Spoken Arabic dates back to the earliest known human languages spoken on the Asian Peninsula. Today Arabic is spoken in various dialects by approximately 250 million people throughout the Middle East and North Africa including the countries of: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, The United Arab Emirate, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Written Arabic dates back to before the 7th century when the Qur'an, the Holy Scripture of Islam, was written.
At Baylor University we teach Modern Standard Arabic, the written variety used throughout the contemporary Arab World, as well as basic interactive use of spoken Syrian or Levantine Arabic and Spoken Egyptian Arabic, two of the most widely used native dialects.
In the first course of our series, students will learn to read and write the Arabic Script System and to pronounce the sounds of Arabic - this initial instruction includes the 28-letters of the Arabic alphabet in all 4 positions (independent, initial, medial, and final), letter connections in the Arabic script, long and short vowels, and 7 diacritical markings associated with the Arabic script. Because the writing system is entirely new to many Baylor students, the process of learning to write is accompanied by a “parallel track” of interactive words, phrases and structures which are initially presented and practiced through speaking and listening. Once the foundation of the writing system has been established, these two “tracks” are integrated into a curriculum which targets communicative proficiency in the interpersonal, presentational and interpretive modes (see ACTFL Guidelines for additional information).