Kirk Belnap, director

Dr. R. Kirk Belnap holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and is a professor of Arabic in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University, where he has been since 1988. Previous professional service includes six years as executive director of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic and then six years as editor of its journal, Al-‘Arabiyya.

His research interests include second language acquisition, language policy and planning, the history of Arabic, and L1 and L2 literacy.With co-P.I. Robert Blake (U.C.-Davis), he oversaw completion of the award-winning Arabic Without Walls, a hybrid asynchronous distance-learning introductory Arabic course funded by FIPSE. He has since worked with BYU Independent Study to develop a high school version. Every summer he directs intensive residential STARTALK Arabic camps for high school students, which include an Arabic teacher apprenticeship program.

Recent Publications:

Some unfortunate implications of unhappy Arabic teachers. Al-‘Arabiyya, 40-41:87-103. 2008.

If you build it they will come. In Zeinab Ibrahim and Sanaa Makhlouf (eds.), Arabic Language and Linguistics in an Age of Globalization, 53-66. Cairo, Egypt: American University in Cairo Press, 2008.

A profile of students of Arabic in U.S. universities. In Kassem M. Wahba, Zeinab A. Taha, and Liz England (eds.), Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals,169-78. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006.

The teaching and learning of Arabic in the United States: Realities, needs, and future directions (with Mahmoud Al-Batal). In Kassem M. Wahba, Zeinab A. Taha, and Liz England (eds.), Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals, 389-399. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006.

Teaching a less commonly taught language in a social science classroom (with Erin Olsen). In Dorit Kaufman and JoAnn Crandall (eds.), Content-Based Instruction in Primary and Secondary School Settings, 111-18. Alexandria, Virginia: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2005.