Course Design


Arabic Without Walls includes the same course content as Arabic 1A/1B, delivered in an online format.  The new course format contains materials for three course content components:  (1) Al-Kitaab and Alif Baa (Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal and Abbas Al-Tonsi, 2004), (2) QuickTime Movie Interviews, and (3) expanded cultural presentations and activities not available in Al-Kitaab. While each component may stand by itself and therefore may be studied independently, the three are designed to complement each other in Arabic Without Walls. The course syllabus helps students toggle between the textbooks, the DVDs, the Web materials, and the sound/chat activities, as they proceed through a given chapter.  Most of the online activities give students immediate feedback on their answers and send a record of the results to the instructor (i.e. they are SCORM compliant).  Other more open-ended activities will be performed using the chat program.

Scope and Sequence:

  1. Al-Kitaab:The Al-Kitaab component refers to computer-based activities designed specifically for the distance learner to facilitate use of the assigned textbooks (Alif-Baa and Al-KitaabPart 1) used in traditional classrooms in most U.S. college programs. Both textbooks are essential for AWW and are currently used by regular UC Berkeley Arabic students. The Syllabus button allows students to navigate your way through both textbooks and the computer assisted activities presented under Al-Kitaab. These activities were carefully designed to address questions that traditionally answered in class by the teacher and to cover the supplementary materials that Berkeley student usually receive. In the syllabus, the textbooks are referred to as AB and AK for short. The Al-Kitaab section of AWW is divided into seven main areas of study and quizes:
    1. Vocabulary المفردات
    2. Video الشريط
    3. Grammar القواعد
    4. Pronunciation النطق
    5. Reading القراءة
    6. Chat المحادثة
    7. Writing الكتابة
    8. Quizzes الامتحانات
  2. Interviews: QT Movie interviews with Arabic speakers offering further listening and cultural input. The interviews expand the distant learner's opportunity to hear Modern Standard Arabic spoken in a sociolinguistic context that warrants the use of this, mainly, written variety of Arabic and get acquainted with a diverse group of individuals from the Arab world. The activities in this section (Interviews button on left hand side menu) focus particularly on strengthening the distant learner's listening and speaking skills by offering further opportunity to hear materials presented in the Al-Kitaab section used by fluent speakers of Modern Standard Arabic. The video interviews serve as models of the language that the student may use in conversation with the instructor or with distant peers in the Chat activity.
  3. Culture: This cultural-linguistic section is intended to provide an informative and engaging context for learning Arabic. This thematically organized section contextualizes the language for the distant learners and raises their awareness of various, selected, cultural aspects of the Arab world that regular Berkeley students may access when attending classes or lectures in Near Eastern studies, history, literature, linguistics or anthropology. In addition, this section enriches the distant learners' Arabic vocabulary by introducing key contextualized Arabic words of relevance to the topics addressed.
  4. Chat:  In addition, all students will chat in Arabic on a daily basis with their instructors and virtual classmates using a synchronous sound/text exchange program.  Two sound/text chat programs are being evaluated at present, Wimba and Breeze, and the most Arabic friendly interface will be selected.  All online materials are packaged using MOODLE, a course management system that provides an Arabic interface and Arabic-enabled Wiki (asynchronous writing space/bulletin board).