Courses in Amman
All students are required to take Modern Standard Arabic (6 hours/week), Jordanian Colloquial Arabic (4 hours/week), and two elective course (3 hours/week for each course). Each language course will have a maximum of 8 students. All students will have 16 hours of classes per week.
Elective course offerings are based, in part, on enrollment, requiring a minimum of four students. No more than three of the advanced, content classes listed below will be offered in any given semester (in addition to Translation, Media Arabic, and Gender Studies), depending upon student demand. Final placement will be determined by a placement test that is administered on-site.
(Just click on a course title below to see the course description.)
Modern Standard Arabic (Required)
This course aims to help students reach an intermediate-high or advanced level of proficiency (depending upon their proficiency at the time of arrival in Jordan) in reading, speaking, writing, listening, and culture. Readings include articles on cultural, social, historical, political and literary topics. Instruction will provide students with extensive exposure to authentic texts in MSA with a higher level of elaboration and complexity, drawn from a wide range of subjects and sources. (The textbook used for the course is Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-Arabiyya.)
Colloquial Jordanian Arabic (Required)
The course will focus on day-to-day conversations in colloquial Arabic by starting with daily basic expressions and commonly used verb structures to more complex conversations and sentence forming. Students will use colloquial Arabic inside the classroom by focusing on various themes and combining the learning of new vocabulary with the study of how common grammatical structures vary from MSA.
Gender Issues in the Arab World (Elective)
This course deals with issues related to gender and equality in the Arab World in general, and in Jordan in particular. The course provides, with an analytical perspective, an overview of the political opportunity structure in Jordan and the Arab region, and its influence on human rights issues in general and women's rights more specifically. Moreover, this course aims to discuss both Arab and Muslim feminist schools of thought and to highlight the debate on the relation between Western and Eastern feminism. The issues of honor killings, migrant workers, female refugees, and the stance of Jordan with respect to international human rights conventions are core elements of this course.
This course strives to familiarize students with translation from both Arabic to English and from English to Arabic in order to highlight the differences between the two languages in terms of sentence structures, vocabulary, and meaning. Students will be exposed to a variety of media and topics.
Media Arabic (Elective)
This is an integrated skill course that introduces the language of Arabic audio-visual and written media at an upper-intermediate level. It focuses on the vocabulary and grammatical structures of the news as well as an analysis of the discourse accompanying it. Topics covered include news related to meetings and conferences, demonstrations, conflict and terrorism, and current news on the political, social, and economic situation in Jordan and the Middle East. Students will also learn about the Jordanian media through a field trip to a TV channel/radio station.
Political Transformations in the Arab World (Elective – for advanced students only)
The course aims to acquaint students with the different dynamics of the current political transitions in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Jordan, as well as certain conflicts in the region, mainly the Arab-Israeli Conflict. It also examines the correlation between such transitions and conflicts in the region, such as the conflict in Syria and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Islam, Politics, and Ethics (Elective - for advanced students only)
This course is based on the major assumption that politics in Islam is better understood if approached and placed in broader frame of Islamic ethics. Thus, identifying relevant debates and ideas on Islamic ethical frameworks becomes an integral part of our pursuit to analyze and understand politics in Islam. The course revisits Islamic ideas as well as Islamic political history based on approaching religion in broader universal debate on ethics and politics. The course emphasizes the commonality of concern and for this reason the course also touches on Classical Greek debates on ethics and politics. Students should also be able to make inference to contemporary arguments on ethics and politics.
Economics in the Middle East (Elective – for advanced students only)
This course aims to enhance students’ knowledge of Middle East economics. It examines the economic structures and growth of Middle East economies and compares main economic indicators including population, regional trends, and economic policies of monetary and foreign trade. Basic economic concepts related to the course will also explained. The economies of certain selected countries from the region will be explored and compared. It also explores the role of the region in the global economic system.
Environmental Policy and Water Resource Management in the Middle East (Elective – for advanced students only)
This is a survey course on the water and environmental issues facing Jordan and the Middle East. It covers introductory information on the water situation—sources, means of delivery, usage, etc.—as well as an outline of the challenges that the lack of water presents and potential solutions to these obstacles. Furthermore, the course will delve into common environmental problems in Jordan and the Middle East. This course does not require any particular academic background.
Contemporary Arabic Literature (Elective – for advanced students only)
This class offers a mix of poetry, short stories, and selections from novels. Though the specific authors and selections will vary from semester to semester, selections usually will focus on Levantine authors. This is a content course, restricted to advanced students who have completed the equivalent of three years of Arabic.