San Francisco Arabic Course Descriptions

Standard Arabic: Intensive | For Complete Beginners | First Year Study | Intermediate | Advanced |
Other: Arabic Dialects | Other Languages | Culture and History


Intensive Arabic

Summer Intensive Arabic: Beginner
This eight-week course covers all the material of our Arabic 1-6 courses. The material covered in this program is equivalent to a year of academic study at a typical university's Arabic program. Class meets 3 1/2 hours per day, Monday through Friday. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: None

Summer Intensive Arabic: Beginner (Part A)
The first four weeks of our Summer Intensive: Beginner class. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: None

Summer Intensive Arabic: Beginner (Part B)
The last four weeks of our Summer Intensive: Beginner class. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: Arabic 3 at PAR or one semester of Arabic study at another institution.

Summer Intensive Arabic: Intermediate
This eight-week course covers all the material of our intermediate (second year) Standard Arabic program. The material covered in this program is equivalent to a year of academic study at a typical university's Arabic program. Class meets 3 1/2 hours per day, Monday through Friday. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: Arabic 6 at PAR or one year of Arabic study at another institution.

Summer Intensive Arabic: Intermediate (Part A)
The first four weeks of our Summer Intensive: Beginner class. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: Arabic 6 at PAR or one year of Arabic study at another institution.

Summer Intensive Arabic: Intermediate (Part B)
The last four weeks of our Summer Intensive: Intermediate class. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: Intermediate Arabic 5 at PAR or three semesters of Arabic study at another institution.

Summer Intensive Hebrew: Beginner
This eight-week course covers all the material of our Hebrew 1-6 courses. The material covered in this program is equivalent to a year of academic study at a typical university's Arabic program. Class meets 3 1/2 hours per day, Monday through Friday. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: None

Summer Intensive Hebrew: Beginner (Part A)
The first four weeks of our Summer Intensive: Beginner class. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: None

Summer Intensive Hebrew: Beginner (Part B)
The last four weeks of our Summer Intensive: Beginner class. You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: Hebrew 3 at PAR or one semester of Arabic study at another institution.

Winter Intensive: Beginner
This four-week course covers all the material of our Arabic 1-3 courses and is equivalent to Summer Intensive: Beginner (Part A). You'll find details about this program here.
Prerequisites: None


For Complete Beginners

Arabic 1  (8 weeks)

This course is for Students will learn Texts: (not included in tuition)
Arabic 1: Fast Track
Our Arabic 1 class taught intensively (the full 8-week Arabic 1 curriculum being presented in 4 weeks with more frequent class meetings).
Prerequisites: None

Arabic for Travelers
Travelers to the Arab world who have some Arabic language skills will have a greatly enhanced experience, and gain a deeper understanding of the host culture. This class will prepare travelers to communicate their needs when traveling in the Arab world, and to connect with the community.
Prerequisites: None


First Year Arabic

Arabic 1b  (4 weeks)
Reading and writing activities form the core of this four-week proficiency workshop. Graduates of Arabic 1 and students in Arabic 2 alike will develop the basic literacy skills necessary to advance through our first-year curriculum. All materials are provided, and there are no homework assignments beyond suggestions for reading and writing practice outside the classroom.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1

Arabic Reading / Writing Workshop  (4 weeks)
Reading and writing form the core of this four-week proficiency workshop. Students in Arabic 3 and above develop the skills necessary to move forward in our program. All materials are provided; weekly homework assignments augment the drills and exercises done in class.
Prerequisites: Arabic 3 or one semester of Arabic at another institution

Arabic 2  (8 weeks)

This course is for Students will learn Texts: (not included in tuition)
Arabic 2 Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Arabic through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Arabic in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring MSA grammar and vocabulary to life, while impromptu drills reinforce verb conjugations and sentence structure. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Standard Arabic classes.
Prerequisites: Previous or current enrollment in Arabic 2, or equivalent experience.

