Arabic Major

Learning Goals

• To enable students of Arabic to develop the communicative proficiency necessary to function as a competent, culturally literate user of Arabic. To train students to be informed mediators between their cultures and the Arab world.

• To link competence in Arabic with the knowledge of the language’s many histories and contexts. To familiarize students with sufficient background about Arab history, culture, politics, literature, geography, and intellectual life that they are able to explore the Arab world in an independent and critical way.

• To provide students with the skills to use Arabic in a range of scholarly, professional and public contexts with speakers of Arabic.

Learning Outcomes

• Graduates should be able to engage in discussions of a range of topics related to their particular professional interests. Students will have the ability to communicate effectively, navigating both the texture of subject matter—from the topical and concrete to the abstract and theoretical—and its register, whether colloquial or formal. Students will be able to express themselves clearly—presenting and analyzing ideas, arguing points of view and considering other views, as well as commenting on Arabic books and lectures they have encountered.

• Students will produce written texts that present, analyze, narrate, and explain current topics in a culturally informed way. This will include the ability to speak knowledgeably in Arabic on a range of subjects, whether of their own cultures or of the Arab world. Graduates will have a facility of language that allows them to express their own ideas, arguing for points of view while deliberating other views in a culturally meaningful way. Graduates will also have enough familiarity with a variety of traditions from the Arab world that they will feel comfortable directly citing Arabic sources from film to music and poetry to religious texts.

• Students will have the necessary tools to grapple effectively with Arabic-language scholarship dealing with subjects such as media, literature, linguistics, and Islamic sciences. Such skills will include note taking, strategies for identifying relevant information, analyzing and giving summaries in Arabic. Students will also command a basic competence in translating Arabic texts in the fields of their professional interests.