Five College Consortium

Five College Center for the Study of World Languages

Spring 2017 Spoken Arabic Courses

[spoken-arabic-gif]The Center offers Supervised Independent Study courses in Egyptian Arabic, Levantine Arabic and Moroccan Arabic. Other dialects may occasionally be available. Check with the Center about other possibiltiies.

Spoken Arabic courses are designed to complement classroom offerings in Modern Standard Arabic by giving Arabic students an opportunity to develop conversational skills in a specific dialect. The courses require around 4 hours per week of independent language practice and participation in a weekly 90-minute small group conversation session.

Prerequisite: The prerequisite for spoken Arabic courses is two semesters of Modern Standard Arabic at the 100-level or the equivalent. With special permission of the Center’s director, well-prepared students may be allowed to enroll in Levantine Arabic I concurrently with enrollment in the second-semester of 100-level study. See course descriptions below.

Credit: Spoken Arabic courses are half courses. Half courses are worth 1.5 credits at UMass. Five College interchange credit is: Amherst  – ½ course; Hampshire – ½ course; Mount Holyoke – 2 credits; Smith – 1.5 credits and at the elementary level two courses or the equivalent are required to receive credit.

Course Format

Spoken Arabic courses are offered in a Supervised Independent Study format. Students in a Supervised Independent Spoken Arabic course study independently around 4 hours per week and attend a weekly 90-minute small group conversation session with a native speaker trained to be a conversation partner with the program. Most conversation partners are undergraduate international students; some graduate students or community members may also be conversation partners. The final grade for a Supervised Independent Spoken Arabic course will be based 80% on a final oral evaluation conducted by a member of the Five College Arabic faculty or an external evaluator; 10% on weekly attendance, and 10% on on time submission of weekly self-assesment reports. 

Spoken Arabic Courses Available in Spring 2017

Ready to register?  Go to How to Register for a Spoken Arabic Course. The application process is designed to make sure your course is a good fit for you in the upcoming semester. Questions?  Email fclrc@hfa.umass.edu, call 413-542-5264 (413-542-LANG) or attend a drop-in information session.

Levantine Arabic

Levantine Arabic I    Entry-level course for students whose first-year Arabic course did not include a speaking component and for students concurrently enrolled in the second semester of 100-level study. Levantine I focuses on developing foundational speaking skills. Students who have completed two semesters of 100-level study in a course that included regular conversation practice in Formal Spoken Arabic or a dialect of Arabic usually start with Levantine Arabic II which is also an entry-level course.

Prerequisite: Two semesters or the equivalent of Modern Standard Arabic at the 100-level OR concurrent enrollment in the second semester of 100-level study with special permission of the Center’s director and the student's Arabic instructor.

Scheduling: Course session times and locations to be arranged based on schedule information submitted by admitted students by Dec. 15, 2016. Students applying after Dec. 15 will need to be able to fit into established course times in order to enroll.


Levantine Arabic II   Entry-level course for students who have completed two semesters of 100-level Arabic study in a course that included regular conversation practice in Formal Spoken Arabic or a dialect of Arabic.

Prerequisite: Students taking Levantine Arabic II need to meet ONE of the following pre-requisites: 1) completion of Levantine I or the equivalent; 2) completion of two semesters of 100-level elementary Arabic in a course that included significant speaking practice in Formal Spoken Arabic or an Arabic dialect; or 3) basic speaking skills in Levantine Arabic developed through other means combined with a knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic equivalent to at least the first-year of elementary Arabic.

Scheduling: Course session times and locations to be arranged based on schedule information submitted by admitted students by Dec. 15, 2016. Students applying after Dec. 15 will need to be able to fit into established course times in order to enroll.


Levantine Arabic III     Prerequisite: Levantine Arabic II or the equivalent. Levantine III focuses on the development of intermediate-level speaking skills including the ability to handle conversations discussing things that happened in the past and things that will happen in the future. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15 2016.


Levantine Arabic IV     Prerequisite: Levantine Arabic III or the equivalent. Students who have studied Levantine Arabic extensively during one or two terms abroad can sometimes start in level IV if the time abroad provided significant opportunities for language practice. Students entering in level IV should be able to handle everyday conversations in the present, past, and future. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.


