Brigham Young University (Student)
BYU STARTALK Arabic Camp
- June 26, 2017 – July 14, 2017: (Face-to-face)
- Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
The BYU Arabic STARTALK Camp is designed to light the fire of motivation in students as they experience that they can learn a lot of Arabic in just three weeks. Our theme, “Avicenna’s Astrolabe,” centers on a collaborative mystery-solving game set in the present. Students are tasked to find an ancient cure to a deadly disease that threatens to decimate the modern world. The key to doing so is an astrolabe once held by the famous polymath, Ibn Sina (a.k.a. Avicenna). By exploring cities and talking to people from both the modern and medieval Arab world, students uncover the story of the astrolabe as it passed hands from civilization to civilization, while also finding clues leading them on to discover the cure they seek. In the process, students internalize basic communication skills while also experiencing a variety of Arab cultures and historical perspectives that highlight the impact of Arabo-Islamic civilization on the West. They will also learn about past and present violent reactionary movements in the East and the West that manipulate religion to foment hate and gain power.
Beginners get off to a great start and complete the equivalent of a year of high school Arabic and receive corresponding credit. We will again offer an option that will allow those who already know the script to complete the equivalent of Arabic 101 and receive either high school or university credit. Even more advanced students may complete Arabic 102 and receive high school or university credit. All will come away with a solid repertoire of pragmatic speaking and reading skills and gain significant hands-on experience with Arab culture.
Students learn through doing. They live the language, learning to perform authentic tasks. They are immersed in music, films, games, cooking lessons, visits to mosques and restaurants. Tutors are available day and night to act as role models and to help students of varying abilities and challenges succeed. World-class teachers are experienced in making learning fun and adjusting instruction to individual needs. Students practice and demonstrate their progress in role plays and in day-to-day living, which helps to build confidence.
All students are urged to push on during the academic year with our award-winning distance-learning course that includes live support from tutors. Some former students who have done so have already distinguished themselves in follow-on abroad experience and realized the goal of acquiring advanced levels of proficiency in Arabic. BYU’s Arabic camp is a great springboard. Consider the example of Rachel Lott, who participated in our 2014 camp and will be joining us this year as a teaching assistant: