Syllabus

Quick Links

Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

What You Should Already Know

You should have completed ARAB 041, ARAB 043, and ARAB 51 or the equivalent of three semesters of high school Arabic.

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 or bring them to the café for discussion. 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.

Technical Considerations

This course functions best in a web browser other than Internet Explorer. If you only have Internet Explorer, you can download other browsers (e.g., Firefox, Safari, etc.) for free online. If you have trouble doing this, contact Technical Support at 1-877-897-8085 or istech@byu.edu.

Assignments

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.

Conversation Café and Speaking Appointments

The Conversation Café is a virtual room where conversation practice and speaking appointments take place. Minimal English is used in the Café. Activities are moderated by a TA/instructor. Hours of the Café are posted on the Communication and Conversation Café page. Spend as much time as possible in the Café, practicing the concepts you learn! Before you complete your speaking appointment, you must spend some time practicing in the Conversation Café. You must complete the first Conversation Café to move on in the course.

Speaking appointments are graded oral assessments. You will be required to complete certain language tasks or have a dialogue with the TA/instructor during your speaking appointment. 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. TA-graded speaking appointments are completed on a first-come, first-served basis (no scheduling) in the Conversation Café room. The first, middle, and final exam speaking appointments will be scheduled with your instructor and will take place in the instructor’s virtual room. These appointments require a photo ID and a webcam. If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment, you must reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours before the appointment. If you fail to show up at your scheduled time, you will receive a 0.

A grade will be posted within 24 hours of the appointment. The lowest score from all of your speaking appointments will be dropped. (This does not include the final speaking appointment.) See “Grading” below to see what percentage of your final grade the speaking appointments are on.

We strongly encourage you not to use notes during your speaking appointments. That will help you be better prepared for the final speaking appointment where no notes are allowed. Note: You should complete all speaking appointments in the correct order. For more specific information about each speaking appointment, please refer to each assignment in the course.

A Word about Assignment Keys

We have provided answer keys for most of the assignments you will have so that you can get immediate feedback on your work. Please use them as they are intended. Give your best effort to the assignments and then check them afterward, making corrections as needed. Copying your work directly from the key just so that you can turn an assignment in on time will detract from, rather than add to, your learning experience. You will simply be cheating yourself. In time you will need to show that you can produce correct language patterns without reliance on aids, so don’t shortchange yourself. We expect you to correct yourself on those assignments for which a key is provided. Please use a contrasting color, so your corrections are 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 unit, along with participation in online activities linked with your textbook, make up 25 percent 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 eight unit quizzes together count toward 10 percent of your grade.  These are self checks that you may take as often as you wish. 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. You will receive all points if you take all the self-checks, regardless of what score you receive on each of the self-checks. You must complete the speaking appointment in each unit before you can take your unit quiz.

Cumulative reviews are instructor-graded assignments which account for 10 percent of your final grade.

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Exams

A practice final exam (not proctored) is worth 3 percent of your final grade, and the final exam (proctored) is worth 22 percent. The final exam consists of two portions: a final speaking appointment and a written exam. Together, the scores from both portions are tabulated to yield the final exam grade. It is required to pass both portions of the final in order to pass the course. Notes will not be allowed during your final speaking appointment. If you use notes during the final speaking appointment, you will receive a 0 grade and fail 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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Grading

The chief cause of lower-than-expected final grades for this course (which means one hasn’t acquired the Arabic skills this course is designed to impart, the skills you want) is lack of diligence (missed homework and quizzes, not to mention the failure to review vocabulary regularly). The underlying cause, more often than not, turns out to be the tendency to bite off more than one can handle (work, school, social life). It takes time to learn Arabic. Count the cost of building the tower before you start and plan accordingly.

Assignment Percent of Grade
Assignments and Online Participation 25%
Unit Quizzes 10%
Speaking Appointments 30%
Cumulative Reviews 10%
Practice Final Exam 3%
Final Exam (final speaking appointment and written exam) 22%
Grade Breakdown
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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Tips for This Course

In this class we will continue to study the vocabulary, morphology and syntax of Arabic, in other words, the words, the forms, and the structures of the language. However, besides “getting” these things, you also need a LOT of practice listening to, speaking, reading and writing the language so that the things that you learn become deep-wired. “Getting” something, understanding it, is only a small part of the battle. You need to over-learn it to the point that it is utterly familiar, instantly recognizable, and impossible to be forgotten or misunderstood. This takes work and effort and concentration, but more than anything else it simply takes time. There is no one thing you can do to make it happen. You just have to keep plugging away, doing lots of things that expose you to the language and practice it, and then one blessed day you find that you don’t just understand a particular word or form or structure, it’s yours, you own it. That is what you are going for. It is not a direct process, and you can’t will it to happen in a short time, but if you keep working at it, it will happen.

Decades of research on language learning in a variety of settings confirm that the most important factor by far for successful language learning is time on task. Of course, not all time supposedly spent learning a language is equally productive. Therefore, the ONLY way to learn Arabic is to expose yourself to it in an intensive manner on a daily basis over a long period of time. The purpose of much of the content of this class—the speaking sessions, the drills, the readings, the listening exercises, and so forth—is to help you get this exposure. It is a given that you will not be able to see any instant benefit from any one of these activities. The learning will be indirect in many ways. There is nothing we can do to keep you from turning any of these assignments or activities into busywork or avoiding them altogether. Students often complain, for example, that the drills in the book are busywork. However, other students use them fruitfully as another way to encounter Arabic and take it seriously. If you decide that much of the content of this course is busywork (which it has to be from a certain point of view) and therefore avoid much of it, how are you going to have that intense encounter with Arabic, getting the practice and feedback you need to make the leaps of progress you need to make? Moral: You have to put in the time. The more focused it is (the more “on task”), the better. We cannot state strongly enough the wisdom of a good start and faithful preparation. If you are a little shaky on the vocabulary, hit it hard now!

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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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.

Assignments

8 unit quizzes, unlimited retakes; 8 instructor-graded assignment sets, 4 instructor-graded cumulative reviews, no resubmissions; 8 speaking appointments, no resubmissions, lowest score dropped.

Exams

1 final speaking appointment (may retake once for a fee; no-shows count as attempts and are given zeros), and 1 proctored, instructor-graded final exam (may retake once for a fee). To pass the course, you must pass both the final speaking appointment and the final exam with at least a 60 percent on each. 

Course Duration

Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months. You may only complete one speaking appointment per day. No exceptions. You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words.

As determined by your instructor or the BYU Independent Study administration, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism

  • You will fail the unit and be allowed the opportunity to resubmit the unit (or)
  • You will fail the unit and be denied the opportunity to resubmit the unit

Second Offense of Plagiarism

  • You will fail the unit and fail the class (or)
  • You will fail the unit, fail the class, and may be ineligible to enroll in a specific course or any of our courses without going through an appeals process which will determine the severity of your plagiarism

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.