Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)
Also known as “al-fus’haa”, MSA is the language used throughout the Arab world for specialized functions, i.e. instruction, the electronic and printed media and formal situations. Although it is not used for interpersonal communication in any of the Arab-speaking countries, learning MSA before any of the several spoken regional and local dialects which vary considerably from area to area provides learners with two advantages. First, a good foundation in MSA facilitates the acquisition of any dialect a learner might wish to learn later. Second, unlike local dialects, MSA is readily understood anywhere in the Arab world. Our MSA program is tailored to meet the needs of all students interested in learning or improving Standard Arabic. It provides them with the necessary knowledge and training to acquire full and clear understanding of the Arabic language system. The MSA program consists of three levels of studies; each level is divided into three successive and progressive sublevels. The system of levels in this program is structured according to the U.S. university system and to the guidelines of our European and international partner institutions. In order to better meet the needs of all our students, our teachers were trained to teach with all the best MSA language textbooks available today, such as “Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya”, which is our main textbook, “Ahlan Wa Sahlan” and “Al-Arabiya al-Mu’asira”.
Colloquial Moroccan Arabic (CMA)
CMA or “darija” is the most widely spoken dialect in Morocco. While most CMA words find their root in MSA, a part of the lexical is borrowed from Spanish, French and Berber. Depending on students interest, CMA may be taught utilizing either Arabic or Latin script, though the former is highly recommended to make life easier with daily tasks such as reading signs and getting around. Like the MSA program, this program consists of three levels of studies.
***We have tailored our materials to serve the functional aspects of the dialect in day-to-day interactions with Moroccans rather than the structural aspects of it.
Students not particularly interested in learning Moroccan dialect, yet wishing, however, to learn a more “relaxed” and communicative standard Arabic, could take, in addition to MSA group classes, private lessons in Spoken Arabic. Unlike MSA, which is spoken exclusively in formal situations (by radio and TV broadcasters, academic lecturers, religious preachers, etc.), Spoken Arabic could be used by any literate Arabic native speaker who cares about using the right language structure but maintains her/his local dialect characteristics. In this program, the system of levels is structured according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
***The textbook used for Spoken Arabic lessons, “An-nafura”, allows students to practice the standard language they learn in MSA classes, to use it for communication in daily life situations and to get used to listening and understanding the different Arab dialects and accents.
In addition to the three courses already mentioned, Dar Loughat offers a wide range of specialized courses with a focus on a variety of themes such as An Introduction to Islam, Moroccan History, Sufism in Morocco, Andalusian History, etc. These courses are offered on a one-on-one basis according to students interest and request. Students of this program may choose the language of instruction from Arabic, English, Spanish or French.
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