Arabic Language and Culture Program

​​​​​​​​​​The Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Middle Studies (CAMES) at the American University of Beirut offers a seven-week program in Arabic Language and Culture designed for students interested in developing overall proficiency in Arabic in both its Standard and Lebanese varieties. The program provides integrated instruction in classes in both Standard Arabic and Lebanese Arabic (based on the tasks and contexts involved). Emphasis is placed on the development of the different skills within a communicative, proficiency-based framework and special attention is given the development of intercultural competence in Arabic.The program provides instruction at various levels of proficiency according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale​. The Arabic Language and Culture program uses the Al-Kitaab fi Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya​ textbook series in addition to various supplementary materials. Students earn 9 credit hours for this program which can be transferred to their home institutions. This program is highly demanding so students are expected to be totally committed and ready to attend classes and do homework on a daily basis. The typical daily workload entails 6 hours of classroom instruction and at least 4 to 5 hours of homework.

The Arabic Language and Culture program offers the levels below each summer:

​​MEST 360 Introductory Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr. )

This course is designed to introduce students who have no previous knowledge of Arabic to the Arabic language and culture within its Lebanese setting. The course utilizes an integrated approach that teaches both Standard and Lebanese Arabic based on communicative tasks and contexts. By the end of the course, students will be able to speak and write simple connected sentences about themselves, their families and their immediate environment. They will also be able to read and listen to short authentic texts (announcements, advertisements, short weather reports, menus, daily schedules, etc.) During the course, students will become familiar with Arab culture in general and various aspects of Lebanese culture and society. The course will use Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds (3rd Edition) as well as part of Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part One (3rd Edition). At the end of this course, students are expected to reach Intermediate-Low to Intermediate-Mid proficiency in Arabic on the (ACTFL) scale​.​

MEST 361 High Introductory Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

This course is designed for students who have had the equivalent of one semester of Arabic instruction. It is also appropriate for students who have already had some limited exposure to the Arabic language, for instance, those who have lived in an Arab country or an Arabic-speaking environment, as well as those who have received some tutoring in Arabic. Students who enroll at this level are expected to know the Arabic alphabet and have limited reading, writing and conversational skills. The course utilizes an integrated approach that teaches both Standard and Lebanese Arabic based on communicative tasks and contexts and will use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part One (3rd Edition). By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Intermediate-Mid proficiency in Arabic following the ACTFL scale. 

MEST 362 Low Intermediate Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

This course is designed for students who have completed at least two semesters of Arabic in an academic setting but whose placement results require that they go at a slower pace than the intermediate class. The course is also appropriate for students who have been away from the language for some time. The objectives of this course, in general, are to further develop the students' skills and strategies, expand active vocabulary in a wide variety of topics and settings, enhance knowledge of basic Arabic grammar, and further develop intercultural competence.  The course utilizes an integrated approach that teaches both Standard and Lebanese Arabic based on communicative tasks and contexts and will use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part One (3rd Edition) and a part of Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Two (3rd Edition). By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Intermediate-Mid to Intermediate-High proficiency in Arabic following the ACTFL scale.

MEST 363 Intermediate Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

This course is designed for students who have had the equivalent of two to three semesters of Arabic instruction. The course aims to further enhance students' proficiency in the various skills, expand their cultural knowledge, expand their vocabulary, and enhance their control of grammatical structures and pronunciation. All communications between instructors and students are carried out strictly in Arabic. Part of the students' activities at this level involves giving oral presentations and doing a lengthy writing project. The course utilizes an integrated approach that teaches both Standard and Lebanese Arabic based on communicative tasks and contexts and will use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Two (3rd Edition) and parts of Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Two (2nd Edition). By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Intermediate-High proficiency in Arabic following the ACTFL scale. 

MEST 364 High Intermediate Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

This course is designed for students who have already had the equivalent of four to five semesters of Arabic instruction. The objective of the course is to further enhance students' proficiency in the various skills, expand their cultural knowledge, expand their vocabulary, and enhance their control of complex grammatical structures and pronunciation. The course utilizes an integrated approach that teaches both Standard and Lebanese Arabic based on communicative tasks and contexts. By the end of the class, students are expected to comprehend lengthy authentic listening material and to give long oral presentations with facility. They are also expected to be able to write extensive compositions and to read authentic Arabic texts for research purposes. The course will use part of Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Two (2nd Edition) and part of Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Three​. By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Advanced-Low to Advanced-Mid proficiency in Arabic following the ACTFL scale. 

MEST 365 Advanced Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

This course is designed for students who have already had the equivalent of six semesters of Arabic instruction. It aims to enable students to reach higher levels of advanced proficiency in all skills. Students are required to do extensive readings on a variety of topics and genres, such as literature, language and the social sciences. They are also expected to engage in debates, give oral presentations and write short research papers. The course utilizes an integrated approach that teaches both Standard and Lebanese Arabic based on communicative tasks and contexts and will use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Three, to be supplemented by extra material as needed. By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Advanced-Mid to Advanced-High proficiency in Arabic following the ACTFL scale. 

MEST 366 High Advanced Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

This course is designed for students who are placed at the Advanced-Mid level of proficiency of Arabic upon entering the program and it aims to take them to the Advanced-High level in the various language skills. Readings at this level are extensive and span a variety of genres; readings will cover at least one novel, short stories, academic articles, lengthy newspaper articles, and selections from medieval texts.  Listening skills are sharpened through extensive work with news broadcasts, documentaries, and television shows in both Standard and Lebanese Arabic. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the nuances of the language and the use of idiomatic expressions and rhetorical devices in all the language skills. The course also features extended oral presentations in class where students demonstrate the oral skills of an educated native or near native speaker of Arabic. The course will use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Three in addition to other readings assigned by the teachers. By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Advanced-High proficiency in Arabic following the ACTFL scale. 

MEST 367 Superior Arabic (Intensive) (9 cr.)

Students entering this level are expected to have Advanced-High proficiency in Arabic and are expected to make progress towards Superior proficiency. This level features extensive readings that cover a wide variety of genres including novels, short stories, academic articles, lengthy newspaper articles, and selections from medieval texts. Listening skills are enhanced through extensive work with news broadcasts, documentaries, and television shows in both Standard and Lebanese Arabic. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the nuances of the language and the use of idiomatic expressions and rhetorical devices in all the language skills. The course also features extended oral presentations in class where students demonstrate the oral skills of an educated native or near native speaker of Arabic. The course will use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: Part Three in addition to other readings assigned by the teachers in a variety of genres.