The Arabic Program for Social Sciences (in French: Programme des études arabes appliquées aux sciences sociales, PEASS) is an intensive language course for non-native Arabic speakers, specifically designed for students in social sciences who wish to carry out their research and fieldwork in Arab countries.

The program is offered by EGE Rabat, the Rabat School of Governance and Economics. It is particularly suitable for non-native Arabic speakers who wish to develop their standard Arabic skills, and at the same time, gain a better grasp of the major political, social and economic challenges facing the contemporary world.

More specifically, the program targets students undertaking undergraduate or post-graduate study in social sciences and who wish to proceed with their research or consider professional positions that require a fair degree of critical analysis of social, political and economic issues.

PEASS combines two complementary approaches:

  • A communicative approach, which aims to develop language skills and ensure a high level of fluency and accuracy (from phonological to syntactic and lexical control).
  • An academic approach, focusing on content relating to social sciences (history, sociology, political science). In addition to expanding the lexical range of students in areas of social sciences, the program is structured around academic activities, where students use their critical and analytical skills in processing material that relates to their area of study (reviews, summaries, oral presentations, branch out, etc.)

The Arabic Program for Social Sciences (PEASS) is available in three courses :

  • A Long-term course (500 hours over a nine-month period). This course consists of 500 contact hours spread over a whole academic year, beginning early September and ending late May.
  • A mid-term Course (300 hours contact hours). This course consists of 300 contact hours over four months, beginning early September and ending late December of the same year.
  • A short-term Course (100 or 200 contact hours). This course is available in 3 options : Complete Summer session (200 contact hours from the beginning of June and the end of July), Summer Session 1 (100 contact hours throughout June), Summer Session 2 (100 contact hours throughout July).

The Long-term course consists of 500 contact hours and takes up and entire academic year broken down in 2 semesters of study.

Semestre 1 : « Intensive language study »

The students will do 300 hours of intensive language study over 16 weeks (25 hours a week). The course earns 18 credits by US standards or 36 ECTS (European credit transfr and accumulation system.

In Semester 1, students take a range of classes designed in several formats. The ultimate goal at this stage is to enhance their Arabic language is to enhance their Arabic language proficiency skills and, by the same token, gradually initiate 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.

  • Organisation

The organisation of the Language Classes is based on a range of academic exercises (discussion, document analysis, debates on topical issues, presentations, roles 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 studies through different authentic resources (newspaper articles, video footages, not modified for didactic purposes), all extracted from Arabic-speaking media.

Other supplementary activities are used in Language Classes, such as discussion and document analysis, debates on topical issues, role play and simulations, presentations, etc., wherein the coherence and relevance of the content and the quality of expression in Arabic are granted equal importance and subjected to the same methods of assessment.

Language Classes generally follow the same pedagogical organisation: 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.

The teacher will simply facilitate interactive communication, to help students develop practical strategies (in communication sks, students learn to use language skills they have already mastered to complete tasks in hand). Students are then invited to pair up and produce a short presentation and analysis of the material under study, following a textual procedure set up in advance (presentation/ contextualizing the material, describing content analytically, identifying issues raised, suggesting avenues for further analysis and discussion…)

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 our les étudiants de niveau intermédiaire: more than 2500 new words acquired by the end of the intensive language study semester, thanks to diverse daily exercises based on active listenning, oral and written re-use in context, etc.;

*Improving listenning and speaking skills in Standard Arabic;

*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 analysing of 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 wirde range of interest areas such as Arabic literature and poetry, Moroccan cinema, international Arab media, the « Nahda » mouvement, Morocco under Hassan II and so on, worshops are run either by Arabic language teachers or by Arabic-speaking Social Science univeristy 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. Tutorials allow non-native Arabic speakers to engage in open discussion in standard Arabic in a one-to-one setup and eventually enables 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 comprises of two study periods: the first study period runs over 2 weeks and is devoted to intensive Moroccan Arabic study; the second study period runs over 10 weeks and is devoted to academic content classes in standard Arabic.

In semester 2, the students will carry a load of 200 contact hours that earn 12 credits by US standards or 24 ECTS.

Semester 2 is a twelve-week course broken down into 2 study periods: Study period 1: a 40-hour intensive course in Moroccan Arabic

Study period 2: running from week 3 to week 12. This study period will be comprised of:

-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;

-50 hours of Moroccan standard Arabic classes;

-10 hours of initiation to research in social sciences.

 

Study Period 1: Moroccan Arabic

In this study period, 2 of the teaching formats offered in Semester 1 in “intensive language study” are offered in Moroccan Arabic, namely language classes and tutorial classes.

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: Social science study and research in standard Arabic

In this second study period, 4 teaching formats are offered:

Theme and disciplinary-based classes on contemporary Morocco (Arabic as language of Instruction)

In theme-based classes that are taught in Arabic, non-native speakers of Arabic, toghether with their native counterparts, 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 theses 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 raised 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 on behalf of 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 some 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

During semester 2, students have the possibility, as long as their schedule allow them to do so, to sign up for other academic content classes in standard Arabic, French, or English that are taught at EGE Rabat, in order to earn extra credits.

Arabic Program for Social Sciences (PEASS) set a Summer Session for Arabic for Social Sciences.

It is an intensive language course which consists of 100 to 200 contact hours. It seeks to significantly upgrade the students’ Arabic language proficiency and, by the same token, initiate them to the lexical fields, subjects of study as well as to the methodological tools in social sciences.

If interested in this program, please apply by choosing the relevant application procedure: Summer session complete (200 hours, in June and July), Summer session 1 (100 contact hours in June) or Summer Session 2 (100 contact hours in July).

