Chair of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction: D. Abo El Seoud
Arabic Language Teachers: H. Abdel Wahab, D. Abo El-Seoud, K. Al Ekhnawy, S. El-Ezabi, I. Hafez, N. Harb, M. K. Hassan, A. Hassanein , I. Saad, H. Salem (Executive Director, Center for Arabic Study Abroad / Center for Advanced Arabic Studies in Cairo (CASA/CAASIC), , L. Al-Sawi (Director, Arabic Language Intensive Program (ALIN)), S. Serry, I. Soliman, A. Waked, L. White and S. Yacout, (Director, Arabic Language (ALNG), H. Kamal Hassanein, M. Mohamed Al-Qaffash, R. Hassan (CALL Director), S.Ismail
The Department of Arabic Language Instruction (ALI) is responsible for Arabic Language Instruction within the university’s academic structure. The ALI administers regular non-intensive and accelerated courses in Arabic offered for academic credit (ALNG). This Unit offers courses that cater to undergraduates and graduates who need to fulfill their Arabic requirements. It also serves non-degree and study abroad students. ALNG Unit offers courses at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels in both Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. There are two tracks for Modern Standard Arabic classes: normal and accelerated.
Under the umbrella of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction, three intensive programs are administered: the Arabic Language Intensive Program (ALIN), Arabic Language Intensive Summer Program (ALIS), the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) and the Center for Advanced Arabic Studies in Cairo (CAASIC). ALIN students who are qualified to change to undergraduate programs may receive up to 12 undergraduate credits in the fall and in the spring semesters from AUC, except elementary undergraduate students who can receive 10 credit hours. In the Summer Program (ALIS), students can receive up to 6 credit hours. Students may be able to obtain credit toward an academic degree at their home institution for their Intensive Arabic Language (ALIN) coursework. They should determine their institution’s policy regarding transfer credit before coming to Cairo.
Students registered in the ALIN and wishing to change their program to AUC undergraduate, graduate and non-degree programs have to satisfy the admission requirements listed in the catalog for these programs.
Arabic Language Undergraduate Credit Courses (ALNG)
Director: S. Yacout
All Arabic language credit classes at AUC are administered and taught by the Department of Arabic language Instruction.
Timely Completion Policy for Arabic Language Requirement
All students must sit for an Arabic language placement exam during their freshman year unless they have submitted a Thanawiyya Amma certificate or its equivalent before the date of the last placement exam for any given academic year. Based on the placement exam score, students will either be exempted from required Arabic Language courses, or be required to take one or two sequenced courses. Students exempted from Arabic may still opt to register in elective Arabic courses.
The following Arabic Language Instruction Department policies must be followed by all students:
-For students who have not submitted evidence of completing Arabic Thanawiyya Amma or equivalent, the Arabic placement exam must be taken during freshman year, preferably during the first semester of being a fully admitted student. Students who fail to take their placement exam during their first two semesters will automatically be required to do two Arabic language courses.
-The placement exam is offered once every month during fall and spring semesters, and is to be taken only once. Retaking of the exam is not allowed. Students who took the exam before Spring 2018 will be placed according to the last score obtained.
-It is the students’ responsibility to stay updated on the exam schedule to avoid having to wait an additional month for the next exam. Please check the ALNG webpage to see the instructions and schedule of the exam.
-Students must take all required Arabic language courses before completing 90 credit hours. For students required to take two courses, the first of the required courses must be taken before completing 60 credit hours. Students failing to register for (or registering and dropping) their required Arabic courses in time to meet the Arabic Timely Completion Policy will be issued registration holds preventing them from registering for other courses before registering for the required Arabic courses.
To see all Arabic Language Undergraduate Credit Courses (ALNG), please check the “Courses” link in the homepage.
Arabic Language Intensive Program (ALIN)
Director: K. Al Ekhnawy
The Department of Arabic language Instruction 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 Department of Arabic language Instruction, 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.
Arabic Language Intensive Program (ALIN) is part of the Department of Arabic language Instruction program. Students must register for a minimum of twelve credit hours per semester, while the normal course load is twenty contact hours per week. All courses are taken for grades, and credit is granted as indicated at the beginning of each course listing. ALIN students who are qualified to change to undergraduate programs may receive up to 12 undergraduate credits in the fall and in the spring semesters from AUC, except elementary undergraduate students who can receive 10 credit hours. Summer students can receive up to 6 credit hours. (see “Non-degree Academic Regulations” for transfer of credit to other universities under “Undergraduate Academic Requirements and Regulations”).
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 Department of Arabic Language Instruction 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 Department of Arabic Language Instruction 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
ALIN fulltime students must take twenty contact hours per week for which they are awarded twelve to fifteen program credits per semester.
At the end of students’ enrollment in the Department of Arabic Language Instruction, certificates of achievement will be awarded from the department (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).
Arabic Language Intensive Courses (ALIN) (To see all ALIN courses, please go the “Courses” link in the homepage.)
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.
