SFS-Q Develops Arabic Program
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 02:10
Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar announced the launch the Arabic Language Teaching Initiative for Heritage Learners in an Oct. 1 press release.
The program is designed for native Arabic speakers and aims to fulfill a need for higher-level Arabic education that is lacking in Qatar, according to Director of Communications Moamer Qazafi.
According to a study led by a team of researchers from SFS-Q, education levels in standard Arabic among Doha students in primary and secondary school were three years below their age level.
“The program … comes [amid] mounting concerns about the effectiveness of Arabic-language teaching in Qatar in the Gulf region, especially in light of the limited ability of many Arab high-school and even university graduates to function at the highest professional level in Arabic, regardless of their other qualities and skills,” a September press release said.
According to Qazafi, SFS-Q partnered with Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Northwestern University in Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar to develop the program and intends to offer classes throughout Doha’s Education City after they are launched on the Georgetown campus this semester.
“People from all Arab countries would benefit from the program. Thus, we are open to sharing our expertise with our current partners and sharing what we learn seeking expertise in this specialized area,” he said.
In the press release, SFS-Q Dean Gerd Nonneman said that SFS-Q’s wealth of research on native Arabic speakers and its strong Arabic-language offerings positioned it well to launch the program. The school is also developing new textbooks, extracurricular activities and an online component to accompany the launch of the intensive language course.
Qazafi said that the launch of the new program is in line with SFS-Q’s mission of contributing to Qatar’s growth and development.
“This is just one of the ways that we are supporting the people of Qatar in developing talent at the highest professional level,” Qazafi said. “This fits very nicely into Georgetown’s mission in Qatar, which is to provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience.”