Arabic 3  (8 weeks)

This course is for
  • those who have completed Arabic 2 (or MSA Level 2) at PAR, or
  • those who have studied Al Kitaab vol. 1 through chapter 10 at another school**
Students will learn
  • practical skills: pronunciation: using elision correctly / increased emphasis on learning through memorization
  • word structures: dual forms (pronouns, nouns and adjectives) / plurals of nouns and adjectives ("sound," "broken" and irregular masculine forms) / object pronoun suffixes
  • awzaan: tafaa3ul / fa33aal / mufa33il
  • phrase / sentence structures: jumla ismiyya / jumla fi3liyya / four sentence types / mansuub case (nouns and adjectives) / particles inna and anna / "these" and "those" (human plural)
  • verbs: past tense conjugation / kaana, laysa and asbaha / "had done" something (pluperfect)
  • vocabulary / conversation topics: discussing what happened in the past / means of transport / storytelling / looking for a job / looking for accommodation
  • reading / listening: Arabian Nights excerpts / classified advertisements
Texts: (not included in tuition)
Arabic 3 Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Arabic through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Arabic in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring MSA grammar and vocabulary to life, while impromptu drills reinforce verb conjugations and sentence structure. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Standard Arabic classes.
Prerequisites: Previous or current enrollment in Arabic 3, or equivalent experience.

Arabic 4  (8 weeks)

This course is for
  • those who have completed Arabic 3 (or MSA Level 3) at PAR, or
  • those who have studied Al Kitaab vol. 1 through chapter 15 at another school**
Students will learn
  • practical skills: increased emphasis on oral communication, asking / answering questions and conjugating verbs
  • word structures: verbal awzaan (forms I-IV) / masdar (verbal noun) / prepositions with object pronouns
  • awzaan: fu3alaa'
  • phrase / sentence structures: phrases with masdars / prepositional phrases / fronted predicate / thematic sentences
  • verbs: present tense / expressing future action and "used to" / negation: past, present and future
  • vocabulary / conversation topics: expressing "to have" / daily activities, work, hobbies and sports / months (Eastern, Western and Islamic) / Islamic festivals / holiday greetings
  • reading / listening: articles on working at an office and leisure activities / conversation about Islamic festivals
Texts: (not included in tuition)
Arabic 4 Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Arabic through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Arabic in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring MSA grammar and vocabulary to life, while impromptu drills reinforce verb conjugations and sentence structure. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Standard Arabic classes.
Prerequisites: Previous or current enrollment in Arabic 4, or equivalent experience.

Arabic 5  (8 weeks)

This course is for
  • those who have completed Arabic 4 (or MSA Level 4) at PAR, or
  • those who have studied Al Kitaab vol. 1 through chapter 18 at another school** but have not mastered all the grammar covered in this level 5 course
Students will learn
  • practical skills: increased emphasis on oral and written communication and conjugating verbs
  • word structures: verbal awzaan (forms V-VIII, X) / ordinal numbers
  • awzaan: fa3aa'il, taf3iil
  • phrase / sentence structures: sentences with li, 'an, 'anna, li'anna and lakinna / expressing "can / to be possible" / other uses of nisba
  • verbs: present tense and negation continued / all verbal awzaan
  • vocabulary / conversation topics: question words / answering "why?" / women in the Arab world / compass directions / shopping
  • reading / listening: more about festivals and celebrations / interview with Lebanese model
Texts: (not included in tuition)
Arabic 5 Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Arabic through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Arabic in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring MSA grammar and vocabulary to life, while impromptu drills reinforce verb conjugations and sentence structure. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Standard Arabic classes.
Prerequisites: Previous or current enrollment in Arabic 5, or equivalent experience.

Arabic 6  (8 weeks)

This course is for
  • those who have completed Arabic 5 at PAR, or
  • those who have studied Al Kitaab vol. 1 through chapter 20 at another school** but have not mastered all the grammar covered in this level 6 course
Students will learn
  • practical skills: increased emphasis on oral and written communication / using the Hans Wehr dictionary
  • word structures: relative pronouns / comparative and superlative
  • awzaan: mafaa3il, mafaa3iil, istif3aal
  • phrase / sentence structures: relative clauses: indefinite (jumlat as-sifa) and definite / idaafa with dual and masculine plural / comparative and superlative phrases
  • verbs: present tense: marfuu3, mansuub and majzuum / imperative
  • vocabulary / conversation topics: discussing places in terms of geography, culture, commercial activity, etc. / food and cooking terms / Arabs in Hollywood
  • reading / listening: tourist brochure from the Gulf / recipe for koshari / article on Salma Hayek / supermarket advertisements
Texts: (not included in tuition)
Arabic 6 Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Arabic through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Arabic in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring MSA grammar and vocabulary to life, while impromptu drills reinforce verb conjugations and sentence structure. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Standard Arabic classes.
Prerequisites: Previous or current enrollment in Arabic 6, or equivalent experience.

