Focus on the key curriculum of the PEASS program

The long-term program, the standard curriculum of the Arabic program for the Study of Social Sciences, has been designed specifically for students who are non-native speakers of Arabic and who wish to considerably upgrade their proficiency level of Arabic in nine months with a view of conducting their research projects in social sciences in countries of the Arab World.

The long-term program takes up 500 contact hours spread  over two semesters of study.

Please find here below the hourly workload, planning, pedagogical arrangements and assessment methods  for each semester.

Semester 1: « Intensive language study »

Semester 1 of the long-term program, referred to as “linguistic intensification’ takes up 300 contact hours of intense Standard Arabic classes, with an average of a 25-hour weekly load spread over 16 weeks. This course earns 36 ECTS credits.

During the first semester, students are exposed to several pedagogical formats, thereby allowing them to upgrade their linguistic competencies in Standard Arabic and gradually initiating them to the lexical fields of social sciences.

LANGUAGE CLASSES (LC)

Objectives

Language classes are the main teaching format in Semester 1/ Intensive language learning. These classes are taught by Arabic teachers with extensive experience of teaching standard Arabic to non-native Arabic speakers, and are primarily designed to consolidate students’ communication skills and practical language use, for the specific context of academic study.

Organization

The organization of the Language Classes is based on a range of academic exercises (discussion, document analysis, debates on topical issues, presentations, role plays and simulations, etc.) aiming at eliciting oral expression and interactive communication.

Every week, a specific topic relating to national and international current events is addressed. Topics are chosen for being linked to specific lexical fields (examples of topics: “Political institutions, Power and Law”, “Sustainable development and environment”, “Civil society and social change”, “Regional conflicts and international diplomacy”, “Economic affairs”, “Religious issues”.)

Every topic is studied through different authentic resources (newspaper articles, video footages, not modified for didactic purposes), all extracted from Arabic-speaking media.

Language Classes generally follow the same pedagogical organization: After introducing the general topic of the session, brainstorming and highlighting the initial comments of students, the teacher will then use authentic material, a reading passage or video footage related to the topic in hand. The students will be able to reflect on the material provided, before pointing out its most significant aspects, making connections with the general topic of the session, or coming up with their own reading.

Finally, starting from the different short presentations produced which are read by the different pairs in turn, the class produces a short model-text of approximately 200 words on the material under study.

TUTORIAL CLASSES (TC)

Objectives

The Tutorial class is the innovative teaching method on offer at EGE Rabat. Its purpose is to significantly consolidate the students’ entry language level in Standard Arabic according to a formal approach (vs. communicative), and focusing on 5 components:

■ Acquiring a rich vocabulary deemed necessary to discuss or write about political, economic and social issues with some precision. For students enrolled in the intermediate level: more than 2500 new words acquired by the end of the intensive language study semester, thanks to diverse daily exercises based on active listening, oral and written re-use in context, etc.;

■ Improving listening and speaking skills in Standard Arabic; 13

■ Reinforcing composition and writing skills in standard Arabic, with attention to spelling and syntax;

■ Developing grammar and syntax skills (knowledge of rules and common use).

■ Practicing writing/ calligraphy in standard Arabic on a daily basis.

Progress

To reach the objectives set for formal skills in standard Arabic, the TC, as its name suggests, places students under supervision.

Starting with practice exercises, drills and systematization, target language skills and competences are gradually developed.

Several systematization activities can be used: grammar in context, visual listening memory tasks on lexical fields in social sciences, reading and analyzing relevant and topical material using a dictionary, practicing quick and efficient standard calligraphy, acquiring internet research techniques using and Arabic keyboard.

WORKSHOPS

Workshops allow students to identify their areas of specialization as well as new topics of interest. Designed for intermediate and advanced students, and based on a wide range of interest areas such as Arabic literature and poetry, Moroccan cinema, international Arab media, the “Nahda” movement, Morocco under Hassan II and so on, workshops are run either by Arabic language teachers or by Arabic-speaking Social Science university lecturers, trained to teach non-native Arabic speakers.