Applications will be processed on a First-come-First-served basis.

Teaching formats

Courses on the PEASS program have multiple teaching formats:

  • Arabic Language classes that center around Media and draw upon authentic material. Non-processed for educational purposes, such material is directly retrieved from the written press and audiovisual programs featuring lexical fields crucial for addressing contemporary political, social and economic issues.
  • Tutorials that aim to significantly improve students’ competencies with regard to lexical range, syntactic and phonological control, listening comprehension as well writing and speaking fluency.
  • Theme-based Workshops on a wider range of issues, using authentic material from the contemporary Arab World (poetry, song, plays, novels, films and political pamphlets etc.).
  • Classes in social sciences taught in Standard Arabic by native speakers. These classes cover various disciplines (History, Sociology, and Political Science) and address issues relating to the Arab World and Morocco of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries.
  • Classes of initiation to research in social sciences taught in Standard Arabic by native speakers. These classes seek to equip students with the methodological tools required for conducting research in social sciences (identifying a research topic, thesis statement, and marking out the field of research and conducting qualitative interviews).
  • One to One or group tutorials that aim to enhance the writing and speaking skills crucial for successfully undertaking an academic program in Arabic (oral presentations, participation in debates or role play, writing argumentative essays, conducting selected searches on the Internet, typing on Arabic keyboard, etc.)

The language of instruction in all the aforementioned courses is Standard Arabic. Classes of Moroccan Arabic are offered specifically and strictly for the long-term course which spans an entire academic year of study.

For all courses on the PEASS program, students take a placement statement and are thus accommodated in small size groups (10 students at most) that match their level of Arabic proficiency.

Teachers

PEASS teachers have a advanced professional experience in teaching standard Arabic to non native Arabic speakers (at least 4000 teaching hours to this specific group of learners).

They followed ACTFL training (American Council for the teaching of Foreign languages) for the assessment of non native Arabic speakers language skills (written comprehension, oral comprehension, written production, oral production, oral interaction), and have already proceeded to the assessment of thousands of students according to those internationally-recognised criteria. .

Each student enrolled in PEASS (long-term course) benefits from 3 assessments per semester, in order to measure the progress made in all language skills: an initial placement-test, before the beginning of the program; a mid-term test, after the 25 first days of the program; a final semester test, at the end of the 50 working days of the program.

Students are assessed against a general evaluation bencharmk, consisting of 4 general levels (« Beginner », « Intermediate », « Advanced », « Superior »). Those 4 general levels are split into 3 sub-levels (ex: « Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3 »), each of those consisting of 4 stades of progress(« Novice », « Low », « Medium », « High »).

  • Katharina, 25-year-old, Marburg University (Germany)

« I haven’t worked this hard in years but when you see your progress, it’s worth it! » Sonja, 23-year-old, Marburg University (Germany)

« Over the past six weeks (i.e. since the beginning of the program), I learned twice as many vocabulary words as in the past two years of my Arabic studies… »

  • Nadia, 22-year-old, Bergamo University (Italy)

« For me, this program really offers a relevant method to learn a foreign language, in this case, the Arabic language. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn it. It’s a very intensive and difficult program, but at the end you will really feel proud and satisfied when you notice the progress made. »

  • Miriam, 21-year-old, Marburg University (Germany)

« In this program, you will learn more thant ‘Hello, I come from…’ Interesting political and societal topics and working on real articles from Arabic press will increase your level inmensely ».

IN ORDER TO APPLY, YOU NEED TO :

You will be asked to choose the specific program you are applying to (long term program, mid-term program, short term program) and give some information on your level of Arabic.

  • Send us by email, at the address peass@egerabat.com, before the 15th of April 2017, the documents required for the program of your choice, taking into account your level in Standard Arabic (read the information below).

IF YOU APPLY FOR THE LONG-TERM PROGRAM AND THE MID-TERM PROGRAM (those programs only accept students with an intermediate level in Standard Arabic) YOU SHOULD SEND US: 

  • A scanned document of your academic transcript, showing that you already attended at least 150 hours of standard Arabic
  • A letter of recommendation from an Arabic teacher certifiying that you already attended 150 contact hours of Standard Arabic, and that you already reached a beginner 3/intermediate 1 level (according to the ACTFL assessment grid), i.e. that you master the major rules of Arabic grammar.
  • A letter of motivation explaining why you chose the PEASS program, as a specific linguistic program applied to social sciences
  • A short research project in social sciences (1 to 2 pages), written in English or in French, presenting very briefly the kind of research project in social sciences that you could do in Morocco if selected (general topic, research question, theoretical frameworks used, type of qualitative or quantitative methodology, etc.)

IF YOU APPLY FOR THE SUMMER SHORT TERM PROGRAM, you have 2 options:

->if you are a complete beginner in Standard Arabic, send us:

  • A letter of motivation explaining why you chose the PEASS program, as a specific linguistic program applied to social sciences

->if you attended courses of Standard Arabic before, send us:

  • A letter of motivation explaining why you chose the PEASS program, as a specific linguistic program applied to social sciences
  • A scanned document of your academic transcript, showing that you already attended at least 150 hours of standard Arabic OR a letter of recommendation from an Arabic teacher certifiying that you already attended 150 contact hours of Standard Arabic, and that you already reached a beginner 3/intermediate 1 level (according to the ACTFL assessment grid), i.e. that you master the major rules of Arabic grammar.

Once we receive your application, we will send you a confirmation of reception. We will come back to you at the beginning of May 2017 to give you the selection committee’s decision.