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What You Should Already Know

This is a first-year Arabic course; there are no prerequisites.

Learning Outcomes

Course Materials

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Course Organization

This course is designed to help you acquire proficiency to use Arabic as it is actually used, to speak, listen, read, write, and to behave in culturally appropriate ways. Face-to-face or online interaction with the course TAs will therefore be largely devoted to using the language, so don’t expect much explanation. Start learning now to be an independent, life-long learner. You will find the facts in your textbooks and other materials; interaction with TAs is the place to primarily act, to learn through doing, to practice. You are expected to prepare well before your appointments with the TAs so that the time can be maximally beneficial. If you fail to prepare and fall behind, you will be asked to prepare and reschedule. We do not expect perfection. We simply ask that you do your best to be prepared to participate. As you prepare but you still have questions, please write them down. Feel free to ask them in online chat or email—after you have done due diligence to find your own answers.

Other resources: there is a course discussion board at the end of the course, as well as a course wiki. The discussion board is designed for students to connect, discuss course-related matters, and share ideas with each other. The wiki is designed for the instructor to post information that may provide enrichment or relevant information for the course to the students.


Participation Policy

A little thought will convince you that consistency is key. No one grade on a quiz or assignment will hurt you or help you much, but your pattern of effort will add up. Consistently preparing well (“practice makes permanent”) will give you the skills you want, the skills that will enable you to use Arabic (and also do well on the final exam). Remember, learning a language happens through diligently and regularly working on it. Daily assignments are all constructed to help you stay focused, but they can be subverted and turned into busy work that results in minimal real learning. We hope you understand that the homework, quizzes, and tests are there for a purpose: so that you can learn Arabic. You can defeat that purpose rather easily, so be careful.

A Word about Assignment Keys

Please use them as they are intended. Give your best effort to the assignments and then check them afterward, making corrections as needed. Where a key to an assignment is available, we expect you to make your own corrections. Please do them in a different color, so they will be easy to see. We strongly encourage you to keep all of your assignments and quizzes to use for later review—and to discipline yourself to pay close attention to feedback, whether written or oral.

Grading Policies

Your grade will be based on several aspects. Assignments that are uploaded within each lesson, along with participation in online activities linked with your textbook, make up 25% of your grade. Homework/assignments will not be graded other than that you will receive a 1 on the grade spreadsheet for assignments turned in, and 0 for assignments not turned in. We encourage you to do your best on all assignments, but don't want you to be concerned about assignment grades. Use each assignment as a learning tool, but don't worry about making mistakes. Online activities are graded only for participation/completion, not what grade/score you may have received on the activities.

The quizzes in each lesson count toward 10% of your grade. These are Self-Checks which you may take as often as you wish. If you are unsatisfied with the score you receive on a quiz, take it again and again until you are satisfied.The goal of these quizzes is to help you attain mastery of vocabulary and concepts that you'll need to know for the midterm cumulative review and the final.

A speaking appointment is a required part of every unit and must be completed before you can take the unit quiz and speaking appointment in the next unit. You cannot complete more than one speaking appointment per day.

Speaking assignments are scheduled with a TA and conducted live online; these will help you gain spoken mastery of Arabic. To prepare for your speaking appointments, visit the Conversation Café frequently. Practice with a partner, ask the moderating TA questions, and so forth. Speaking appointments must be completed before moving on to the next lesson, and they make up 25% of your grade. The lowest score of your speaking assignments can be dropped (except for the oral final exam), so don't worry if you have a “bad” one. Go back to the café and practice more so you will be prepared for your next appointment.

PLEASE NOTE: If you miss a speaking appointment you will receive an automatic 25% deduction from your speaking appointment score. You can reschedule your appointment, but your maximum score will be 75%. If you feel you have extenuating circumstances, contact the TA with an explanation about why you missed your appointment and the TA will determine if the 25% deduction will be waived.

You may cancel your speaking appointment if you feel you are not prepared enough or if you have a conflict. However, cancellations must be made at least 12 hours in advance. If you cancel your appointment less than 12 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time, you will receive an automatic 25% deduction from your speaking appointment score. If you feel you have extenuating circumstances, contact the TA with an explanation about why you cancelled your appointment less than 12 hours before it was scheduled. The TA will determine if the 25% deduction will be waived.

Once the speaking appointment starts, there will be little to no English from either the TA or you until the end of the role-play. This means that if you do not understand a question or word the TA is using during the role-play you should do the best with what you do understand and move on. If you have any questions, you may ask them once you have completed the assignment. The purpose of this is to simulate real life language learning situations where there will be a lot of ambiguity and missing information.

Review assignments: Six lesson reviews are worth 10% of your grade.

The practice final exam, designed to help you be prepared for the final exam, is worth 3%.

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A midterm cumulative review, a proctored exam, is worth 5% of your final grade. The midterm requires listening to a CD; please plan ahead with your proctor to ensure you have access to a device to play the CD.

The final exam includes oral and written portions. The oral final exam element is completed prior to the written exam portion. The final, both portions combined, is worth 22% of your final grade. It is required to pass the final in order to pass the course.

Due to the nature of this course's learning outcomes, the exams are only available in a paper format. Please plan for shipping time.

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Percent of Grade
28 Written assignments and online participation 25%
33 Quizzes 10%
21 Speaking Assignments 25%
Review assignments (6 Lesson Reviews) 10%
1 Midterm Exam 5%
1 Final Exam 22%
A 100–95%
A- 94–90%
B+ 89–86%
B 85–83%
B- 82–80%
C+ 79–76%
C 75–73%
C- 72–70%
D+ 69–66%
D 65–63%
D- 62–60%
E (fail) 59% or below

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


33 computer-graded quizzes, 28 writing assignment sets, 6 instructor-graded review assignments, 1 practice final, no paid resubmissions; 21 speaking appointments, no paid resubmissions, lowest score dropped.


2 proctored, instructor-graded exams (1 midterm exam and 1 final exam), and 2 speaking exams (1 midterm speaking exam and 1 final speaking exam). No exam retakes, must pass the final to earn credit for the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514