Arabic is spoken natively by over 400 million people across the world, making it the fifth most widely spoken language. It is also an official language of United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Olympic Committee (IOC), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and many other international organizations. Arabic belongs to the Semitic language family, and its contribution is evident in many languages. Highly frequent English words like ‘alcohol’, ‘algebra’, ‘cotton’, ‘soda’, and ‘sugar’, are all derived from Arabic. Similar considerations apply to Persian in which nearly 50% of its vocabulary comes from Arabic. Since Arabic and Hebrew are related linguistically, they also share numerous linguistic concepts, including morphological, phonological, and semantic. With that being stated, learning Arabic can be a bridge in learning other languages spoken in Middle East and Africa. Additionally, learning Arabic allows you to communicate with millions around the world along with gaining profound insights into the political, cultural, historical and religious values of the Arabic-speaking countries. It is also a key to innumerable employment opportunities in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. Now more than ever, there is a much greater need for workers who are versed in Arabic to serve in journalism, business, foreign affairs, research, intelligence, medicine, education, and many other fields. With less than 1 percent of students studying Arabic in the States, learning Arabic will definitely help you to be distinguished among job applicants.
The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures follows a communicative approach that integrates reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as functional and structural skills. Instruction is provided in Modern Standard Arabic, which is a key in facilitating communication regardless of regional dialects. Three levels of Arabic are offered for students with a wide range of academic backgrounds and abilities: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Students with no background in Arabic should register for LARA 100, which is offered each Fall. Students at more advanced levels can request independent studies. Besides working to improve our students’ linguistic and communicative competence, we provide courses that will acquaint them with the cultures, religious heterogeneity (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism), political systems, media networks, economics, and literatures of the Arabic-speaking countries. Lastly, our students benefit from Arabic language partners, language-computer lab, skilled tutors, and a rich variety of cultural events organized by CSU Arabic Club, including movies, cooking workshops, and field trips.