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    The American University in Cairo
   
 
  Oct 24, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (M.A.)


Associate Professors: Z. Taha, R. El Essawi (Director TAFL program)

Interest in the Arabic language has increased greatly throughout the world. With this has come a demand for professionals trained in the field. Based on modern theory and practice, the master’s degree and the diploma programs in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) are especially designed to meet this need.

The master’s degree requires two years’ residence and covers the following areas: linguistics, second language acquisition, and methods of teaching foreign languages. Practice teaching is also required. The courses have been structured to promote research as well as to develop highly trained teachers. In addition, a number of issues related to the role of Arabic in modern society are freshly examined, such as current methods of teaching Arabic to children, reform of the writing system, grammar reform movements, and the problem of diglossia. The TAFL program seeks to inspire new approaches to these problems.

Admission:
• Applicants for the Master of Arts degree in TAFL should preferably hold a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Arabic language, Islamic studies, Middle East area studies, or a modern language. Applicants should also meet general university admission requirements. 
• Applicants who are not specialized in Arabic language will need to:
Take an entrance exam to be offered by the TAFL program to show that the applicant has adequate command of Arabic to qualify for admission into the program.
Take up to 12 additional credit hours before they start their courses in the TAFL program. The number of credit hours an applicant needs to take will be decided by the academic advisor based on the applicant’s performance in the entrance exam, his/her undergraduate GPA, and his/her previous teaching experience. Applicants need to finish such courses with a GPA of 3.0 or more.

Language

Native speakers of Arabic who are holding degrees other than Arabic language or Islamic studies must demonstrate in an examination that their proficiency in Arabic is adequate for study in the program. 
For non-native speakers of Arabic the level of language proficiency required for admission is Superior as specified by the guidelines of the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Those with less but showing exceptional promise may be recommended for AUC preparatory training in Arabic for a period not to exceed one year.
An applicant who is not a native speaker of English must have sufficient command of English to qualify for admission as an AUC graduate student. Those with less but showing exceptional promise may be recommended for AUC preparatory training for a period not to exceed one year.
• Applicants for the Master of Arts degree in TAFL should preferably have teaching experience prior to admission into the program or concurrently with the program. Applicants with no or little experience in teaching are required to work as unpaid teacher assistants for at least one semester before graduation.

For graduation the following is required:

• A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours and a thesis are required unless the student is not specialized in Arabic where s/he will be required to finish up to 42 credit hours as indicated in section entitled “Admission” (additional courses are listed under collateral requirements).
• Both specialized and non-specialized students have to take the core courses indicated below.
• Electives should complete the required number of credit hours. Choice will depend upon the thesis topic and the student’s undergraduate field of study and must be approved by the adviser. While they are normally selected from among 500-level TAFL courses, with the adviser’s approval, electives may include up to two non-TAFL courses. No more than two 400-level courses may be counted toward the degree.
• In some circumstances and with the adviser’s approval, a candidate may be allowed to replace the thesis with two additional courses, increasing the total number of minimum credit hours required from 30 to 36 if student is specialized in Arabic. If student is not specialized in Arabic, he/she will need to finish up to 54 credit hours instead of 42. In such cases candidate would be required to take a comprehensive examination instead of writing a thesis. 
• Students planning to write a thesis must attend a non-credit thesis seminar (Seminar for Thesis Writers) at least one (preferably two) semesters prior to registering for Research Guidance and Thesis course.
• The student writing a thesis must produce a professional paper on some aspect of TAFL. The thesis must be prepared under the guidance and close supervision of a faculty adviser and a designated committee.

Courses

A. For students who specialized in Arabic Language:


I. Core requirements:


APLN 501/5201 - Principles of Linguistic Analysis (3 cr.)  
APLN 503/5202 - Second Language Acquisition (3 cr.)  
APLN 510/5203 - Methods of Teaching a Foreign Language I (3 cr.)  
APLN 511/5204 - Methods of Teaching Arabic to Non-native Speakers II (3 cr.)  
APLN 520/5302 - Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (3 cr.)  
APLN 553/5205 - Sociolinguistics (3 cr.)  
APLN 555/5206 - Seminar on Challenges Facing AFL Teachers (3 cr.)  

II. Electives:

APLN 507/5310 - Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) (3 cr.)  
APLN 540/5270 - Selected Topics in Applied Linguistics (1, 2, or 3 cr.)  
APLN 515/5101 - The Phonetics of Arabic (3 cr.)  
APLN 550/5322 - Language Pragmatics (3 cr.)  
APLN 551/5323 - Discourse of Analysis for Language Teachers (3 cr.)  
APLN 563/5211 - Language Variation and Change (3 cr.)  
(All TESOL electives are open for TAFL students upon agreement of academic advisor.) 


B. For students not specialized in Arabic Language:


I. Collateral requirements
(The number of courses taken is to be decided by the academic advisor based on result of entrance exam.)


APLN 515/5101 - The Phonetics of Arabic (3 cr.)  
APLN 516/5102 - The Linguistics of Arabic (3 cr.)  
APLN 551/5103 - Advanced Arabic Grammar (3 cr.)  
APLN 515/5101 - The Phonetics of Arabic (3 cr.)  


II. Core requirements


APLN 501/5201 - Principles of Linguistic Analysis (3 cr.)  
APLN 503/5202 - Second Language Acquisition (3 cr.)  
APLN 510/5203 - Methods of Teaching a Foreign Language I (3 cr.)  
APLN 511/5204 - Methods of Teaching Arabic to Non-native Speakers II (3 cr.)  
APLN 520/5302 - Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (3 cr.)  
APLN 553/5205 - Sociolinguistics (3 cr.)  
APLN 555/5206 - Seminar on Challenges Facing AFL Teachers (3 cr.)  

III. Electives:


APLN 507/5310 - Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) (3 cr.)  
APLN 540/5270 - Selected Topics in Applied Linguistics (1, 2, or 3 cr.)  
APLN 550/5322 - Language Pragmatics (3 cr.)  
APLN 551/5323 - Discourse of Analysis for Language Teachers (3 cr.)  
APLN 563/5211 - Language Variation and Change (3 cr.)  
(All TESOL electives are open for TAFL students upon agreement of academic advisor.)


Note regarding required and elective courses:
Both required and elective courses are divided into two phases. 


Phase one courses include: 
APLN 5201  
APLN 5202  
APLN 5203  
APLN 5204  
Phase two courses include: 
APLN 5102  
APLN 5205  
APLN 5206  
and/or other elective courses that the student proposes to take in order to finish required credits. Students will have to finish phase one courses before moving to phase two courses.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination consists of a written examination followed by an oral examination. It is required only of students not writing theses and may not be taken more than twice.

Thesis

The thesis is usually required for graduation. In some circumstances and with the adviser’s approval, a candidate may be allowed to replace the thesis with two additional courses, increasing the total number of minimum credit hours required from 30 to 36. In such cases the candidate would be required to take the comprehensive examination.

The student writing a thesis must produce a professional paper on some aspect of TAFL. The thesis must be prepared under the guidance and close supervision of a faculty adviser and a designated committee.