The United Nations recognizes Arabic as one of the most wide-spread languages in the world. It is the mother tongue for more than 300 million Arabs living in 22 states, from Morocco and Mauritania in the West to Iraq and the Arabian Gulf in the East. Arabic is also the language of the Holy Quran, the liturgical language for more than one billion Muslims of various languages and origins in countries across the globe.

In light of this importance, and due to the growing international political and economic interest in the Middle East, the Language Center at Yarmouk University offers a variety of courses in Arabic for non-native speakers. Courses cater to all language levels, from beginners to advanced, at Yarmouk University Language Center in Irbid, Jordan.

Yarmouk University Language Center

The Language Center is an independent academic unit of Yarmouk University. It was established in 1979 to prepare and execute the English language requirement for Yarmouk University students, the Language Center expanded its mission in 1984 to offer programs in Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL), as well. The Language Center has gained a universally-acknowledged reputation in this field, and has a long history of partnerships with private and public foreign institutions.

Study Abroad Programs at Yarmouk University Language Center

  • University of Virginia-Yarmouk University Summer Arabic Program: An intensive summer Arabic program for American students of various language levels and institutional affiliations.
  • The Language Center offers courses to students from USA, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Malaysia, Brunei and other countries who join the AFL Program via the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Jordan), or privately.
  • CET: An AFL program for the whole academic year designed to cater for the language needs of American students. Established in the fall of 2010/2011, the program is to continue for the future.
  • University of Mississippi Program: An intensive summer AFL program for UM students of various levels intended to meet those students' language needs.
  • Arabic for Diplomats: Diplomats from different embassies join this program on individual basis to study spoken Arabic with a focus on listening and conversation.

Academic Year

The all-round-the-year AFL Program accommodates students in its diverse programs and courses. The academic year falls into:

  • first semester (Fall): 10 September – 10 January
  • second semester (Spring): 10 February – 10 June
  • summer session: 12 June – 12 August

Program Goals

  • Teach/improve students' proficiency in the four skills of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA): reading, listening, speaking and writing.
  • Qualify students to understand various forms of news media.
  • Expose students to different genres of contemporary Arabic literature through an anthology of classical and contemporary religious texts that represent "the Arabic of Islam", and the language of a variety of Arabic news media.
  • Reinforce a diverse vocabulary that covers major subjects and disciplines, with an emphasis on students' specialization or interests.
  • Enable students to understand and express themselves in the local Jordanian dialect in addition to MSA.
  • Place students in different Arabic and Islamic historical/cultural contexts in the course of language study.
  • Give students opportunities to fully immerse in Arabic/Jordanian local life, e.g., attending festivals and weddings, visiting historical ruins and religious places, participating in social and cultural events, and socializing with Jordanian families. Methodology
  • Using Arabic as a medium of instruction. Students interact with their instructors, tutors, and colleagues in Arabic, and are provided with authentic texts and audio/visual materials that have not been modified or abridged for non-native audiences.
  • Interactive presentation of Arabic within live, communicative contexts-with an emphasis on frequent student participation.
  • A study of Arabic grammar in practical texts and natural contexts to exhibit the relevance and functionality of grammatical structures in the everyday language.
  • Placing students in regular classes relevant to their areas of specialization or interest – for example, journalism, political science, history, Islamic studies (sharia), etc

Levels of Instruction

Level (1) Beginning Arabic

This level is designed for beginning students with no prior experience in the language. Level One covers the writing system and phonetics and phonology (pronunciation, including intonation and stress) of Modern Standard Arabic, before introducing the fundamentals of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Language skills are built gradually with repetition, through a focus on the most common words and fundamental structures of MSA. The Beginning level enables students to read and write simple sentences and express themselves orally in simple dialogues.

Requirements: Beginning students without Arabic experience (0 – 19 Yarmouk University Language Center AFL placement rest score)

Duration: 14 – 16 weeks (15 hours per week: 3 hrs/day, 5 days/week)

Level (II) Lower Intermediate

The Lower Intermediate level is designed for students who have achieved proficiency in pronunciation and can read and write simple sentences in Modern Standard Arabic. Level two aims to develop and expand proficiency in the four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, in addition to introducing fundamental topics in Arabic grammar. All areas of the language are emphasized through the study of short authentic texts and audio-visual materials on a variety of subjects, including: basic Arab culture, social and historical topics, religious texts from the Quran and Hadith, and short stories. The Lower Intermediate level aims to enable students to comprehend short authentic written and audio texts, write brief compositions on basic topics, and engage in interactive discussions in areas of daily life.

Requirements: (20-39 Yarmouk University Language Center AFL placement test score)

Duration: 14-16 weeks (15 hours per week: 3 hrs/day, 5 days/week)

Level (III) Upper Intermediate

This level aims to strengthen proficiency in the four language skills and expand acquisition of vocabulary through longer, more detailed texts on specific topics: Islam, tradition stories and folk tales, pillars of Arab culture and society, etc. The Upper Intermediate level also introduces students to interviews, articles, and broadcasts from Arabic news media. In addition to a deeper grasp of the four language skills, level three seeks to lay a strong foundation in Arabic grammar through a survey of important grammatical topics in Modern Standard Arabic.

Requirements: (40-59 Yarmouk University Language Center AFL placement test score)

Duration: 14-16 weeks (15 hours per week: 3 hrs/day, 5 days/week)

Level (IV) Advanced The advanced level is designed to add depth and complexity to a student's grasp of Arabic in all four language areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Level four uses long authentic texts from literature (short stories, poetry, autobiographies, and essays) and news media (magazine articles, broadcast media, and electronic materials). Students engage in detailed discussions and compose essays in response to the topics presented in the aural and written texts, acquiring a diverse vocabulary and employing a variety of transition words and idiomatic phrases. The Advanced level reviews basic grammatical structures and studies more detailed topics of Arabic grammar contextually, taking practical and functional examples from the written texts.

Requirements: (60-79) Yarmouk University Language Center AFL placement test score)

Duration: 14-16 weeks (15 hours per week: 3 hrs/day, 5 days/week).

Level (V) Arabic for Special Purposes

Level Five of the AFL Program is designed to meet the specific needs of interested students, and studies the language as it is used in Islam, news media, business, political and diplomatic contexts, etc. This level requires a strong foundation in Arabic and achieves a depth of focus through extensive reading and listening of a variety of detailed source materials.

Requirements: (40-59 Yarmouk University Language Center AFL placement test score)

Duration: 14-16 weeks (15 hours per week: 3 hrs/day, 5 days/week).

Conversational Arabic

The AFL Program also offers courses in the Jordanian spoken dialect. Conversational Arabic courses may explore similarities and differences with the vocabulary and grammar of Modern Standard Arabic, and prepare students for spoken interaction in all areas of daily life. Conversational Arabic classes can be offered at high levels and can be tailored to meet a specific thematic focus.

Short-Term Courses

Short-term intensive courses in Fusha (i.e. Standard Arabic) and/or colloquial Arabic for a period of one to five weeks can be arranged upon request to meet the specific language needs of foreign learners.

Program taught in:
  • English
  • Arabic (Jordan)
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
14 - 16 weeks
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 2020
End Date
Application deadline

Sep 2020

Application deadline
End Date