Arabic 303

ARAB 303
Conversations in Arabic I

1. Catalog Entry

ARAB 303
Conversations in Arabic I

Credit hours (4)
Prerequisites: ARAB 202 (previously 210) or placement by examinations

This course offers intensive situational practice of conversational skills. This class reviews grammar and vocabulary while focusing on developing the student’s ability to converse on a broad range of topics. It requires active participation from the students and is taught entirely in Arabic.  This class is not intended and not recommended for native speakers of Arabic, but heritage Arabic speakers are welcome.

2. Detailed Description of Course

Cultural and other conversation topics covered will be determined by student interest, by availability of video programs and films, and by current news.  Specific situations, intentions, and topics might include: food, eating and religious practices in today’s world; health and medicine; money, inflation, and unemployment; gender and inequality; the environment; ethnic diversity and discrimination; the Arab presence in the United States; the concept of happiness; role playing within the family, when in the travel agency, in the bank, in the doctor’s office, in the restaurant, traveling, applying for a job, in the university, in the beauty parlor, etc.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This class uses supplemental material such as audio and video programs, texts from various sources (newspapers, magazines, literature, etc.) to introduce a topic for discussion.  These materials are reviewed and updated constantly to provide students with the most current cultural and social events in the Arabic-speaking world.  Historical issues and daily customs are presented as well. Students will be required to do presentations on special topics. All class work and assignments are done exclusively in Arabic.

Targeted intentions are frequently practiced through role-playing in small groups.  Examples of this work are then presented to the plenary group.  Video, audio, and Internet materials are used for listening comprehension practice and/or as material for conversation and informal discussion.  Some class time is reserved for the planning and presentation of individual or group projects.

The class also exposes students to a wide variety of vocabulary prior, during or after the discussion, and practices specific grammatical structures as a review of previously learned concepts.

Cultural and other conversation topics covered will be determined by student interest, by availability of video programs and films, and by current news.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will demonstrate language skills appropriate to the level of study. They will develop oral and aural skills including communication strategies used by the average native speaker in the selected situations.  They can talk simply about themselves and family members, can ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations on topics beyond the most immediate needs. Sympathetic interlocutors will generally understand these students. Students will be able to understand easily sentence-length utterances, which consist of recombination of learned utterances on a variety of topics. With some difficulty, students will be able to sustain understanding over longer stretches of connected discourse on a number of topics pertaining to different times and places; however understanding will depend primarily on the familiarity of vocabulary encountered and only secondarily on the complexity of the morphology and syntax.

5. Assessment Measures

Speaking skills are tested in several (at least two) face-to-face oral interviews through the semester, evaluated on a daily basis in class based on speaking performance in class, and are also evaluated by means of individual and group oral projects. Listening comprehension, while also tested above along with the speaking skills, is specifically targeted in listening comprehension tests.

6. Other Course Information

To supplement linguistic and cultural encounters in class, students are expected to participate in some extracurricular such as conversations with native speakers, watching Arabic language movies and inquiring about Arab world cultures by means of the multitude of media available as informational resources.

This course is designed for students in the Arabic language on the third year level of a critical language and will enable students to receive a minor in Arabic for those who are able to start their studies on the 200 level of Arabic.

Review and Approval

June 20, 2015