Arabic 7  (8 weeks)

This course is for
  • those who have completed Arabic 6 at PAR, or
  • those who have studied Al Kitaab vol. 1 through chapter 20 at another school** but have not mastered all the grammar covered in this level 7 course
Students will learn
  • practical skills: increased emphasis on reading and discussing texts
  • word structures: adverbs: three types / color patterns / i3raab (declension): marfuu3, mansuub and majruur / irregular nouns (abuu, akhuu) / "defective" nouns and adjectives (qaadin, al-qaadii)
  • awzaan: fa3lala, word shape review
  • phrase / sentence structures: conditional sentences / using quantifiers
  • verbs: quadriliteral verbs / dual verb forms
  • vocabulary / conversation topics: sports and sporting club terms / colors and human attributes / clothing items / restaurant menus / hotel brochures / MSA in the Arab world
  • reading / listening: report on Morocco vs. Tunisia soccer match / interview with Egyptian professor: teaching MSA to Arabs / world news articles / additional texts from other sources as needed
Texts: (not included in tuition)
Pronunciation Workshop
This workshop presents aspects of Arabic phonology that can be troublesome for the Anglophone student. Students work with native speakers to perfect their pronunciation of Arabic and are given audio CDs and homework assignments to work on at home. Students at all levels of Arabic can benefit from this course.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent experience.


Intermediate Arabic

Intermediate Arabic 1  (8 weeks)
This course is designed to develop speaking and listening skills while providing an extensive treatment of Arabic verbs.

Intermediate Arabic 2  (8 weeks)
A comprehensive review of first-year Arabic grammar.

Intermediate Arabic 3  (8 weeks)
Intermediate Arabic 4  (8 weeks)

Intermediate Arabic 5  (8 weeks)

Intermediate Arabic 6  (8 weeks)

Arabic Drama: Scene-writing Workshop  (8 weeks)
This class draws students away from the textbook and into a collaborative learning community. Students will write, edit and act out an original one-act play as a group project. Everything from writing to accent and diction is stressed in this four-week workshop which culminates in the video recording of the scene. All intermediate- and advanced-level Arabic students will benefit from this unique opportunity to internalize the material studied to date.

Intermediate Arabic Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Arabic through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Arabic in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring MSA grammar and vocabulary to life, while impromptu drills reinforce verb conjugations and sentence structure. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Standard Arabic classes.
Prerequisites: Previously or currently enrolled in an intermediate-level Arabic class at PAR, or equivalent experience.

Intermediate Arabic Composition  (8 weeks)
This class challenges students to express themselves in writing on increasingly sophisticated topics. Through weekly writing assignments students' understanding of grammar and breadth of vocabulary are greatly enhanced. Proper Arabic style and increasingly-nuanced prose are emphasized in this course.
Prerequisites: Arabic 6 or equivalent


Advanced Arabic

Advanced Arabic 1  (8 weeks)

Advanced Arabic 2  (8 weeks)

Advanced Arabic 3  (8 weeks)

Advanced Arabic 4  (8 weeks)

Advanced Arabic 5  (8 weeks)

Advanced Arabic 6  (8 weeks)

Advanced Arabic Readings  (8 weeks)
Students completing Advanced Arabic 6 or the equivalent are welcome to join this group of high-level students studying advanced texts.


Dialects

Egyptian 1
Covers the basic phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary of every-day Egyptian dialect, as which is widely understood outside of Egypt thanks to the prevalence of Egyptian movies and music. Handouts are given each week in class, and the instructor leads spoken exercises and drills.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent

Egyptian 2
Continuation of Egyptian 1.
Prerequisites: Egyptian 1 or equivalent

Egyptian 3
Continuation of Egyptian 2.
Prerequisites: Egyptian 2 or equivalent

Egyptian 4
Continuation of Egyptian 3.
Prerequisites: Egyptian 3 or equivalent

Egyptian 5
Continuation of Egyptian 4.
Prerequisites: Egyptian 4 or equivalent

Egyptian 6
Continuation of Egyptian 5.
Prerequisites: Egyptian 5 or equivalent

Egyptian Conversation
This class engages students in lively discussions and verbal drills. Heritage speakers and intermediate-level students of the dialect will have the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary, discuss increasingly sophisticated topics and develop their confidence, fluency and ability to express themselves with nuanced speech. Taught entirely in Egyptian Arabic.
Prerequisites: Intermediate-level grasp of Egyptian Arabic

