Summer Language Institute-Arabic

Summer Session

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The University of Virginia Arabic Program is pleased to announce its intensive summer language program offered through the Summer Language Institute. This summer we are offering Arabic Level One and Arabic Level TwoArabic Level One students will learn the equivalent of two semesters of Introductory Arabic (8 credits) in an eight-week period. Arabic Level Two students will learn the equivalent of two semesters of Intermediate Arabic (8 credits) plus an introduction to Levantine Colloquial (1 credit), for a total of 9 credits.

The Arabic Program selects only experienced and caring teachers who enjoy the challenges of the program. We offer special conversation and cultural sessions, promoting the Communicative Method of language instruction. 

Why Study Arabic?

Studying Arabic at the University of Virginia will give you the ability to communicate with more than 330 million of the world's population and prepare you for an adventure of discovery in the Arab world—a cradle of civilization and birthplace of monotheistic religions. The Arabic language also unlocks the door to a wealth of diverse literature (including fiction, science, philosophy and religion) composed over the past 16 centuries. Unlike most modern languages, after completing 200-level courses, you will be able to access texts dating back a millennium and a half!

Unlike most summer Arabic programs which focus exclusively on Modern Standard Arabic, the Arabic SLI combines instruction in Classical Arabic and Colloquial Levantine. This innovative curriculum is based on the belief that colloquial and classical studies are mututally reinforcing. That is, study of colloquial at once promotes a deeper understanding of classical and unlocks the subtle layers of cultural meaning that permeate everyday life in the Arabic-speaking world.

Whether you aspire to study Arabic for work in government and NGOs, or for higher studies in literature, religion, and political science, or simply for your own personal fulfillment, the SLI will equip you with the language skills and cultural knowledge you'll need.

Level 1 – 8 credits - ARAB 1016 and ARAB 1026:  

This course will cover the first year of Arabic study at the university level using a communicative, proficiency-oriented approach. The course will help you to listen, speak, read and write in Modern Standard Arabic.    

By the end of the course, you will be able to:   

  • Initiate social interactions; ask for information; be aware of more cultural aspects and social interaction in Arabic;   

  • Speak and write about yourself, your immediate surroundings, your family, the weather, your education, hobbies, future plans, making a decision with justification;    

  • Narrate and Negate events in present, past and future;   

  • Comprehend written texts on familiar topics in longer texts;   

  • Increase your vocabulary and grammatical structures;   

  • Increase your skill to comprehend audio/video texts and dialogues on familiar topics;   

  • Make short presentations in class;   

  • Use the Arabic dictionary to know roots and patterns. 

Level 2 – 9 credits - ARAB 2016, ARAB 2026 and ARAB 2256 (Colloquial I), ARAB 2266 (Colloquial II): 

This course will focus on mastering grammar, including more complex structures, acquiring and expanding vocabulary, and developing reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills through presentations and interviews. These objectives are achieved through intensive oral/aural practice using audio and video materials. In addition to working on all language skills, special attention will be given to the morphology and syntax of Arabic. Classes will be conducted ONLY in Arabic unless an exception occurs. The course also intends to introduce students to the Levantine colloquial Arabic variety by focusing on basic vocabulary and expressions used in daily life.   

Students will be able to:   

  • Understand longer stretches of connected discourses on several topics pertaining to different times and places.    

  • Speak about themselves and their environment, carry out transactions, and initiate and sustain conversation on several topics.    

  • Employ more complex vocabulary and sentence patterns in communicative contexts.    

  • Form and understand almost all basic sentence structures of Arabic.     

  • Produce lengthier pieces of writing, in correct simple structures, that seek out and convey information and feelings, referring to recent experiences or future, as well as to everyday activities; and    

  • Identify, describe, and explain aspects of the culture, behavior patterns, history and traditions of the Arabic world.   

What students say about Arabic SLI: 

"I loved the program. I felt like I absorbed a lot of new material and was able to advance my understanding of Arabic. The professors were fantastic. They were very organized, attentive and energetic and seemed to truly care about our progress with the language."

Required Textbook: 

1. Brustad, Al-Batal & Al-Tonsi. (2004). Alif Baa, an Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, Second Edition.   

2. Brustad, K., al-Batal, M., & al-Tonsi, A. (2004). Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-‘Arabiyya, Part I, Second Edition. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.   

Tentative Program Structure

The program meets five days a week for eight weeks.

Morning Session: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Afternoon Session: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

2023 Costs

Students in all SLI programs, including the non-credit option, must pay the Institute Fee of $60.00 and the Comprehensive Fee. See Summer Session Housing for information on housing costs. See Dining for Information on meal plans.

  Virginia Resident Non Virginia Resident

Required Fees

Institute Fee

Comprehensive Fee







Level One Undergraduate Student Tuition
(8 credits)
$443 x 8cr = $3,544 $1,625 x 8cr = $13,000
Level One Graduate Student Tuition
(8 credits)
$509 x 8cr = $4,072

$1,032 x 8cr = $8,256

Level Two Undergraduate Student Tuition
(9 credits)
$443 x 9cr = $3,987 $1,625 x 9cr = $14,625
Level Two Graduate Student Tuition
(9 credits)
$509 x 9cr = $4,581

$1,032 x 9cr = $9,288

Non Credit Study Option Tuition $5,316 $5,316

Please note that graduate level tuition applies to current UVA students who will graduate in May, before the start of the SLI.

Contact Information: 

Department of Middle East and South Asian Languages and Cultures
Director: Bilal Humeidan
New Cabell Hall
(434) 243-4355