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Intensive Arabic Program
Muscat, Oman (Incoming Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Alim (1 - 2 - 3),
Alim (1 - 2),
Alim (2 - 3),
ALIM 1 (Summer),
ALIM 2 (Summer),
ALIM 3 (Summer),
Fall I (Sep - Nov),
Fall II (Nov-Dec),
Fall Semester,
January Term,
Spring 1,
Spring 2,
Spring Semester
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Non-CIL applicants only
Program Description:

CIL Arabic Classroom

CIL's Intensive Arabic Program is one of the most intentional programs of its kind in the region. 

Intensive Arabic Program

  The Arabic program at the Center for International Learning (CIL) consists of 20 classroom hours per week of instruction in conversation (Modern Standard Arabic), grammar, media, and reading/writing.  Our curriculum is based on the Al-Kitaab series.  We combine this formal classroom instruction with 6 hours per week of conversation practice with an Omani language partner or Peer Facilitator (PF). In addition to these, students participate in weekly extra-curricular activities that include academic lectures, seminars, review sessions and cultural activities which enhance the Arabic curriculum. All students will be assessed prior to the start of classes for placement and at the end of their program.

Arabic courses at CIL are each 3-credits each (except two beginner courses that are 4-credits each) and are designed and numbered according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) levels:

Arabic 101: Novice Arabic I                                                                                      
Arabic 102: Novice Arabic II                                                                                    
Arabic 103: Novice Arabic III                                                                               
Arabic 201: Intermediate Arabic I
Arabic 202: Intermediate Arabic II 
Arabic 203: Intermediate Arabic III  
Arabic 301: Advanced Arabic I
Arabic 302: Advanced Arabic II
Arabic 303: Advanced Arabic III
Arabic 401: Superior Arabic I                                     
Arabic 402: Superior Arabic II

Why Arabic and why the Middle East?

Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA, is the literary language of Arabic, and is its official form. MSA is derived from Classical Arabic, the language of the Qur’an, and is used by Arabic speakers in written documents and formal spoken occasions, such as for lectures and in the news media.

We believe that learning Arabic – and learning about Arab culture and society – forges academic and cultural ties and understanding that engender tolerance and mutual respect. And as interest in foreign affairs of the Middle East continues to grow, so do employment opportunities for those who speak Arabic and understand the region’s cultures.

Arabic is one of the fastest growing languages learned by students in the U.S. and many other countries. Known for its fascinating complexity, it is a language of literature, poetry and elegant calligraphy. One of the six official languages of the United Nations, Arabic is spoken by 422 million people in 22 countries around the world, and used by more than one billion Muslims who read the Quran.

We offer Arabic language programs throughout the year, including customized short-term, semester-long and academic year-long programs. In addition to undergraduates, graduate students and professionals, CIL hosts Boren scholars and fellows, recipients of FLAS grants and scholarships from the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) and Fulbrights, and provides each with a customized program that meets their academic and personal needs.

Arabic language programs offered at CIL:
Semester- and year-long Arabic Programs
Summer Arabic Language Programs
Winter Break Arabic Language Programs
Customized Arabic Language Programs
Evening Classes in Arabic Language (for locals in Oman)

Students Interact and Form Friendships
What’s covered and why
CIL offers all three levels of Modern Standard Arabic (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), as well as Omani dialect. We utilize the textbook Al Kitaab fii Talum Al-Arabiya, Part 1, 2 and 3, which we find facilitates a smooth transition between home universities and studies at CIL. In addition to the Al Kitaab textbook, we also use materials developed by our teaching faculty. Arabic instruction at CIL covers reading, writing, vocabulary, media literacy, comprehension and active use of lughat-al-muthaqqafeen (“educated speech”), as heard on Al Jazeera.

Our Arabic language program focuses on all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking), and students quickly notice their abilities improving as they spend 20 hours per week learning the language. Students learn Arabic for an average of four hours each day, five days per week, with several different teachers for different skills, and a Peer Facilitator (language partner) for afternoon conversation that reinforces formal classroom learning.

Afternoon conversation sessions with Peer Facilitators (PFs) are a special part of our Arabic language regimen, and a unique program component pioneered by CIL. In addition to our morning classes, PF sessions provide six additional hours a week of direct conversation with an Omani in groups of two or three students. Unless indicated otherwise, PF sessions are a normal part of students' programs and are included at no additional cost. Extra charges for PF sessions are applied, however, under the following circumstances: 1) a student arrives after classes have begun and needs extra PF time to catch up, 2) a student requests additional PF time for a short period, or 3) a student desires a private PF.

