Amman - Jordan This is one of the best and most professional Arabic programs in the Gulf Region and students will enjoy a summer or semester program at our University Campus in Amman, Jordan. Our language program is located in the foremost language teaching institution in Jordan and the Middle East region. It was established, upon Royal Decree, in 1979 to ... (A963).
Amman - Jordan CGE's Middle East center, CGE Jordan, is located in Amman, Jordan and directed by Fridrik Tiedemann, author of the book, The 101 Most Used Verbs in Spoken Arabic: Jordan & Palestine. CGE Jordan is ... (A10380)
CGE Jordan (The Consortium for Global Education)
Ali Baba International Center for Arabic Language in Jordan
Amman - Jordan Ali Baba International Center is an international organization established exclusively to give people, of different ages and nationalities, the opportunity to learn and live the Arabic language and ... (A7774)
Ali Baba International Center
Intensive Arabic Immersion
Irbid - Jordan Intensive Arabic Immersion (8 credits). Taught by Yarmouk University, AFL-trained professors. Middle East Studies (8 credits). Excursions to Petra, Dead Sea and Baptism Site. We use innovative ... (A9597)
Petra Crown Academics, LLC
Amman - Jordan Studying at the Language Center (LC) leads to academic qualification and language learning highly respected not only throughout the Middle East region but throughout the globe. LC gives students the ... (A8354)
CGE Summer Arabic Study Abroad in Amman, Jordan
Amman - Jordan CGE (The Consortium for Global Education) was founded in 1987 by the leadership of several distinguished private American universities for the purpose of expanding their international activities and ... (A9697)
Consortium for Global Education (CGE)
Althuraya Language Center
Amman - Jordan Al Thuraya Language Center located in Amman, capital of Jordan has been established to meet the demands of the worldwide interest and infatuation for Arabic language. We support Arabic as a ... (A11447)
althuraya language center
Darna Educational Services - Intensive Arabic Immersion in Jordan
Amman - Jordan Darna Educational Services is an appointed and authorized agent to provide Arabic Courses at II-TASOL, University of Jordan (International Institute for Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other ... (A10226)
Darna Educational Services
Learn Arabic in Jordan
Amman - Jordan Learn Arabic Language in Jordan: Originally built on seven hills, Jordan’s capital and biggest city now spans over nineteen hills in north-western Jordan. A cosmopolitan city of two million, Amman ... (A8536)
AmeriSpan Study Abroad
Kelsey Arabic Program
Amman - Jordan The Kelsey Arabic Program is an Arabic language program located in the heart of Amman, Jordan. Our students come from around the world to learn Arabic for service in a variety of capacities among ... (A11155)
Kelsey Arabic Program
Learn and Enjoy
Irbid - Jordan We are an organization established for the people who are interested in learning Arabic by providing them with advanced teaching technology in considerable short period of time and maximum enjoyment ... (A10673)
learn and enjoy
The Other Lanaguage Experience
Amman - Jordan Come and learn spoken Arabic with us. Characteristics of our language sessions: * fun activities / very interactive (Total Physical Response, or 'TPR') * study relevant subjects to your ... (A9435)
Komensky Centre for Intercultural Development
AMMAN - “Without Arabic you can get by [in Amman], but it’s so much more interesting if you communicate with people,” said Nathan Shepherd, an American who is working in Amman this year as an emerging markets development adviser.
Shepherd, one of hundreds of foreigners studying Arabic in Jordan, has been taking lessons from a private tutor with several of his American colleagues. He didn’t know any Arabic before he came to Jordan, and he said getting around Amman with just English wasn’t that difficult, but he wanted to pick up at least some of the local language.
Coming from all over the world, foreigners in the Kingdom have widely varying reasons for learning Arabic: Some seek diplomatic jobs; some want to be able to read the Koran; some, like Shepherd, have come to live or work in Jordan and wish to converse with local residents; while others simply want to better understand Arab culture, history and politics.
“Generally speaking, there’s been a huge interest in the Arabic language post- 9/11, so there’s an influx of students from all over the world,” said Osama Al Shurafa, the director of the Qasid Institute for Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.
He added that people who are interested in learning Arabic fall into two main categories: Non-Arab Muslims who “want to be able to read the Koran and understand their religion better”, or those interested in Arabic for career-related purposes.
Christina Hannum, an American who is studying at Qasid, said she is learning Arabic because she hopes eventually to teach Arabic as a second language in the US.
