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FYI: Class Material: Arabic Lang & Culture Through Song


Author: Rajaa Aquil

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

FYI Body: Advanced content-based Arabic language, culture and history through
songs course

We are looking for institutes and programs that are interested and
willing to pilot advanced content-based Arabic language, culture and
history through songs course which will be offered in the Fall of 2012 at
Georgia tech. Interested people can pilot either the whole course or
parts of it. This entails they teach the course concurrently while it is
being taught at GT and at the end of the course give us their feedback
as well as the students'. The course is a web-based course and
interested people will have access to the web page on GT server. The
course material is independent of Alkitab and requires at least 5
semesters of learning Arabic.

As an overview of the course, it starts with an introduction including
Amr Diab's song ''Habiby ya Nour al 'ein'' to jazz up the course and get
the students excited. Especially that the song is taught early on in Alif
Baa'. Then it proceeds historically from AlJahiliyya, Advent of Islam and
songs inspired by the Omayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid eras, The
kingdom period in Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser and 23 July revolution,
Sadat and the opening of investment, Clash of the civilization Mubarak
and post 9/11, and finally the Arab spring. Egyptian Arabic is chosen
because of the widespread popularity of the Egyptian songs and movie
industry. Hopefully in future phases of the project we can work on
incorporating other songs from other regional dialects.

The songs' language range from, Classical as in 'Tala'a al Badr
'alayna' to MSA as in Nizar Qabbaani's poems, to Egyptian as in,
romantic, religious, patriotic, popular and shabaabi songs. Each song
has interactive tasks and sources accompanying it: such as reading
Sources and excerpts related to the background of the song or lyrics
from the web and other historical and cultural texts, and listening
sources such as links on Youtube.

Here is the an example of the format of the unit. Note that class
sessions, debates and discussions are in Arabic.
1- Song's name and title and overview about the song, period, and
the singer
2- Notes on the text and lyrics of the song.
3- Pedagogical Tasks:
A- Listening Tasks: i. Pre-listening, ii. During listening, iii.
post listening
B- Vocabulary and Grammar tasks
C- Questions for Deeper Understanding
D- Oral and Written in Class Discussion (to prepare the students in
writing as an evaluation of their uptake)
E- Further Listening and Reading Suggestions (for further
exploration)

The questions in the tasks are interactive with instant feedback and are
of MC, fill in the blanks, Open ended questions.The pages also can be
printed so that the instructor can have the answers if he or she needs
to correct them manually.

As for the course assessment, we will provide the assessment.
However, for the evaluation of the piloting, we have a survey/essay
style feedback at semester end from students and instructor.

Those interested in piloting the whole course or just parts of it please
send an email to: specifying
whether you plan to pilot the whole course or just parts of it.

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