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.
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 on analysis of the discourse accompanying it. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, protests and demonstrations, conflicts, elections, business, and sports.
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.
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.
Political Transformations in the Arab World (Elective – for advanced students only)
This course aims to acquaint students with the political history of the Middle East and the relations between the various countries within the Arab world. The aim of this course is to identify developments and political changes that have occurred in the region leading to the most significant political changes that have occurred in a number of Arab countries. We will discuss the key themes in this course and address the most important reasons/causes that led to the current conflicts in the Middle East, as well as discuss important regional and international relations, which have a direct impact on events in the region.
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.