It is our experience that students benefit most from small class size, which gives them every opportunity to participate and receive ample faculty attention during class. CIL classes typically contain 3-7 students, and never more than 10. Learning takes place in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere; our campus is comprised of former villa of a large extended family, and still retains that “family” feeling that students find so conducive to learning.

Listen to a CIL alum recite poetry in Arabic.

Teaching Staff and CIL Administration

The learning environment at CIL is relaxed and inspiring, with accessible instructors who encourage students’ best efforts. All of CIL’s Arabic language classes are taught by Omani instructors trained to teach Arabic as a foreign language. These instructors go through a vigorous training program and regular professional development workshops to further strengthen their skills. CIL’s teaching staff work together to coordinate a web of integrated topics that reinforces students’ learning from class to class. In addition, we encourage all of our instructors to develop and utilize innovative teaching methods, and their enthusiasm for teaching is quite contagious. For a lesson on Omani culture, including practical vocabulary words, one instructor temporarily renovated her classroom to resemble a traditional Omani home, with floor cushions and curtains draped over chairs. Students sat on floor cushions, sharing Kahwa and sweets while chatting in Arabic. Another teacher gave a lesson in Arabic in one of our large, fully equipped kitchens, as students learned to prepare a typical Omani dish – all in Arabic!

Watch a recent CNN International report profiling CIL and Oman as a safe place to study (fast forward to minute 4:15).

Students Work Together on Projects
Orientation and Muscat City Tour
Most students arrive Muscat in the late evening after a long trip, and are welcomed by CIL staff at the Muscat Airport, and whisked to their accommodation a short drive away by our private bus. Whether this is their first time in the region or they have spent time in Oman previously, student anticipation and excitement upon arrival is palpable. Our staff is there to answer any immediate questions and get students settled for the night.

The following day students are brought to CIL for the first part of our two part Orientation, which focuses on the non-academic aspects of their program, and aims to ease their transition into life in Muscat. We give students the opportunity to briefly share their background and interests with the group. CIL staff address key themes pertaining to Oman’s history, practical and logistical considerations for Muscat living, transportation, health and safety, and cultural information about Oman. And of course, students have every opportunity to ask questions, and we encourage open dialog between students, who oftentimes are quite knowledgeable about Oman and the region.

We put a lot of effort into making students feel at ease in Muscat and with our programs, so they can put all of their efforts into learning Arabic!

Listen to what a CIL alum says about Omani culture.

Arabic Program Orientation and Class Placement
The second part of student Orientation is conducted by our Arabic language staff, and centers on our Arabic program. Students meet their instructors and experience first-hand the warmth and hospitality for which Omanis are known.

After the Arabic program Orientation, each student meets individually with a member of our Arabic language faculty, for an oral interview which, in conjunction with a written Arabic placement evaluation, is used to determine appropriate class placement. Each student is given his/her daily schedule, and off they go to their first Arabic class. As noted above, we ask students to let us know if any class does not seem to be at the appropriate level (too challenging or too rudimentary), so that we can quickly move to address this and move him/her to a class with a better fit. One of the benefits of being a relatively small school is that we can be flexible and adapt to student needs, which often is not possible at a larger institution.

Daily Schedule
A typical week for an intensive Arabic language student includes small classes with several different instructors for 30 hours per week. We focus our classes on different skills – i.e., Grammar, Reading/Writing, Conversation, Media -- and shift teachers to keep the learning environment lively and interesting.

Our Students and Sending Schools
The Center for International Learning provides a safe and welcoming environment for adult students of all ages and nations to learn Arabic. Our programs have been lauded for their quality by universities, foreign ministries and the U.S. State Department and military agencies. Our Arabic language students come from more than 41 countries and scores of institutions.  Click here for a list of these countries and institutions.

CIL’s Academic Dean assists students by working closely with sending university officials to award appropriate credit for courses taken at CIL.

Watch videos of former students, faculty and other professionals and organizations who endorse the quality of CIL’s Intensive Arabic Language Programs.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Alim (1 - 2) 2018 05/13/2018 ** Rolling Admission 05/20/2018 07/18/2018
Alim (1 - 2 - 3) 2018 05/13/2018 ** Rolling Admission 05/20/2018 08/15/2018
ALIM 1 (Summer) 2018 05/13/2018 ** Rolling Admission 05/20/2018 05/20/2018
ALIM 2 (Summer) 2018 06/17/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/24/2018 07/18/2018
Alim (2 - 3) 2018 06/17/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/24/2018 08/15/2018
ALIM 3 (Summer) 2018 07/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission 07/22/2018 08/22/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.