Students enrolled in language courses at Qalam wa Lawh Center have the opportunity to rapidly acquire Arabic through a communicative and immersive curriculum.
There are nine courses offered at three levels in Modern Standard Arabic: Beginning (I, II & III), Intermediate (I, II & III) and Advanced (I, II & III). There are six courses offered at three levels in Colloquial Moroccan Arabic: Beginning (I & II), Intermediate (I & II) and Advanced (I & II).
Each course takes four weeks to complete. Students may only proceed to the next course after successfully passing the course exam, completing the course project, and demonstrating the communication skills necessary to place in the next level.
Class size is restricted to a maximum of eight students.
Placement: Initial student placement is assessed based on the course requested as well as the previous study background indicated in our enrollment forms. On the first day of classes, a written placement test is administered as well as a one-on-one oral evaluation, conducted by the instructor. Final placement is then determined based on performance during the testing as well as student feedback regarding their appropriate level. For more information about our course placement and progress evaluation, visit our page on Student Progress Assessment.
Methodology and Goals
Arabic Courses at Qalam wa Lawh are intended to merge seamlessly with Arabic courses taken at home institutions, while at the same time providing an atmosphere where vocabulary can both be acquired faster and retained with greater success.
The concept of immersion is based on the idea that we acquire knowledge faster and better when we learn it naturally through comprehension. While "immersion" methodologies are widely considered modern teaching techniques, they are in fact nothing new. For as long as human beings have learned to speak we have acquired language by imitating and then comprehending the meanings behind the words we say. An immersive language curriculum merely imitates the natural processes we use to learn language as children from the environment around us.
In practice an immersion curriculum does not rely heavily on grammar drills or assignments in translation. Grammar is learned by inference and gentle corrections of speech by the teacher. At the beginning level of our Arabic classes teachers will speak as little English as possible (less than 5%). From the intermediate level onward English will not be spoken at all.
Several different types of immersion methodologies are incorporated into the curriculum. One methodology is task-based learning. During a task-based learning activity the focus of the classroom is the completion of a task and language is the instrument used to achieve it. The aim of this method is to create a need to learn and use language skills.
Another technique, Total Physical Response, is based on the theory that memory of a new language skill is enhanced when associated with physical movement. This method works especially well in learning commands as well as simple actions and nouns.
Simply put, the curriculum strategy is to involve students in a multi-faceted process of learning rather than simply lecturing to them. Students are encouraged to speak and use their new language skills, as much as possible, in order to incorporate them into memory. What this curriculum demands of students is merely that they be open to learning and willing to try to speak and practice the language skills the teacher wants them to produce.
Each classroom is led by an experienced and enthusiastic Native speaking Arabic teacher. Our teachers all hold advanced degrees in Arabic literature, Law, or Applied Linguistics. Some of our instructors are also former Fulbright scholars who had the opportunity to experience teaching Arabic at American universities during a Fulbright exchange. Some have held positions as Professors of Arabic at distinguished Moroccan Universities. Read the credentials of our year round, full time Arabic teachers.
All language courses at Qalam wa Lawh Center adhere to the National Standards set forth by the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) in collaboration with the US Department of Education. For more information about ACTFL standards for Foreign Language Training, visit; American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages .