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Levels of Study

The course for beginners runs from the first week of September through May. The main emphasis is on Modern Standard Arabic, but Egyptian Colloquial Arabic is simultaneously offered (about 30 percent of class time is devoted to colloquial). Arabic is used as the main medium of instruction in the second half of the program. The course comprises up to 20 hours per week of classroom instruction, including interactive audio visual work and up to 20 hours of home assignments. A student who successfully completes the first year of intensive study with the ALIN can expect to possess a working competence in reading and writing modern standard Arabic and understanding and speaking Egyptian Colloquial or Modern Standard Arabic.


Courses at this level are designed for those who have completed a year of intensive study at the elementary level of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction or who have studied two or more years elsewhere and can demonstrate similar level of competence. The program runs from the first week of September through May in the following year.

Arabic is the chief medium of instruction. Students continue work in Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Interested students may, at this level, begin to acquire familiarity with classical Arabic.  

Attention is given to the Arabic of print and broadcast media, while special lecture courses in Arabic are offered in response to the special interests of the students, such as Middle Eastern economics and politics, business correspondence, medieval and modern Arabic literature.

Students who complete the second year of study should be able to read and write Modern Standard Arabic with some fluency, to pursue study in topics that specially interest them in Arabic and to converse freely in Arabic. Intermediate-level students will also have had an opportunity to acquire vocabulary and terminology related to such special fields of interest as business and diplomacy.


Exceptional students may wish to take a third year. These courses are arranged according to demand, but they typically include advanced work in reading and writing, and lecture courses in special topics. At the end of such a course, a student should be able to compete with Arab students at the university level. Alternatively, the student should be able to employ Arabic with competence and confidence in the fields of business or diplomacy.

ALIN offers tailored courses pending the availability of resources.

Students who successfully complete their ALIN courses receive certificates of achievement from the Department of Arabic Language Instruction stating their level of proficiency in Arabic.