Levantine 1
While focusing on the dialect of Syria, the dialect taught here is useful throughout the Levant, including Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and parts of Jordan. The highly practical text guides presents useful vocabulary and structures. Class time is spent primarily on drills and conversation.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent
Text: (not included in tuition)
Levantine 2
A continuation of Levantine 1
Prerequisites: Levantine 1 or equivalent
Text: (not included in tuition)
Levantine 3
Continuation of Levantine 2.
Prerequisites: Levantine 2 or equivalent
Text: (not included in tuition)
Levantine 4
Continuation of Levantine 3.
Prerequisites: Levantine 3 or equivalent
Text: (not included in tuition)
Levantine Conversation
This class engages students in lively discussions and verbal drills. Heritage speakers and intermediate-level students of the dialect will have the opportunity to enhance their vocabulary, discuss increasingly sophisticated topics and develop their confidence, fluency and ability to express themselves with nuanced speech. Taught entirely in Levantine Arabic.
Prerequisites: Intermediate-level grasp of Levantine Arabic

Tunisian 1
Presents Darja, the spoken Arabic of Tunisia. Our text follows the adventures of Rashida, an American newly arrived in Tunis, in her daily adventures eating, shopping, and going from place to place. Class time will focus on verbal drills and conversational exercises. Tuition includes textbook and audio CD.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent

Tunisian 2
A continuation of Tunisian 1, the textbook for this class consists of units 6-10. In these episodes we follow Rashida on vacation and learn more practical every-day vocabulary. Tuition includes textbook and audio CD.
Prerequisites: Tunisian 1 or equivalent

Moroccan 1
Teaches Darija, the spoken Arabic of Morocco, through in-class exercises and excellent accompanying materials. The text is structured around real every-day stories told by real people, Said and Fatima. Their voices, recorded in Morocco, are featured on the CD. Tuition includes textbook and audio CD.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent

Moroccan 2
An intensive continuation of Moroccan 1. In book 2, consisting of lessons 8-15, we hear more from Said and Fatima about their routines, their values, and special occasions. Tuition includes text and audio CD. Class meets twice per week to provide ample conversational practice.
Prerequisites: Moroccan 1 or equivalent

Moroccan 3
This class continues where Said and Fatima's conversation leaves off. Students broaden their knowledge of functional vocabulary and everyday life in Morocco to place themselves in the market, in restaurants, cafes, and in transit throughout the country. Each week of the eight-week class has a theme and provides vocabulary and drills as a starting point for role play and lively interaction. Maxims, jokes, and folklore will provide further context for understanding life in Morocco.
Prerequisites: Moroccan 2 or equivalent

Gulf 1
An introduction to the dialect of Arabic spoken throughout the Gulf states-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E., Oman, and Yemen.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent

Iraqi 1
An introduction to the Iraqi dialect of Arabic, similar to that of the Gulf states but not always inter-intelligible.
Prerequisites: Arabic 1 or equivalent


Other Languages

Farsi 1  (8 weeks)
This course is for
  • complete beginners, or
  • those with limited exposure to Farsi who are unable to read and write the language
Students will learn
  • practical skills: entire alphabet: reading and writing / basic greetings and conversation
  • vocabulary / conversation topics:  numbers: 1-10 / subject pronouns / basic greetings and questions / discussing names and where people are from

Farsi 1: Fast Track
Our Farsi 1 class taught intensively (the full 8-week Farsi 1 curriculum presented in four weeks, with two meetings per week).
Prerequisites: None

Farsi Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Farsi through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Farsi in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring Farsi grammar and vocabulary to life. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Farsi classes.
Prerequisites: Previously or currently enrolled in an intermediate-level Farsi class at PAR, or equivalent experience.

