Arabic Without Walls
Interest in learning Arabic has greatly increased in recent years and many schools, colleges, and universities have added Arabic to their curriculum. Nevertheless, this important world language is not regularly offered at most institutions. As a result, the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education funded the University of California Consortium on Language Learning & Teaching and the National Middle East Language Resource Center to develop Arabic without Walls (AWW), an innovative distance-learning program that will allow anyone, ranging from high school students to senior citizens, to study Arabic—no matter where they live. A team of highly respected curriculum developers designed AWW to take advantage of the latest technology, while simultaneously ensuring the critical human contact essential for successful language learning. In order to provide a rich learning environment that exposes learners to the depth and breadth of Arab culture, we collected authentic materials and engaging interviews that introduce learners to a sample of real Arabs from various regional, educational, professional, and religious backgrounds. AWW is based on the widely-used textbook Al-Kitaab fii Ta`alum al-Arabiyya (Brustad et al., 3rd ed., Georgetown University Press, 2011). The content and scenarios of the interviews parallel the content of the lessons in Al-Kitaab and are used as the basis for online learning activities that help students acquire real facility in using Arabic.
The University of California does not currently offer AWW, but the website is still available. Brigham Young University Independent Study offers a high school version and a university credit option. Both courses have won national awards. Some of the video resources are available at iTunes U. We provide here a PDF file with screenshots of the high school version.