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Arabic Summer Language Program

What Are You Studying in Each Program?

Arabic SLI Level 1 (ARAB 1016 and ARAB 1026)
At the Summer Language institute (SLI), Level 1 students will learn Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Unlike the diversity of informal Arabic dialects, Modern Standard Arabic (fusha) is the form of Arabic common to all 22 Arab countries of the “League of Arab States” and used in modern literature, government, media, and educational institutions.

The first half of (Level 1 – ARAB 1016) is devoted to learning the Arabic alphabet as well as the basic grammar and vocabulary needed to formulate sentences and more extended discourse. The second half of this level focuses on developing proficiency through expanding knowledge of grammar, acquiring new vocabulary and refining skills in simulated real life situations and cultural contexts.
Please Note that this course is intended for students who have limited or no knowledge of the language. Native speakers of Arabic may not enroll in the Summer Language Institute. Non-native speakers, who have previously received informal instruction in Arabic, should consult with the SLI Arabic Program Director, Ahmad Z. Obiedat (ao7v@virginia.edu) to determine their level in the program.

Required Texts: 

  1. Brustad, Kristen, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, Second edition. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004.
  2. Brustad, Kristen, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. Al-Kitaab fii Ta‘allum al 'Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part One. Second edition. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004.
  3. Supplementary material to be distributed in class
  4. This course will cover Alif Baa, and lessons 1 - 13 from Al-Kitaab, Part One.

Arabic SLI Level 2 (ARAB 2016, ARAB 2026 and ARAB 2256 (Colloquial I), ARAB 2266 (Colloquial II))

New for Summer 2014: Colloquial Levantine Arabic!

In addition to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), level two Arabic SLI students will also learn introductory communicative skills in the Arabic dialect spoken in the Levant region, (Syria , Lebanon , Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories). The colloquial component will complement and extend students' understanding and appreciation of classical Arabic, from which much of Levantine vocabulary is derived, as well as equip them with the language of everyday life as spoken in a wide swath of the Arab world. Building on what students learned in ARAB 1010 and 1020, the morning and afternoon sessions will be devoted to Classical Arabic study at the intermediate level, developing and advancing the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). In the evening, students will receive one hour of instruction in basic Levantine colloquial vocabulary and syntax in a dynamic, communicative-based format.

Please Note: Successful completion of ARAB 1020 or an equivalent proficiency level is required on the part of Level 2 applicants. Students who have NOT completed ARAB 1020 through UVa must consult with the SLI Arabic Program Director, Ahmad Z. Obiedat, (ao7v@virginia.edu ) prior to applying to Arabic SLI Level 2.


Required Texts and Material:

  1. Brustad, Kristen, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. Al-Kitaab fii Ta‘allum al-‘Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part One. Second edition. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press 2004.
  2. Brustad, Kristen, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al - ‘Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part Two. Second edition. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004.
  3. Supplementary material to be distributed in class.
  4. The Level – 2 covers: lessons 14 - 20 from Al-Kitaab, Part One and lessons 1 - 5 from Al-Kitaab, Part Two.
  5. Chouairi, Rajaa. Shou fi ma fi: Intermediate Levantine Arabic (Paperback), edited by Mahdi Aloush. Yale University Press, 2010.

Program Structure

Program meets five days a week for eight weeks:

Morning Session: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. 

Afternoon Session:   2:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm

Evening Session (Arabic level 2 student only): 6:00-7:00 pm

Project Go Funding for ROTC Students:
ROTC cadets admitted to the SLI to study Chinese, Russian or Arabic, languages classified as "critical" for U.S. national security, may be eligible to receive financial support through Project Go, a D0D-funded initiative.  For more details, contact Professor Rich Cohen rjc8s@Virginia.EDU.