2012 Language Institute: Amman, Jordan
Note: Information below refers only to the 2012 CLS Institutes and is subject to change. CLS 2013 partners and sites will be announced in the Spring.
The Amman Arabic institute covers approximately one academic year of university-level Arabic coursework during the eight-week program, and is designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of language levels and backgrounds, from students who have one year of university-level Arabic training or the equivalent (advanced beginning) to advanced learners.
Formal classroom language instruction is provided for an average of four hours per day, five days per week, with a minimum of 20 hours per week of classroom instruction. The formal instruction is provided in conjunction with the Qasid Institute (see below). The instruction will be balanced between Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and the Jordanian dialect. Extracurricular activities are designed to supplement the formal curriculum, including regular one-on-one meetings with peer tutors for conversational practice, as well as cultural activities and excursions designed to expand students’ understanding of Jordanian life and culture within the broader tapestry of the Arab world.
Students will be housed at ACOR facilities or at a nearby hotel. All rooms will be double-occupancy. All students will receive a stipend to cover meals and incidentals not provided by ACOR.
The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan, is a private, non-profit academic institution dedicated to promoting research and publication in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, history, languages, biblical studies, Arabic, Islamic studies and other aspects of Middle Eastern studies. Training, education and public service are the most important activities at ACOR, a place where Jordanians, Americans and others work to increase understanding of our common past. ACOR provides advice, coordination, equipment, research facilities and living and meeting space for scholars in an environment that is both academically exciting and socially congenial.
The Qasid Institute has quickly developed a reputation as one of the leading centers in the Middle East for Arabic language learning. A comprehensive curriculum taught over five distinct levels takes a student from the proper pronunciation of letters to a level of mastery. Graduating students who have applied themselves will find understanding an all-Arabic university course to be within reach, and translating general texts to be manageable. It is an ideal location for those desiring to immerse themselves in the lively hustle and bustle of one of the most dynamic capital cities in the Arab world.
In 2010, the CLS Program adopted the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an additional measure of the effectiveness and quality of the institutes overseas. Before the program, students take a diagnostic OPI test; at the end of their eight-week course of study, they take an ACTFL-certified post-program OPI assessment. The scores on these tests give students a concrete, widely-recognized measure of their speaking skills in MSA. In addition, students’ writing and reading abilities are assessed throughout the program in a variety of ways.
CLS Blog Entries for Arabic
Institute at a Glance: Amman, Jordan
|June 10 – August 12, 2012||American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR)|
- Advanced Beginning: Minimum requirement: completion of one year of college-level Arabic, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program. Students should arrive in country comfortable with the Arabic script and sounds, basic vocabulary, and basic grammar (such as the jumla ismiyya, jumla fa’aliyya, idhaafa, the root system etc.).
- Intermediate: Minimum requirement: completion of two years of college-level Arabic, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program. Students should arrive in country able to speak and write about daily activities and matters of interest as well as their subject of study or research. Students also should have a good grasp of grammar such as identifying and deploying ‘iraab.
- Advanced: Minimum requirement: completion of three years of college-level Arabic, or its equivalent, prior to the summer program start date. Note: Students applying for the advanced level should arrive in country able to speak and write about a variety of topics beyond their immediate academic subject and have a good grasp of more complex structures of the languages. Students are expected to have begun to delve into authentic texts such as newspapers and streaming video, short stories, and political and social commentaries.
In 2010 and 2011 the CLS students voluntarily participated in a language exchange with Iraqi refugee communities in Amman. Since 2010, nearly 30 students have participated in the language exchange and formed lasting friendships with the Iraqi refugee families in Jordan.
In 2011 CLS student and Ph.D. candidate Dana Moss connected the CLS Program to the NGO Friends of the Earth - Middle East and, through that organization, coordinated a student excursion to visit the Sharhabil Eco-Park in the north of the Jordan River valley along the border between Jordan and Israel. Dana led a group to visit the eco-park, meet with its director, and enjoy a bicycle tour of the surrounding area and communities. Sharhabil opened in 2011 and covers a large area encompassing the Ziglam dam and a wetland area. It is a critical model for environmental re-habilitation in Jordan.
2010 alumna Michelle Ha has begun working in the President's Office at the American University in Cairo as a Presidential Scholar.
2008 alumna Judith Van Raalten is the Executive Director of a local NGO in Jordan, called Leaders of Tomorrow. In 2009 – 2010, she spent the year as a Fulbright Research Fellow to Jordan, working for her NGO and researching the integration levels of young people of Palestinian origin in Jordan.
2006 alumna Melissa Honey was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan after graduation, where she was able to utilize her Arabic skills. When she returned to the States, she attended the Arabic Summer Intensive School at Middlebury College.