Daniel Mourad Jensen, a university student from Denmark who is learning Arabic at the University of Jordan Language Centre, said that a year of Arabic in Jordan is required for his programme of study. In the future, he hopes to work for a Danish company with ties to the Middle East.
Some foreigners, like Roshan Iqbal, are more concerned with reading Arabic texts than with conversing in the language. Iqbal, who is from Pakistan and is studying at Qasid, hopes to get a PhD in Islamic studies. She explained that she is interested in Islamic law reform, so understanding classical Islamic texts is key.
Even those who have less clear career goals agree that a strong foundation in Arabic is useful. John Bussey, who is on an American study abroad programme in Amman, said he is not sure what he wants to do after he graduates from college but that he will likely use his Arabic skills. “The Middle East is just a fascinating area, and if you want to be involved here in the future, you need to know Arabic,” he explained.
Of course, learning Arabic is not the number one priority for every foreigner who comes to Amman.
“I didn’t come here to study Arabic,” said Emeline Cassiat, who left France to come to Jordan two years ago when her boyfriend started working in Amman. “I came here mainly to work, and I wanted to learn the language because I was going to live here for a certain time.”
Diplomats, NGO workers and researchers, among others, often arrive in Jordan for work, and only then decide to learn Arabic, according to Khulood Kittaneh, who teaches Arabic at the French Cultural Centre and at the School for International Training.
Where to study?
Iqbal came to Jordan specifically because she wanted to study at Qasid. “I heard that Qasid had arguably the best classical Arabic programme,” she said.
Ariela Marcus-Sells, a Fulbright fellow who is in her second semester at Qasid, said she thinks the institute lives up to its reputation. “Qasid might be one of the best language programmes in the world for learning Arabic,” she said. “They’ve developed their own curriculum for the classical track, and it’s… really aimed at the goals of most people who would be learning classical Arabic as a second language. They teach grammar better than any other language programme that I’ve ever heard of… It really helps you access texts.”
Marcus-Sells described Qasid as intense, especially during the summer, where a year’s worth of Arabic was squeezed into two months. During the summer, she had four hours of class and up to six hours of homework each day. She said her roommate’s workload was so heavy that she took her dictionary to the Dead Sea and did homework on the beach.
“My Arabic greatly improved, simply from the sheer intensity of using so much of it and learning so much everyday,” Marcus-Sells said. “It could get kind of overwhelming at times, but my Arabic certainly improved.”
This semester, Marcus-Sells said, the workload is lighter, with only three hours of core classes each day and less homework.
For foreigners with little time – or money – to devote to Arabic, the French Cultural Centre offers colloquial Arabic courses which meet several evenings a week. Although the classes there are significantly less demanding than at Qasid or the UJ Language Centre, students praise the French Cultural Centre for teaching “amiyya”, or colloquial Arabic – something that neither the language centre nor Qasid emphasise.
Another programme that teaches amiyya is the Kelsey Arabic Programme. Intended to help Christians communicate effectively in the Arab world, the two-year programme focuses on oral communication.
One American, who completed the Kelsey programme with no prior knowledge of Arabic, said she was able to sustain long conversations with people who spoke no English by the time she was done. She is now studying at the National Music Conservatory in Amman, where most of her classes are in Arabic. “I even think in Arabic now,” she said.
While many students seek to improve their Arabic at the various language learning institutions in the capital, others use the streets as their classroom.
Khalio Mohammad moved to Jordan from the US three years ago because his Arab father wanted him to learn Arabic. Until this semester, Mohammad never attended an Arabic class; instead, he picked up bits and pieces of the language by talking to people and can now speak colloquial Arabic fluently.
Branka Shiyab, a Croatian woman who moved to Amman 30 years ago with her Jordanian husband, attained a functional level of Arabic within a year of being in the Kingdom. “I didn’t know any Arabic before,” she said. “I learned it from my husband’s family, my neighbours, and my children, when they went to school… I learned from their first grade schoolbooks.”
Bridging the gap
“I believe an Arabic teacher is a messenger for peace, and a good window to look at the beauty of Arabic culture and Arabic people,” said Kittaneh, explaining that when students come to a place like Jordan to learn the language, they also internalise certain aspects of the culture, which they then bring back to their home countries.
Shurafa also said that coming to Jordan to learn Arabic often reshapes peoples’ impressions and helps erode misperceptions.
Qasid’s mission, he said, “is to bridge the gap between East and West.”
“We believe a lot of what’s going on nowadays is due to lack of communication or understanding of culture,” he said. “We see that a lot of students who come here start with a certain impression and leave with a different one.”
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