Course Description

The Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World offers an introductory course in Modern Standard Arabic for high school students with limited or no prior knowledge of the language. The purpose of this Summer Arabic language Program is to familiarize students with Arabic writing and sound systems and to enable them to develop basic proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Participating high school students will take intensive beginning Arabic classes with University of Illinois students.  Pre-College program staff, which includes University Faculty, Program Coordinators, and Resident Assistants, will directly supervise the high school students and provide academic support.

The program goal is to create a rich learning environment and simulate immersion by making the target language the primary medium of instruction and daily activities. Students will have four hours of daily classroom instruction. Students will practice and produce the alphabet and the sound system, and begin to develop vocabulary. Students will learn simple grammatical structures and gradually listen to authentic and instructional materials that come with the textbook.

After class, students will participate in cultural and social co-curricular activities that will provide enjoyment and cultural enrichment, all while reinforcing the language skills learned in the classroom. The program also aims at helping students at the introductory level blend in with university instructors and students.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the course, students will be able to perform simple language-based and communicative tasks, such as:

  • Recognize and produce Arabic sounds
  • Write Arabic letters in different word positions
  • Read short and simple texts and understand their content
  • Initiate and sustain a simple conversation on a number of topics
  • Gain understanding of various aspects of Arabic culture

At the end of the course, students produce a short video demonstrating the Arabic skills that they acquired. You can watch the performance of our 2016 students in the video below!