Intermediate Arabic: Building Language Skills Online

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Document Type



In the spring of 2015, Professor Isleem used the Quizlet learning tool to encourage students to enhance and memorize vocabulary through the use of online flashcards. The benefit of the tool was that it allowed students to receive content but not to more thoroughly negotiate and produce their own content. For Fall 2015, Professor Isleem and Cole Conte ’16 (Computer Science and Engineering) developed a mobile application designed to enhance student proficiency in spoken Arabic through a more interactive approach, creating audio/visual pathways through increasingly complex phrasing. Using Apple’s XCode iOS development system, Isleem and Conte created a set of two units: Unit 1 consists of five sets of activities that integrate images with Arabic and English written and spoken vocabulary and grammar, as well as a review section; Unit 2 increases complexity, with units on indefinite noun-adjective and definite noun-adjective phrases, and nisba adjective activities. The app was downloaded to student iPhones and iPads in October; students used the app enthusiastically throughout the rest of the semester. Professor Isleem is currently working on the next phase of app development as well as an open-source iBook textbook, Al-Kitaab, for intermediate courses.


Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

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