The regular course of study at the Gulf Arabic Programme begins with an introduction to the letters of the script, their corresponding sounds and how to recognize and reproduce them both orally and visually. The student will be introduced to Arabic from the first lesson and is expected to refrain from using their native language to discuss or comment in class. The materials used are a combination of regionally and locally developed books that cover the basics of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Each full-time class will have approximately 1/3 of their time spent in Modern Standard Arabic [MSA] and 2/3’s in colloquial spoken Gulf Arabic. As they progress in ability and capability, students will be introduced to additional materials that will help to stretch their skills and extend the reach of their language. As mentioned in the Schedule, students will meet for 4 periods a day, 5 days a week. The complete program runs for four semesters [~2 years]. In addition to the content of the courses themselves, the students will be actively developing their own contacts and opportunities for practice in the community around them.
Students in the first class will begin with two pieces of material. The first, Hayaa Binaa, is their primary introduction to the script. The second is an oral course in common phrases to help the student begin to function in the class and in a very limited fashion in the community.
As students learn the initial material, they will progress into Hayaa Binaa II for their first introduction to some of the rules and grammar involved with MSA. On the colloquial, spoken side of language, they will begin working through GAP’s own Colloquial Book I [Camel Book] to learn how to first reproduce local, Gulf spoken dialect and eventually communicate using their own thoughts and stories. Show-and-Tell will added as a way to begin to integrate more personal language expression.
By the second semester, students will progress in MSA and using the Al Kitaab series of books, begin to really explore Arabic grammar and construction. Colloquial classes will progress into the aptly-named second book, Colloquial Book II [Gazelle Book]. In addition, additional materials will be introduced to help students begin to expand their abilities. Picture Stories will be used to encourage longer narrative language production and creativity. Topical Discussions will provide consolidated word lists and a forum for their usage within a given conversational context. The book Sahlawayhi is added to further develop reading and listening skills.
In their third semester, students will continue on into the Colloquial Book III [Falcon Book] while finishing up their Topical Discussions, Picture Stories and Sahlawayhi. Upon completion of the first Sahlawayhi reader, the second reader will be introduced. MSA study will finish up the Al Kitaab 1 book and begin Al Kitaab Part 2.
Finally in the fourth semester, MSA study will continue through the Al Kitaab part 2 and potentially begin part 3 depending on the aptitude and capacity of the students involved. In their colloquial studies, students will have finished the Colloquial Book III. Many additional courses are then put into the schedule with an increasing focus on fluency and content production. Some of the options for the fourth semester include local Folk Stories, Debate, Arabic in News Media, Cartoons and Political Satire, Arabic Television, Family Problems, Money Issues, Role-Playing and Advanced Conversations.