Levantine Arabic V    Prerequisite: Levantine Arabic IV or the equivalent. This is an upper-level course for students who can already handle basic everyday communicative needs in Levantine and are ready to work on more advanced conversational skills such as talking about current events and expressing abstract ideas and opinions. Students who have spent at least two terms abroad and have used Levantine Arabic extensively with host families, peers, or volunteer/internship settings can sometimes start with Levantine Arabic V.  Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.


Levantine Arabic VI   Prerequisite: Levantine Arabic V or the equivalent. Follows the same format as Levantine Arabic V. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.


Levantine Arabic VII   Prerequisite: Levantine Arabic VI or the equivalent. Follows the same format as Levantine Arabic V. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.


Levantine Arabic VIII   Prerequisite: Levantine Arabic VII or the equivalent. Follows the same format as Levantine Arabic V.Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.


MorocCan Arabic

Moroccan Arabic I         Prerequisite: Two semesters of Modern Standard Arabic at the 100-level or the equivalent. This course is appropriate for students who have had at least one year of Modern Standard Arabic that included a significant speaking component in either MSA or a dialect. The focus is on practical eveyday conversation and listening comprehension. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.

Moroccan Arabic II          Prerequisite: Moroccan Arabic I or the equivalent. Students who began to learn Moroccan Arabic through a single summer or single semester abroad may be able to enter level II upon return. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.

Moroccan Arabic III        Prerequisite: Moroccan Arabic II or the equivalent. Students who have studied  Moroccan Arabic extensively during one or two terms abroad may be able to start in level III if the time abroad provided significant opportunities for language practice. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.

Moroccan Arabic IV        Prerequisite: Moroccan Arabic III or the equivalent. This is an upper-level course for students who can already handle basic everyday communicative needs in Moroccan and are ready to work on more advanced conversational skills such as talking about current events, and expressing abstract ideas and opinions. Students who have spent at least two terms abroad and have used Moroccan Arabic extensively with host families, peers, or volunteer/internship settings can sometimes start with Moroccan Arabic IV.  Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.

Moroccan Arabic V and above: Prerequisite: Moroccan Arabic IV or the equivalent.


Egyptian Arabic

Egyptian Arabic I    NOT OFFERED IN SPRING 2017  Prerequisite: Two semesters of Modern Standard Arabic at the 100-level or the equivalent. With special permission of the Center’s director, well-prepared students may be allowed to enroll in Egyptian Arabic I concurrently with enrollment in the second-semester of 100-level study. Students whose 100-level courses included regular conversation practice in Formal Spoken Arabic or a dialect of Arabic may be able to start with Egyptian II in the new curriculum. Egyptian I focuses on developing foundational speaking skills. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec.15, 2016.

Egyptian Arabic II    (limited availabiltiy for Spring 2017) Prerequisite  Students taking Egyptian Arabic II need to meet ONE of the following pre-requisites: 1) completion of Egyptian I or the equivalent; 2) completion of two semesters of 100-level elementary Arabic in a course that included significant speaking practice in Formal Spoken Arabic or an Arabic dialect; or 3) basic speaking skills in Egyptian Arabic developed through other means combined with a knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic equivalent to at least the first-year of elementary Arabic. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.

Egyptian Arabic III    (limited availabiltiy for Spring 2017)  Prerequisite: Egyptian Arabic II or the equivalent. Students who have studied  Egyptian Arabic extensively during one or two terms abroad can sometimes start in level III if the time abroad provided significant opportunities for language practice. Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec. 15, 2016.

Egyptian Arabic IV  (limited availabiltiy for Spring 2017)   Prerequisite: Egyptian Arabic III or the equivalent. This is an upper-level course for students who can already handle basic everyday communicative needs in Egyptian and are ready to work on more advanced conversational skills such as talking about current events, and expressing abstract ideas and opinions. Students who have spent at least two terms abroad and have used Egyptian Arabic extensively with host families, peers, or volunteer/internship settings can sometimes start with Egyptian Arabic IV.  Course session times and locations to be arranged. Priority in scheduling will be given to students who have applied and submitted schedule information by Dec.15, 2016.

Egyptian Arabic V and above: (limited availabiltiy for Spring 2017) Prerequisite: Egyptian Arabic IV or the equivalent.


Other dialects

Other dialects are sometimes possible. Contact fclrc@hfa.umass.edu for more information.