There are more than 300 million Arabic speakers in the world. In addition to being the language of the Quran, the holy book of over 1 billion Muslims, Arabic is the sixth official language of the United Nations. Arabic infuses much of the vocabulary of science, math, and philosophy because of the historic contributions of Arabic speakers to the arts and sciences. In today’s world, learning Arabic is crucial to understanding the social, political, and economical situations that affect the world around us.
Arabic is offered at the beginning and intermediate levels at Eckerd. The beginning Arabic sequence (AB 101 and AB 102) meets the college’s general education requirements. Students who successfully complete the intermediate sequence (AB 201 and AB 202) fulfill the language requirement of Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society. Students who wish to study Arabic at an advanced level may enroll in an approved study abroad program, selected in consultation with the mentor. The combination of Arabic study on campus and a semester-long study program in an Arabic-language country may form the basis of an International Studies major at the college. Students who desire a major that emphasizes the study of Arabic language and culture should consider International Studies.
Do you know what algebra, henna, gazelle, saffron, safari, and tariff mean? If you do, you already speak some Arabic! Why learn more?
- Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world.
- Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam.
- There is a high demand and low supply of Arabic speakers in the Western world.
- There are financial incentives for learning Arabic.
- Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade.
- Arabic-speaking peoples have made significant contributions to world civilization.
- The Arab-speaking world has a rich cultural heritage.
- Knowing Arabic can promote intercultural understanding.
- Arabic influence is evident in many other languages.
- The United States has a growing Arab-American minority.
Students who are interested in studying in an Arabic speaking country have the opportunity to study at the Al Akhawayn University in Morocco through the International Students Exchange Programs (ISEP).
Al Akhawayn University was established in January 1995 as a center for academic excellence and intercultural tolerance. It is based on the American model of higher education and uses English as the language of instruction. The 40-hectare campus is located in an oak forest in the resort town of Ifrane. Al Akhawayn University offers eight undergraduate degrees from among three schools:
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Science and Engineering
- Business Administration
AB 101: Modern Standard Arabic I
Fundamentals of Modern Standard Arabic language with a focus on developing skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Introduction to basic grammatical structure, vocabulary, and everyday communication skills.
AB 102: Modern Standard Arabic II
Continuation of AB 101. Completion of AB 102 fulfills the one year language requirement. Prerequisite: AB 101.
AB 201: Intermediate Arabic I
Comprehensive review of grammar and vocabulary. Emphasis on expression and interpretation of meaning in a social context. Practice in reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Examines dialects of Arabic and related cultural practices. Prerequisite: AB 102.
AB 202: Intermediate Arabic II
Continuation of AB 201. Prerequisite: AB 201.
AB 280G: Middle Eastern Culture
Examination of Middle Eastern culture including shared customs, traditions, and attitudes. Other topics to be covered include regional family and social structures, gender issues, and cuisine.
AB 301: Advanced Arabic
Further development of language skills with emphasis on advanced grammar, increased vocabulary, and competency with authentic texts and media materials. Prerequisite: AB 202.
AB 302: Advanced Arabic II
Continuation of AB 301. Prerequisite: AB 302.
Clubs & Groups
The Arabic club aims to promote awareness and understanding of the Arabic language and culture on campus through educational and social events held by student members.
Arabic Movie Night
Arabic Movie Night is a monthly event for students to explore the Arabic film industry. It is also an opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge of the diverse cultures and dialects of the Arabic speaking world.
Arabic Coffee Hour
Arabic coffee hour is a forum where students can get together every other week to acquire greater fluency in spoken Arabic, discuss Arab culture in a casual setting and experience Arabic cuisine.
Arabic Cooking Workshop
Learn about the exotic cuisine of North Africa and the Middle East from a verity of Arabic chefs. Each workshop focuses on a traditional dish of a certain Arabic region/country and introduces special customs and traditions of each region. The workshop is always followed by a traditional meal including traditional drinks.
Arabic Music Night
An opportunity for students to see live music performances by Arabic musicians, discover the rhythms of Arabic music, and learn about the different musical instruments.
Arabic Conversation Group
A biweekly meeting with native Arabic speakers. An opportunity to practice language skills, learn about the Arab Culture and make new friends.