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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Arabic Courses at USC

Arabic Course Synopses


Arabic (ARAB)
121 -- Elementary Arabic. (4) This class will introduce the four fundamental skills of Modern Standard Arabic: speaking, comprehension, writing and reading. This class adopts a “proficiency-based” approached, where the student will have mastered, by the end of the semester, reading and writing the alphabet, acquired the use simple sentences, a significant knowledge of practical vocabulary, and familiarity some basic grammatical constructs. Offered only in fall.


122 -- Basic Proficiency in Arabic. (4) Further strengthening of basic fundamental skills of speaking, comprehension, writing and reading Modern Standard Arabic. This class adopts a “proficiency-based” approached, where the student will have mastered by the end of the semester increasingly complex grammatical formations, practical vocabulary, and basic speaking and listening proficiency. Also, Arab culture and popular culture will be introduced though the use of authentic written and audio-visual materials. Offered only in spring. Admission only by successful completion of Arabic 121. Offered only in spring.


201 -- Intermediate Arabic. (3) (Prereq: ARAB 122 or consent of instructor) This class builds on the speaking, comprehension, writing and reading skills of Modern Standard Arabic as acquired in Arabic 121 and 122.. By the end of this semester, you will master the use of complex sentences, command a significant amount of practical vocabulary, and be introduced to more advanced grammar. Also, listening, communication and writing skills will be strengthened through video and other audio-visual materials. Reading of extended passages in original texts. Admission only by successful completion of Arabic 122. Offered only in fall.


202 -- Intermediate Arabic. (3) (Prereq: ARAB 201 or consent of instructor) Increased emphasis on reading, writing and communications skills in Arabic. Listening and composition skills reinforced. Introduction to further popular culture and Arab culture through the use of literary texts, video, and satellite TV programming. Admission only by successful completion of Arabic 201. Offered only in spring.

280—Introduction to Modern Arab Culture. (3) (Prereq: none)  This general course studies several facets of the Arab world. The course serves as an introduction the Arab world by understanding the diversity and richness of its culture and society from the early 19th century to the current day. The course mixes cutting edge and canonical secondary studies on the modern Arab world with examining authentic materials.  That is, cultural productions assume central stage in the course where students have an opportunity to handle, in English  translation,  novels, films, poetry, music, non-fiction, television programming, photography, painting and theatre. The course understands the relationship between these cultural productions and social, cultural, artistic, economic and political transformations over two centuries from the Ottoman Empire to colonialism to independence to Arab world in the age of globalization. More important, the course locates these productions in their local and national contexts as well as in the context of cultural Arabism.

301--Advanced Arabic I. (3) (Prereq: Arab 202 or consent of instructor) This courses aims to build on the foundation of the first two years of Arabic vocabulary,  grammar and syntax. Students will further develop the ability to write, read, and comprehend authentic Arabic written and audio texts. The student will master advanced grammatical constructions and vocabulary by reading original Arabic materials offered in al-Kitab Part II  and completing drills and in-class and take-home writing assignments.  By the end of Arabic 301, the student will be able to show detail in writing and basic-advanced syntax, grammar, and vocabulary. Admission only by successful completion of Arabic 202.

302--Advanced Arabic II. (3) (Prereq: Arab 301 or consent of instructor) This courses continues developing advanced Arabic vocabulary,  grammar and syntax. Students will further read original authentic Arabic written and listen to authentic audio texts.  In addition to the exercises and lesson in al-Kitab Part II, students will be introduced to authentic short fiction and poetry. Oral expression and literacy (reading and writing proficiency) will be strengthened and tested through regular composition assignments and presentations as well as oral presentations and conversation “tables”.  By the completion of Arabic 302, the student will have mastered the foundation of Arabic, preparing him/her to read Arabic non-fiction, fiction and poetry.

310 -- Conversational Arabic. (3) (Prereq: ARAB 202 or consent of instructor) Practical drills in aural-oral skills to develop facility in the Modern Standard Arabic.

315 -- Intensive Readings in Arabic. (3) Intensive reading for non-majors. Graduate students fulfill their foreign-language requirement with successful completion of the course. Undergraduates may take the course as an elective only. Grades S/U for graduates and undergraduates.

320—Modern Arabic Literature In Translation (3) (Prereq: none). This course examines some of the dominant trends and genres in twentieth century Arabic literature in English translation.  The class examines the development and history of the novel, short story and poetry. Among the foci of the class, the course inquires into how literature forges new identities the matrix of modernity in countries such as (but not limited to), Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria. The class will examine  how new forms of Arabic narrative play a pivotal role in the experience with the West but also is a central venue for thinking out local issues and concerns. Issues that may be engage  range from, but not limited to, nationalism and culture, secularism and fundamentalism, capitalism and socialism,  gender and sexuality.

398 -- Selected Topics. (3) Selected course-study of cultural, literary, intellectual, or artistic topics of the Arab world. Readings and class will be conducted in English. May be repeated for credit under different suffix.

399 -- Independent Study. (3-6) This class can be used for advanced study in English and/or Arabic, where student pursues thematic, canonical, historical, or generic topic to study. Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.