Jordan: Intensive Arabic Language Studies (Summer)
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The Jordan: Intensive Arabic Language Studies program gives students of wide-ranging levels, including beginners, an exceptional opportunity to learn Arabic through deep and meaningful integration in the cultural context of Jordan. Through classroom learning as well as time in the field, students learn and improve their usage and understanding of Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Colloquial Arabic. Complementary educational excursions outside of Amman reveal to students Jordan's rich heritage, culture, and geography while providing exceptional opportunities to practice their enhanced language skills.
Students acquire not only basic vocabulary but the practical communication skills, including culturally appropriate gestures, necessary to communicate in a variety of everyday situations with native speakers.
Specific course objectives include:
- Learning autobiographical data (including names, state of health, description of family and home, and city of residence), along with appropriate cultural signs and gestures
- Mastering proper pronunciation
- Engaging in simple conversations on a range of everyday topics
- Learning how to give and receive directions
- Ordering food and drink, and reading a menu in a traditional Arabic restaurant
- Using the number system, telling time, and understanding how to deal with money in Arabic
- Reading and telling selected stories in Arabic; this helps develop and enhance listening comprehension skills
- Writing a 100-word essay in Arabic about topics related to everyday life
- Communicating comfortably at a basic level with native speakers
- Developing the tools necessary to increase language proficiency independently
- Developing conversational proficiency as a solid foundation for further learning
All Arabic classes in Amman take place at the SIT Center located in the neighborhood of Abdoun, an upscale community in West Amman. Abdoun Circle, a hub for restaurants and cafes, is approximately 10 minutes by foot from the SIT Center, making it highly accessible to program participants. Classes are held at the Center from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. The Center offers a number of important amenities including a language and cultural library, a quiet study room, wireless internet, and satellite TV broadcasting live Arabic news channels.
Amman, the modern and ancient capital of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The city's modern buildings blend with the remnants of ancient civilizations. Students discover the city's profusion of gleaming white houses, kebab stalls with roasting meat, and tiny cafes boasting rich Arabian coffee. Well known as a welcoming and relatively small city, students frequently explore the city's many hidden treasures by foot.
While in Amman, students have the opportunity to visit the Roman Amphitheater, an imposing monument set into the side of a mountain. The amphitheater is one of Amman's most impressive cultural assets, built under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD).
The Jordan Festival
Students may have the unique opportunity to attend the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts, an annual international cultural event featuring famous Arabic poets, singers, and writers. Jerash is one of the most famous and well preserved Roman provincial cities in the world and since 1980 has been the host of this major international festival. The 2009 program includes the Moscow Ballet's Cinderella, a flamenco performance by Ara de Madrid, a contemporary dance play by Jollanar from Syria, and a Japanese poetry and music performance by Keiko Koma, among many other performances.
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