Arabic Language Intensive Summer Program (ALIS)
Supervised by: D. Abo El Seoud
The Department of Arabic Language Instruction offers an intensive summer program from the second 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 are also offered depending on the students’ level.
Students in summer receive from six to eight credit hours depending on their level. A certificate of achievement from the Department of Arabic language Instruction is then offered upon successful completion of the program.
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 department subsidizes a large portion of the expenses, including transportation (except where air travel is involved) and entrance fees, students are required to pay for their food and lodging.
The Department of Arabic Language Instruction cultural program also includes a cultural component featuring activities such as calligraphy, music, folkloric dance and an overview of Egyptian films.
In addition, the program includes an end of semester summer party which is organized with the active participation of the students.
Arabic Language Intensive Summer Program Courses (ALIS): To see all ALIS courses, please go the “Courses” link in the homepage.
Center for Advanced Arabic Studies in Cairo (CAASIC)
Director (U.S.A.): Nevneka Korica-Sulliavn, Harvard University
Executive Director: H. Salem
CAASIC offers full-year, advanced-level training in Arabic language and culture to graduate and undergraduate students at The American University in Cairo. CAASIC welcomes applicants from all nationalities with a minimum of three years of formal instruction in Arabic.
Students receive 12 credit hours per semester (total of three semesters) , twelve credit hours per semester, while the normal course load is twenty contact hours per week.
All courses are taken for grades, and credit is granted as indicated at the beginning of each course listing.
Certificate and Program Requirements
CAASIC students apply and undergo a selection process that requires sitting and passing a language entry exam, submitting transcripts, three letters of recommendation as well as a statement of purpose.
CAASIC fulltime students must take twenty contact hours per week during the summer and fall and 12 contact hours in spring for which they are awarded twelve to fifteen program credits per semester.
At the end of students’ enrollment in the Arabic Language Intensive Program, certificates of achievement will be awarded 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)
The program consists of three semesters - summer, fall and spring - as explained below:
A. Summer Program
The summer program offers up to 20 contact hours per week and fellows are expected to spend between four to five hours daily doing homework and preparing for class activities for the following day.
The summer academic program includes two courses:
1. Umm Addunia: A Course in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic and Culture 4 cr.
This course offers eight to ten contact hours per week and aims to develop the fellows’ proficiency in the Egyptian dialect quickly so that they can function in their new environment. In addition to focusing on the colloquial of daily life, the course places emphasis on aammiyyat al-muthaqqafiin (educated colloquial), in which the colloquial is mixed with formal Arabic. Multiple sections of this course are offered to accommodate varying levels of proficiency.
2. Egypt: Culture and Society 4 cr.
This is a content-based course that offers eight to ten contact hours per week and aims to engage students through a number of historical, political, social and cultural issues of significance to the society in which they are living. The course places emphasis on the development of all language skills with attention to expanding vocabulary and enhancing grammatical accuracy.
B. Fall Academic Program
Description and Courses
The fall semester requires learners to study three core courses at 20 contact hours per week. The following courses are offered in the fall:
- AIAS 501/5301 - Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (3 cr.)
- AIAS 521/5151 - Listening And Speaking (3 cr.)
- AIAS 531/5121 - Reading, Writing And Vocabulary Building (5 cr.)
- The cultural program offers a structured lecture series aligned with fall curriculum (1 credit)
Objectives and themes. Learners attend a biweekly lecture. Short and long trips are organized by ALI and all CAASIC learners are welcome to join any of the free one-day activities or the long excursions for a fee.
C. Spring Academic Program (12 credits)
The spring semester represents the culmination of the CAASIC program. The spring semester allows learners to utilize the advanced language skills they have developed during the summer and fall by working with Arabic materials in their own fields of specialization. Each fellow is required to study four courses. Each course is for 3 credits, for approximately 12 contact hours per week: two elective core courses with language focus (such as Palestinian literature, the city of Cairo, Arabic media, Arabic literature, Egyptian history through movies, Egyptian colloquial literature and text, etc.), in addition to two elective courses related to the learners’ research interest (such as literature, religion, politics, economics, political Islam, etc.). The selection process happens in consultation with the CAASIC director. Fellows choose from a list of courses that have been previously offered.
The community-based learning component of the program, Learners Without Borders, is highly recommended. This is a Community-Based Learning course in which learners design and complete a community project, documentary or presentation based on volunteer work with local organizations or institutions related to their academic and/or general interests. Fellows will engage with the target language community so they can develop superior language proficiency, improve intercultural competence and establish significant lifelong social networks. Each learner will work with a cultural adviser and develop a course agreement specifying the nature of their work. Course projects involving volunteer work will require a signed student organization agreement, outlining roles and responsibilities which should be submitted to the advising professor.
Any spring course offered must have a minimum enrollment of six students.
All CAASIC students will be required to abide by an Arabic-only speaking policy on campus and off campus as much as possible.
All CAASIC students will be required to participate in an end of full-year proficiency exit exam. This exam is no substitute for the regular quizzes or monthly and end of semester achievement exams.