Introduction to Arabic & Mandarin

Recent global events and trends leave little room for doubt that China and the Arab world will present important opportunities and challenges for tomorrow’s leaders. Learning both to communicate and to understand the value systems of these cultures is essential. Recognizing this, SEGL requires a weekly class in Arabic and Mandarin.

Goals: The Arabic & Mandarin course aims to give students a practical introduction to Arabic and Chinese language and culture and to spark their interest in future study at the post secondary level.

Details: The Arabic & Mandarin course meets once a week. All students attend each weekly session, though often they will be broken into smaller groups. Experts in Mandarin team teach half of the course; experts in Arabic team teach the other half. Roughly half of the class meetings focus on practical language basics, and half of the class meetings focus on applying those skills to current events and cultural norms. Ethical questions about cultural relativism, American “exceptionalism,” empathy, and capitalism are woven into class discussions.