Expanding Arabic Colloquial Instruction through Online Course Design
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Noon–1 p.m. (Central Time)
Among the challenges Arabic multiglossia creates for Arabic language programs is the question of which, and how many, colloquial varieties of Arabic to offer as part of the curriculum. Due to constraints related to manpower and expertise, many Arabic programs limit their colloquial Arabic offerings to a single, or two, widely understood varieties: Egyptian and/or Levantine Arabic. In many cases, learners with interests or professional needs that go beyond these colloquials are left to their own devices -- a problem exacerbated by the dearth of high-quality instructional materials for other varieties of Arabic.
In this presentation, the speaker discusses the design and delivery at the University of Minnesota of an online course in the colloquial Arabic of the Arabian Peninsula. This variety of Arabic has rarely been taught in the US despite its usefulness for learners with a range of academic and professional interests. The speaker will address the opportunities and challenges involved in the creation of a curriculum for less commonly taught varieties of Arabic like Arabian Peninsula Colloquial, as well as the advantages and the constraints of the online delivery format of the course. Additionally, she will offer recommendations for the design of online courses in colloquial Arabic that can support the expansion of Arabic colloquial instruction in academic programs across the US.
Presenter: Katrien Vanpee is the Director of Arabic Language Instruction at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches courses in Arabic language, literature, and culture. Her interests include foreign language pedagogy; program direction and curriculum design; Arabic literature and poetry; and the cultural heritage of the Arabian Peninsula.