Workshops provide the opportunity for students to find a topic of their choice, in a teaching format that allows for further study and research.

All over the semester, students do 3 hours of workshop per week on average.

TUTORIALS

Tutorials are the teaching format aimed to develop students’ ability in one-to-one interaction. They allow non-native Arabic speakers to engage in open discussion in standard Arabic in a one-to-one setup and eventually enable them to develop “spontaneous” communication skills in standard Arabic.

Semester 2: « Social sciences (Language of instruction: Arabic) »

In the course of Semester 2, students take a range of classes designed in several formats. In addition to further consolidating Arabic language skills acquired thus far, students take content-based classes in major fields of social sciences and become acquainted with the methodological and linguistic requirements they are expected to meet prior to undertaking research projects in such fields of study.

Semester 2 is a twelve-week course broken down into 2 study periods, though which students carry a load of 200 contact hours that earn 12 credits by US standards or 24 ECTS:

Study period 1: a 50-hour intensive course in Moroccan Arabic

In this study period, the 4 teaching formats offered in Semester 1 in intensive language study are offered in Moroccan Arabic, namely language classes, tutorial classes, workshops and tutorials. In the frame of this course, students will have the opportunity to develop specific skills to establish links (in terms of morphology, grammar, expressions and vocabulary, etc.) between Modern Standard Arabic and Moroccan Arabic, the latter being considered as one form -among others- of colloquial Arabic.

Study period 2: running from week 3 to week 12.

This study period is devoted to academic content classes in standard Arabic, and comprises 4 teaching formats: 60 hours of theme-based classes in social sciences, taught in standard Arabic (Contemporary History of Morocco, Moroccan political institutions, Moroccan society today from a sociological perspective, etc.) ; 40 hours of Moroccan Arabic classes; 40 hours of Moroccan standard Arabic classes; and 10 hours of initiation to research in social sciences.

THEME AND DISCIPLINARY-BASED CLASSES ON CONTEMPORARY MOROCCO

In theme-based classes that are taught in Arabic, non-native speakers of Arabic have the opportunity to take classes in social sciences on offer at the Rabat School of Governance and Economics. Classes are taught in Arabic by native speakers. They pertain to core disciplines of the institution: namely political science, sociology, history, anthropology…).

With a view of maximizing the benefit of these classes that are taught in Arabic, instructors of Arabic provide a pedagogical support arrangement, specifically for students registered in PEASS.

This arrangement consists of setting up glossaries (Arabic-English) alongside these theme-based classes. Instructors of Arabic thus ensure through their concomitant classes that PEASS students demonstrate a fair understanding and command of issues rose in the classes of social sciences proper.

ARABIC LANGUAGE CLASSES

In Arabic Language classes, and throughout semester 2, students conduct various academic and language tasks geared towards a successful completion of classes in social sciences. Such tasks include study of the relevant lexical fields, oral presentation on issues in social sciences, study of authentic material, analysis of passages of excerpts retrieved from standard references available in Standard Arabic, etc.

These classes also include preparing students for writing their monographs in Arabic.

This module also provides for an initiation to research in social sciences for non-native Arabic speakers of Arabic. Writing workshops are set up to this effect: thereby allowing students to benefit from customized support in their individual writing projects in Arabic. By the end of the semester, students submit a typed version of their research project in Arabic on a particular aspect of Contemporary Morocco.

INITIATION TO RESEARCH IN SOCIAL SCIENCES (IR)

As part of the Initiation to Research in standard Arabic classes, non-native Arabic speakers have the opportunity to conduct a research project of reasonable scale in standard Arabic on a topic relating to contemporary Morocco. The topic chosen must allow students to conduct interviews, either in Moroccan or standard Arabic, with relevant Moroccan respondents. Initiation to research classes is taught by Moroccan university lecturers specializing in social sciences.

Other classes

According to their timetable, students have the possibility to sign up for other academic content classes in standard Arabic, French, or English, if they wish to earn extra credits.