The undergraduate program orients the teaching of Arabic toward building proficiency, and focuses on providing instruction that is meaningful, communicative, and responsive to the learners’ needs. Our teaching strategies to achieve Arabic proficiency to its most advanced levels have lead us to develop a rationale for learning Arabic content, functions, and accuracy, all at the same time. Our students are expected to learn Arabic communicatively, and to utilize their knowledge and skills to cope with authentic texts and authentic situations. This department focuses on teaching Arabic in its wider, more authentic contexts and in the principles of discourse and meaning. Today, this department plays a leading role in teaching Arabic beyond grammatical analysis to a wider scope of teaching Arabic in the realms of both linguistic and cultural proficiencies.
With the conviction that it is essential for Georgetown students to gain knowledge of the world through the languages of its peoples, the faculty members of the department of Arabic are charged with the mission of teaching Arabic with one ultimate goal in mind: to enable our students to understand Arabs and Islam realistically, to develop a genuine appreciation for the human experience of Arabs, and to identify the human commonalities that make Arab people closer to American people. The changes sweeping the world at the beginning of the new century, the swift development of technology, and the need for world peace more than ever before compel us all to foster teaching and learning of both Arabic and Arab culture for the ultimate good of the new world in which we live.
This humanistic philosophy of the Department leads to a curriculum designed to instruct Arabic to students in the most effective approaches of teaching, and to help them gain more positive knowledge about Arab and Islamic cultures through the language, for the goal of evaluating Arab culture as a humanistic reality in academic and critical perspective. From this philosophy, the Undergraduate Program aims to teach Modern Standard Arabic as a fundamental prerequisite to gain realistic knowledge about Islam, Arab culture, and Arabic language and literature. We view Arabic, not only as a requirement to fill transcripts for obtaining degrees, but far more importantly, to produce graduates with advanced and superior Arabic language skills with the hope they will play a innovative role in making the relationship between American culture and the Muslim world more humanistic and positive rather than static, stereotyped, and therefore negative.
Students interested in sitting in on a class should contact that course’s professor directly. A list of this semester’s classes and corresponding professors can be found here: https://myaccess.georgetown.edu