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Arabic Language and Culture

AMIDEAST is strongly committed to providing students of Arabic with the highest quality programs that are challenging, rigorous, and consistent. AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World has designed its own Arabic Language and Culture Curriculum, based on the most up-to-date approaches to language teaching. This approach to Arabic language instruction is:

  • Functional
  • Communicative
  • Proficiency-based
  • Culturally rich

To implement its Arabic Language and Culture Curriculum, AMIDEAST has created a system that focuses on:

  • Selection of the best possible teachers
  • Development of clear guidelines for each course at each level in the curriculum
  • Creation of new materials (where necessary) to effectively integrate the cultural component into the Colloquial Arabic courses at each program site
  • Observation and feedback to the teachers on an ongoing basis throughout the semester by AMIDEAST’s Arabic Studies Consultant
  • Continuous needs assessment and in-service training for the teachers to assist them in delivering AMIDEAST’s Arabic Language and Culture Curriculum

Each AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program includes the following Arabic courses in its curriculum:

Arabic 101 – Modern Standard Arabic I
Arabic 102 – Modern Standard Arabic II
Arabic 201 – Modern Standard Arabic III
Arabic 202 – Modern Standard Arabic IV
Arabic 301 – Modern Standard Arabic V
Arabic 302 – Modern Standard Arabic VI
Arabic 401 – Directed Studies in Arabic Language and Culture

Arabic 1X1 – Colloquial Arabic I
Arabic 2X1 – Colloquial Arabic II
Arabic 3X1 – Colloquial Arabic III

Arabic Studies Consultant

Dr. Zeinab Ibrahim serves as AMIDEAST’s Arabic Studies Consultant. Dr. Ibrahim is a sociolinguist of Arabic who holds a Ph.D. in Arabic linguistics from Georgetown University, Master of Arts degrees in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language and Mass Communications from the American University in Cairo, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, also from the American University in Cairo.  She is one of the most distinguished specialists in teaching Arabic as a foreign language.

Dr. Ibrahim served as Executive Director of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad from 1999 to 2003 and has taught for many years at the American University in Cairo, as well as at Georgetown University, Helwan University and Cairo University.  She also taught for four summers at the Middlebury Arabic School at Middlebury College in Vermont.  Dr. Ibrahim served as President of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic in 2002-04 and has published widely in the field of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. 

In addition, Dr. Ibrahim has consulted with the United Nations Arabic Language Department in New York (2002-2009), the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland (2001- 2004), and the Arabic Language Program at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco (2001).  She is a certified ACTFL Oral Proficiency Tester since 2006, and has done proficiency testing for the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, American University in Cairo, and the Middlebury College School of Arabic as well as a Defense Language Institute program organized by AMIDEAST in Alexandria. In addition, Dr. Ibrahim has done similar work for the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University and the Australian Embassy in Cairo and served as a Foreign Service Institute Proficiency Tester for the: American Embassy in Cairo in 2005 and 2006. Currently, Dr. Ibrahim teaches content courses for native Arabic speakers at Carnegie Mellon University in Doha, Qatar. 

Her publications include numerous articles and the following books:

Beyond Lexical Variation in Modern Standard Arabic, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

Arabic Teaching and Linguistics in an Age of Globalization, with Sanaa Makhlouf (editors), Cairo: AUC Press, 2008.

Perspectives in Contrastive Studies, with Sabiha Aydelott and Nagwa Kassabgy (editors), Cairo: AUC Press, 2004.

Diversity in Language, Linguistics, and Teaching: Arabic and English, with Sabiha Aydelott and Nagwa Kassabgy (editors), Cairo: AUC Press, 2000.

Dr. Ibrahim, who lives in Doha, is responsible for working with AMIDEAST’s Arabic Language Advisory Board and its program partners in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco to supervise the design and implementation of the AMIDEAST Arabic Language and Culture Curriculum.

Arabic Language Advisory Board

AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World benefit from the advice of a distinguished group of Arabic language faculty at U.S. colleges and universities. The Arabic Language Advisory Board members work with Dr. Zeinab Ibrahim, AMIDEAST’s Arabic Studies Consultant, to define the proficiency-based curriculum for Arabic instruction and the expected outcomes at each level in both Modern Standard Arabic and Spoken Arabic. They also participate in the continuous assessment of the programs.  Members of the Arabic Language Advisory Board are listed below.

Mahmoud Al-Batal, University of Texas at Austin
Roger Allen, University of Pennsylvania
Aida Bamia, University of Florida (retired)
Kirk Belnap, Brigham Young University
Salah-Dine Hammoud, U.S. Air Force Academy
Karin Ryding, Georgetown University (retired)
Mohammed Sawaie, University of Virginia