Assignment 1: Research

Research your topic. Describe your topic and your goals.

  • include description of organization—
    • its purpose, mission, people, what and how they carry out their mission, their clients
  • include what you plan on doing with the organization (e.g., volunteer ESL instructor)
  • include your learning goals (e.g., learning Arabic, notwithstanding regional dialects and local idioms, increasing conversational skills, overcoming language shyness, increase target cultural, social understanding)

Claire and I are studying in Amman, Jordan, at the Qasid Arabic Institute. Qasid is among the leading institutions for teaching foreigners Arabic in the Middle East. Combined with an immersive study abroad experience, Qasid can really help improve our Arabic. We are studying Modern Standard Arabic here, which is the formal language of the media of the entire Arab World, stretching from places like Morocco in North Africa to Syria in the Middle East. However, one of the challenges of learning Arabic is that, as I have stated, Modern Standard Arabic is the formal language of Arabs. It is used to unite different areas in the Arab World, allowing people from Morocco and Jordan to be mutually intelligible, but each area also has a dialect that, if one travels far enough, isn’t mutually intelligible. The dialect in Jordan is similar to the formal Arabic, but it differs enough so that it is hard to understand the locals here. Our currently limited vocabulary further compounds this problem.