The Arabic Language Institute offers intensive Arabic language courses for students, businessmen, diplomats, scholars, and others needing to gain a broad command of contemporary Arabic as quickly and as effectively as possible. For over sixty years, first through its School of Oriental Studies and then through its Center for Arabic Studies, AUC has taught Arabic to foreigners. Since the inception of what is now the Arabic Language Institute in the 1970s, this program has attracted students from the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe, offering intensive courses in both modern standard and Egyptian colloquial Arabic. A summer program is also offered.
Intensive Arabic Language courses (ALIN) are part of the Arabic Language Institute's program. Students must register for a minimum of twelve program credit hours per semester, while the normal course load is eighteen to twenty contact hours per week. All courses are taken for grades, and program credit is awarded as indicated at the beginning of each course listing. Qualified students may receive up to nine undergraduate credits from AUC by petitioning the director of the program (see "Non-degree Academic Regulations" for transfers of credit to other universities under "Undergraduate Academic Requirements").
The course for beginners runs from the first week of September through May. The main emphasis is on modern standard Arabic, but Egyptian colloquial Arabic is simultaneously offered (about thirty percent of class time is devoted to colloquial). Arabic is used as the main medium of instruction in the second half of the program. The course comprises up to twenty hours per week of classroom instruction, including language laboratory work, and up to twenty hours of home assignments.
A student who successfully completes the first year of intensive study with the Arabic Language Institute can expect to possess a working competence in reading and writing modern standard Arabic and understanding and speaking Egyptian colloquial or modern standard Arabic.
Courses at this level are designed for those who have completed a year of intensive study at the elementary level of the Arabic Language Institute or who have studied two or more years elsewhere and can demonstrate a similar level of competence. The program runs from the first week of September through May in the following year.
Arabic is the chief medium of instruction. Students continue work in modern standard Arabic and Egyptian colloquial Arabic. Interested students may, at this level, begin to acquire familiarity with classical Arabic. Attention is given to the Arabic of print and broadcast media, while special lecture courses in Arabic are offered in response to the special interests of the students, such as Middle Eastern economics and politics, business correspondence, medieval and modern Arabic literature.
Students who complete this second year of study should be able to read and write modern standard Arabic with some fluency, to pursue study in topics that specially interest them in Arabic, and to converse freely in Arabic. Intermediate-level students will also have had an opportunity to acquire vocabulary and terminology related to such special fields of interest as business and diplomacy.
Exceptional students may wish to take a third year. These courses are arranged according to demand, but they typically include advanced work in reading and writing and lecture courses in special topics. At the end of such a course a student should be able to compete with Arab students at the university level. Alternatively, the student should be able to employ Arabic with competence and confidence in the fields of business and/or diplomacy.
Certificate and Program Requirements
ALI Fulltime students must take twenty contact hours per week for which they are awarded twelve program credits per semester. Students who successfully complete twenty four program credits receive certificates of achievement from the Arabic Language Institute (specifying their level, i.e. elementary, intermediate or advanced), (See the Intensive Arabic Language Course listing and the number of program credits awarded for each course).
Intensive Summer Program
Director: L. Al-Sawi
The Arabic Language Institute offers an intensive summer program from the first week of June until the last week of July. Students must take twenty hours of class per week to be considered full-time. The summer curriculum includes either Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) at all levels, or Modern Standard Arabic only, both options as a full load.
In addition, a number of electives is also offered out of which each student may take up to two.
A total of ten program credits may be earned in the summer toward the Arabic Language Institute certificate.
Extra Curricular Activities/Student Cultural Activity Program
An integral part of the intensive language program, both full year & summer, is an extensive series of tours of Cairo and trips to the easily visited sites of interest all over Egypt. These tours and trips are supplemented by a lecture series. While the institute subsidizes a large portion of the expenses, including transportation and entrance fees, students are required to pay for their food and lodging.
The Arabic Language Institute cultural program also includes a cultural component featuring activities such as calligraphy, music and folkloric dance.
In addition, seasonal activities, such as Christmas and Ramadan Iftar, end of year and summer parties, are organized with the active participation of the students.
Besides the above activities, in the summer semester, the Arabic Language Institute offers a series of weekly lectures covering the cultural, educational, economic and political aspects of life in Egypt.
Arabic Language Intensive Courses (ALIN)
ALIN courses are listed sequentially by area. In this three digit system, the first digit represents the level of the course: 1 for elementary, 2 for intermediate, and 3 for advanced.
Prerequisites are not listed for every course. However, entry into all intermediate and advanced courses presupposes that the student is of intermediate or advanced standing. The instructor's permission may also be required. Standing will be determined by written and/or oral placement tests for incoming students and sometimes for continuing students.