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Arabic Language, Basic, Part I (NCAA Approved)

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Open to: Grades 7 - 12

Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math or verbal score required

Course Format: Session Based. See calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 12 weeks (Early Fall, Late Fall, Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Mid-Summer)

Recommended School Credit: One academic year

Course Code: AR11

Course Description


This course is an introduction to the phonology and script of Modern Standard Arabic and its basic vocabulary and fundamental structure. There will be a focus on simple interactive communicative tasks involving teacher with students and students among themselves. Basic grammar is taught through reading, writing and speaking skills. It will introduce students to the entire Arabic alphabet: consonants, long vowels, and short vowels. Students will be able to use daily expressions during intensive classroom interaction and out-of-class assignments and conversation with the instructor. The course integrates the basic culture patterns through the use of the four listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students will enjoy wonderful online cultural tours to help them learn about Arabic countries and their history, traditions, and food.

Students who have successfully completed Arabic Language, Basic, Part I should be able to:

  • Recognize and pronounce any Arabic word
  • Recite the Arabic alphabet
  • Recognize the difference in pronouncing consonants, long vowels, and short vowels
  • Write Arabic letters and words in all their different shapes 
  • Construct simple sentences in Arabic
  • Use daily expressions in appropriate cultural contexts
  • Use different ways of greeting 
  • Introduce themselves
  • Practice proper Arab etiquette

Online courses are held twice per week. Students interact with the instructors and other students using Internet-based software. Course materials include a textbook, workbook, and CD-ROM purchased separately by the student.

Interactive virtual online sessions are held in the evenings (both EST and PST). A school's need to hold daytime sessions for its students will be honored whenever possible. Separate conversations between each student and the instructor or teaching assistant are arranged individually.

This course has synchronous virtual class meetings and students will also schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor and teaching assistant. View the schedule for class meeting times. Meetings will be recorded for students who are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

Virtual classrooms, and student activities in the classroom, may be recorded and added to the course as an ongoing asset for all class students to review. Students may be invited to interact in CTY community spaces that include students and instructors and potentially specially invited guests that are not enrolled in their course. Videos from YouTube or other web providers may be present in the course. Video recommendations or links provided at end of videos are generated by the video host provider and are not CTY recommendations. Student contributions (e.g., projects, forum posts, etc.) may remain in the course after the student completes the course. These artifacts may be preserved to showcase student work or to continue important conversations.

Materials Needed

A textbook purchase is required for this course:

 Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds [With DVD] (Al-Kitaab Arabic Language Program) (Arabic Edition) [Paperback] by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal; Abbas Al-Tonsi.

Students will also need a headset with microphone.

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Unit One

This unit will introduce you to the first four letters of the Arabic Alphabet and to the long and short vowels.

Unit Two

In this unit you will learn three more consonants; they are the next three letters in the alphabet. These letters have the same basic shape.

Unit Three

In this unit you will learn about the second function of the alif and the next four consonants in the alphabet.

Unit Four

In this unit you will learn the symbol for doubling consonants and the next four letters of the alphabet in sequence.

Unit Five

In this unit you will learn about the feminine ending letter and the next four consonants in the alphabet.

Unit Six

In this unit you will learn four new consonants and more vocabulary.

Unit Seven

In this unit, you will learn the last three letters of the alphabet, the numbers, and more vocabulary.

Unit Eight

In this unit you will learn about the definite article, more about initial hamza, and more vocabulary.

Unit Nine

In this unit you will learn the final spelling of alif, and more about writing the consonant hamza.

Unit Ten

In this unit you will learn about certain grammatical marks that are used in formal Arabic.


Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

Most course lectures may be viewed on mobile devices, but in some cases assignments and quizzes must be completed on a desktop or laptop computer.

This course uses Respondus LockDown Browser proctoring software for designated assessments. LockDown Browser is a client application that is installed to a local computer. Visit the Respondus website for system requirements.

While Chromebook can be used to progress through the course, all exams must be completed on a PC or Mac.



CTY Online Programs Foreign Language - Comments and Feedback from Students, Parents, and Teachers



"My son thoroughly enjoys his Arabic course. In fact, it is his favorite course. The instructor has instilled a passion in him for learning not only the language, but the culture as well! He truly walks around the house speaking Arabic now. I don't understand what he is saying, but I love it!”

"Our family lives in rural America without much way of cultural diversions. When giving my daughter her first JHU CTY catalog, we were surprised but supportive when she picked Arabic. She is now in her 3rd semester and we see her practicing and going to class. However, we have no reference points on really how well she is doing outside of her grades. This all changed the other night.
In the next town over, there is a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant. The waiter, and presumably owner, had a Mediterranean appearance and an indistinguishable accent. When he mentioned he was from Lebanon, I told him that my daughter was learning Arabic. He began to talk with her and she answered quickly. The conversation was over in about 4 sentences but it left the waiter wide eyed. Apparently he used some non-standard conversational words and my daughter followed along and answered appropriately. When he asked me where she was learning Arabic, I told him all about JHU.
I am now talking with my daughter about helping her start an Arabic Club that would meet once month at this restaurant. She is also starting to tutor her 20 year old "cool" cousin on Arabic who has been teaching herself Arabic from a book, but did not know proper pronunciation of the alphabet or words. This too has been very motivational.
I would like to say thank you to you and all the JHU CTY staff. You are changing lives!"

"An enthusiastic teacher, engaging presentations and an overwhelming sense of ease and congeniality at class time have made my daughter's foreign language study both meaningful and memorable."