Modern Language – Arabic Minor

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This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in international and global studies students who have chosen an area of study in Arabic language or a field specialization in the Middle East; or are native speakers of Arabic.
  • Posting of the minor on the student’s academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor. 

The program code for Modern Language – Arabic Minor is ARBC-MN.

Curriculum for Modern Language – Arabic Minor

Choose five consecutive language courses:
   Beginning Arabic I
Beginning Arabic I introduces students with no prior knowledge of the lan-guage to Modern Standard Arabic. Beginning Arabic I builds the foundation skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and culture, with emphasis on beginning writing and on conversation. Students must take placement exam if this is their first RIT class in Arabic and they have some prior study of Arabic.
   Beginning Arabic II
Beginning Arabic II is the second course at the beginning level. It focuses on the development of functional competence in speaking, listening, reading, writing and culture.
   Intermediate Arabic I
Intermediate Arabic I continues with intermediate-level development of functional skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing and culture, including conversation, with increased work in reading and writing.
   Intermediate Arabic II
Intermediate Arabic II, the second course at the intermediate level, engages students in further mastery of four skills with emphasis in conversation, reading and writing.
   Advanced Arabic I
Advanced Arabic I, the beginning of the advanced (third year) sequence, does advanced work in all skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing, culture), including conversation, with increased work in reading, writing, and culture.
   Advanced Arabic II
Advanced Arabic II, the final course of the advanced (third year) sequence, continues study of the advanced-year textbook and does advanced work in all skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing, culture), including conversation, with increased work in reading, writing and culture.

Students can take up to two culture courses as part of the Arabic minor. In addition to culture courses listed for the minor, other courses from other departments or schools dealing with aspects of Arabic culture may be approved by the faculty adviser.

   Global Islam
This course examines the spread of Islam beyond its origins in the Middle East, and the cultural and social clashes, but also the mutual adjustments that have followed. This course explores core tenets of Islam, but also how its practices and beliefs are altered as practitioners in different countries alternately adopt, co-opt, massage, react to, and reject elements in accordance with the meaningful social, cultural, and political lives they build for themselves. The compatibility of Islam with Western society is often debated in contemporary public discourse. This debate is typically marked by an assumption that Islamic beliefs clash with Western secular democratic ideals, an assumption which results in tensions over mosque building, headscarves, and other public signs of Islamic faith. We will explore the diverse ways of being Muslim from a cross-cultural perspective and the sometimes-challenging negotiation of fulfilling these religious tenets while living in Muslim-minority places.
   Culture and Politics in the Middle East
With a focus on everyday life in families, communities, and nations, we examine the diverse cultures and peoples of the Middle East in the context of political and economic forces that have shaped their lives in the past and present. We examine European colonialism and its modern-day legacies, including ethnic inequalities, economic vulnerability, labor migration, urbanism, and social unrest. We look at how art, music, oral traditions, and literatures have engaged critically with the forces of political change and neo-colonialism. We consider political activism, religious diversity, changing experiences and expectations of women and men, rebellion, revolution, and war, and the impacts of and creative responses to globalization. The cultural, political, social, and religious dynamics of Middle Eastern peoples will be discussed from a humanistic perspective.