Many languages are spoken in the Islamic world, but Arabic is particularly important. The study of Arabic language is therefore essential to every student's training in Islamic Studies and Middle East Studies. This is a rather difficult language, and most students find they require three years of instruction before they are comfortable in the language.
Under the direction of Dr. Bushra Hamad (RLST), Vanderbilt University offers three levels of Arabic instruction, each supported by two semesters of class time, as well as the upper level reading seminars RLST 292 and RLST 293.
Students are encouraged to explore Summer programs within the US and abroad. These programs will normally offer additional instruction in other important languages, such as Persian, Turkish and Urdu. See "Study and Research Abroad" for more details. *Please remember that transfer credits for all language courses are not automatic. Professor Hamad will be happy to advise students considering such courses.
The Vanderbilt Arabic program offers instruction in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), that is, the Arabic of newspapers, magazines, media broadcasts, etc., at all levels, and is proficiency-based. All four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are developed, with special emphasis on speaking and reading. Sentence building and structure, as well as vocabulary retention are central to class activities. Knowledge of Arabic culture is an important component of all courses. All courses are to be taken on a grade basis. Audits are not allowed.
ARA 210a-210b will be offered in the regular school year, and in the Summer session.