quran and short Prophetic traditions read and recite with clarity and basic elocution (التجويد)
  • Display knowledge of fundamentals in Arabic morphology i.e. verb and noun conjugation and derivation (المشتقات) and memorization of the 10 verb forms (الأوزان)
  • Display elementary command of proper Arabic inflection (i‘rab)
  • Converse in the target language as an intermediate-low speaker or better (ACTFL standards)

Language is naturally and primarily acquired through hearing and listening to strings of sounds in meaningful contexts. You are strongly advised to imitate your teacher’s language production and follow all suggestions for learning made by your teacher. The materials of this course will expose you to a large quantity of aural/oral and written texts. This exposure to real-life Arabic can be the most challenging and rewarding exercise you undertake.

Listening
Students are expected at the end of the course to be able to discriminate among Arabic words and letter sounds at an intermediate to advanced level as well as to identify those previously presented words and letter sounds when put in different contexts. Students are expected to be able to comprehend statements and questions that relate to their environment beyond basic recognition and familiar subjects and to carry on conversations for a prolonged period with native or near-native speakers.

Speaking
Students are expected at the end of the course to ask and answer questions that deal with familiar topics and survival activities as well as make longer presentation expressing simple opinions in Arabic about themselves; including personal interests, school, family, residence, politics, media, likes and dislikes, and other basic daily life activities.

Writing
Students are expected at the end of the course to write with an acceptable level of accuracy all presented vocabulary as well as compose sentences using previously learned elements. Topics of composition will deal with topics beyond the self and family with emphasis on developing style and an understanding of the various literary tools employed by native writers.

Reading
Students are expected at the end of the course to be able to identify those set textbook passages and covered language segments when presented in authentic contexts such as newspaper headlines, charts, and schedules and heavily contextualized reading materials. The reading level attained should be at the intermediate to advanced level.

Intermediate Arabic

This is a course in Standard Arabic and it aims to help students achieve communicative competence at an intermediate level in listening, reading, speaking and writing following a proficiency-oriented teaching method and to introduce the students to various aspects of Arab and Islamic culture through written and audio-visual materials. Further emphasis is placed on the Arabic linguistic tradition with a focus on morphology (صرف ((syntax (نحو and oral competence being developed through extensive use of reading exercises and small-group conversation practice

This course consists of a systematic study of Arabic grammar utilizing Haywood and Nahmad’s New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language, a comprehensive text that instructs in the key aspects of Arabic language. Theoretical linguistics will also be applied when studying the various types of nominative cases, accusative cases, genitive cases, jussive cases, complete sentences, and quasi-sentences. Excerpts from actual reading assignments and lessons containing approximately 750-1000 words will prepare students for advanced textual study built upon a solid foundation. Any student intending to study in the intermediate level course must successfully pass a written and oral placement exam organized by Zaytuna College’s Arabic department.

Objectives & Learning Outcomes

The course aims to develop an intermediate-level of competence in both productive (speaking/writing) and receptive skills (reading/ listening) in Arabic. In addition to the four aforementioned skills, emphasis is placed on acquiring translation skills, both to and from Arabic/English, and knowledge of cultural and religious topics in relation to uses of the language.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Arabic vocabulary and the appropriateness of various linguistic structures and cultural expressions in a given context
  • Knowledge and understanding of intermediate Arabic morphology i.e. verb and noun conjugation (التصريف) and derivation
  • The ability to understand spoken standard Arabic and to engage in spoken discourse of medium complexity on every day and some specialized topics
  • Comprehension of select verses from the Quran and traditions from the Hadith canon
  • The ability to produce passages in written Arabic of medium length on some specialized topics Language is naturally and primarily acquired through hearing and listening to strings of sounds in meaningful contexts. You are strongly advised to imitate your teacher’s language production and follow all suggestions for learning made by your teacher. The materials of this course will expose you to a large quantity of aural/oral and written texts. This exposure to real-life Arabic can be the most challenging and rewarding exercise you undertake.

Listening
Students are expected at the end of the course to be able to discriminate among Arabic words and letter sounds at an intermediate to advanced level as well as to identify those previously presented words and letter sounds when put in different contexts. Students are expected to be able to comprehend statements and questions that relate to their environment beyond basic recognition and familiar subjects and to carry on conversations for a prolonged period with native or near-native speakers.

Speaking
Students are expected at the end of the course to ask and answer questions that deal with familiar topics and survival activities as well as make longer presentation expressing simple opinions in Arabic about themselves; including personal interests, school, family, residence, politics, media, likes and dislikes, and other basic daily life activities.

Writing
Students are expected at the end of the course to write with an acceptable level of accuracy all presented vocabulary as well as compose sentences using previously learned elements. Topics of composition will deal with topics beyond the self and family with emphasis on developing style and an understanding of the various literary tools employed by native writers.

Reading
Students are expected at the end of the course to be able to identify those set textbook passages and covered language segments when presented in authentic contexts such as newspaper headlines, charts, and schedules and heavily contextualized reading materials. The reading level attained should be at the intermediate to advanced level.

Transfer Credit back to top

The Summer Arabic Intensive is a WASC-accredited language program.

Arabic Intensive classes meet 6 days a week, 5 hours a day, for 7 weeks equaling 10 credits.  

Students may earn a 10-credit certificate for completing the Arabic program with a C or better (73%). Students who do not achieve a C or better or who opt to audit the program earn a Certificate of Participation if they attend the entire program with satisfactory attendance and effort.

Though Zaytuna College cannot guarantee an automatic transfer of credit, any student may request that the Registrar send the official course syllabus along with the student's transcript to any institution from which the student is requesting transfer credit. The Director of the Arabic program is also available to answer any questions about the curriculum and may be contacted at felhin@zaytuna.edu

A Typical Day in the Arabic Intensive Program back to top

The first weeks of the 2016 Summer Arabic Intensive occur during Ramadan. Classes will meet Sunday through Thursday from noon until 3 pm and from 4 pm until 6 pm. Students can use the hour break between class sessions for rest, group work, homework, or memorization (ḥifz) and practice of Qur'an recitation (tajwid). There will be several evening meals (iftars) on campus, and students may also have their iftar and attend tarawih prayers at local masjids.

After Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday, classes will meet from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm. There will be optional extracurricular activities such as hikes, lectures by visiting guest scholars, and activities intended to provide spiritual nourishment and development. A weekly schedule of extracurricular options will be provided at Orientation.

In addition to 5 hours in class per day, students are expected to spend an equal amount of time outside of class each day of the week (including weekends) reviewing the day’s lesson, memorizing new vocabulary, completing assignments, and preparing for the next class. This is to ensure that students are able to meet the student learning outcomes for their course (see course descriptions). To assist student learning outside of class, Zaytuna provides experienced teaching assistants who are available after classes, and our instructors also offer office hours for help outside of class.


Program at a Glance

  • 7 weeks of study, 6 days a week (June 19 – August 3)
  • A stimulating curriculum designed around classical Arabic texts
  • Equivalent to one year of university-level Arabic
  • Comfortable accommodations in the heart of diverse Berkeley, California
  • A daily rhythm that aligns with the pattern of Muslim religious life
  • Enriching visiting lectures by distinguished scholars

Contact

Email us at admissions@zaytuna.org
or call us at 510-900-3134