Intermediate Farsi 1
This course is designed to expand the students' knowledge of Farsi vocabulary and their skills in speaking and reading with further emphasis on verb usage in different tenses.
Prerequisites: Completion of Farsi 6 or permission of director

Farsi Conversation  (4 or 8 weeks)
This conversation class lets students break free from the written page and immerse themselves in Farsi through lively interaction. Reading, writing and English are not allowed; the goal is to gain confidence communicating entirely in Farsi in a structured, social environment. Guided discussions bring Farsi grammar and vocabulary to life. This is a perfect companion course to our regular Farsi classes.
Prerequisites: Previously or currently enrolled in an intermediate-level Farsi class at PAR, or equivalent experience.


Culture and History

Early Arab History (through 1248)
This course, taught in English, covers the history of the Arabs from the Nabateans through the Abbasids. Intended to present a historical and cultural overview to students of Arabic, this course is also open to individuals not engaged in language study.
Prerequisites: None

Modern Arab History (1897-present)
This course, taught in English, covers the history of the Arabs from the end of the Ottoman empire through the current day. Arab nationalism and pan-Arabism are covered in depth. Intended to present a historical and cultural overview to students of Arabic, this course is also open to individuals not engaged in language study.
Prerequisites: None

The Arab Spring: Current Events in the Arab World
This course, taught in English, covers contemporary events and issues in the Arab world. Students learn about the uprisings that began on December 18, 2010. The course covers the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the civil war in Libya and uprisings in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen. Intended as an overview for students of Arabic, this course is also open to individuals not engaged in language study.
Prerequisites: None

Contemporary Egyptian History
This course, taught in English, explores the social and political forces and personalities that have shaped modern Egypt, and the economic, political and diplomatic dilemmas facing the country.
Prerequisites: None

Egyptian Film
From the 1930s through the 1960s, the Egyptian motion picture industry produced films of such number and quality that it earned the nickname "Hollywood on the Nile." Watch classic Egyptian films in this engaging class taught by Maher Sabry, an Egyptian filmmaker himself. This course is taught in English.
Prerequisites: None

Arabic Calligraphy 1: Riq'a
Nearly all students of Arabic can benefit from this workshop in which the "real world" of Arabic handwriting is explored and developed. Students learn the history of Arabic calligraphy and survey the various styles, but also do hands-on work in Riq'a script, common in the Middle East. This course is the first in our calligraphy series.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write the Arabic alphabet

Arabic Calligraphy: Thuluth
In this art calligraphy class students work with authentic reed pens to produce calligraphic works in the Thuluth style.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write the Arabic alphabet and completion of Arabic Calligraphy 1 (or permission of director)

Arabic Calligraphy: Kufi
In this art calligraphy class students work with authentic reed pens to produce calligraphic works in the Kufi style.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write the Arabic alphabet and completion of Arabic Calligraphy 1 (or permission of director)

Arabic Calligraphy: Diwani
In this art calligraphy class students work with authentic reed pens to produce calligraphic works in the Diwani style.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write the Arabic alphabet and completion of Arabic Calligraphy 1 (or permission of director)

Arabic Calligraphy: Nasta'liq
In this art calligraphy class students work with authentic reed pens to produce calligraphic works in the Nasta'liq style.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write Arabic, Farsi or Urdu, and completion of Arabic Calligraphy 1 (or permission of director)

Arabic Calligraphy: Advanced Nasta'liq
In this art calligraphy class students experienced in the Nasta'liq style work with authentic reed pens to pursue advanced projects.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write Arabic, Farsi or Urdu, and completion of Arabic Calligraphy: Nasta'liq (or permission of director)

Arabic Calligraphy: Shikasteh
In this art calligraphy class students work with authentic reed pens to produce calligraphic works in the Shikasteh style.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write Arabic, Farsi or Urdu, and completion of Arabic Calligraphy 1 (or permission of director)

Arabic Calligraphy: Zoomorphic Design
In this art calligraphy class students work with authentic reed pens to produce calligraphic works in the shape of animals. Various calligraphic styles will be employed.
Prerequisites: Ability to read and write Arabic, Farsi or Urdu, and completion of Arabic Calligraphy 1 (or permission of director)


Notes
** Students who have studied Al Kitaab (Georgetown University Press) through the indicated chapter will feel comfortable in this course. However, Al Kitaab does not present material in the same order as the text we use. Therefore, students new to PAR are encouraged to purchase the text early and review the topics presented in previous courses before their first class meeting. Feel free to contact us if you need help determining which class to take.