Roberts, Nicholas


Language: Arabic

Location of Study: Amman, Jordan

Program of Study: Jordan Language Academy

Sponsors: Center for the Study of Language and Cultures


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A brief personal bio:

Nick is a PhD candidate in History studying with Ebrahim Moosa. His dissertation is a history of state building in Oman, focusing on the political theology of Ibadi Islam. He earned his MA in History from Georgetown University in 2014, and his BA in History fro Syracuse University.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

The SLA Grant is important to me because it is allowing me to create a very personalized language program. With this grant, I will take one-on-one tutorials to read Arabic materials dealing with Omani history and Ibadi Islam. These studies will not only improve my Arabic but will also serve as a springboard for beginning my dissertation research.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

I hope to improve my reading fluency in Arabic, especially in handwritten Arabic. Studying certain specific topics of history – such as the jurisprudence of international treaties and so forth – also requires me to essentially learn an entirely new vocabulary in Arabic, so this SLA grant will help launch me in that process. One of the most important parts of my studies this summer will be carefully studying, with my teacher, the footnotes and sources contained within the manuscripts I will be reading – to further track down more sources.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

1. At the end of the summer I will be able to more fluently read handwritten Arabic.

2. At the end of the summer, I will be more conversant in specialized areas of Arabic language, such as legal matters and certain theological matters.

3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to more fluently converse in Levantine Arabic dialect.