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October 13, 2006

ULM professor visits Morocco to study Arabic language

Jim McKeithen, a University of Louisiana at Monroe assistant professor in the foreign languages department, spent one month in Morocco this summer at the American Language Institute in Fez.

Known locally as "Alif" (which is also the first letter of the Arabic alphabet), the institute offers all levels of instruction. Courses are arranged to accommodate college students as well business people, diplomats and scholars who wish to brush up on their Arabic. The majority of the students are there as part of special agreements with colleges and universities in the U.S. and Britain.

”My trip to Morocco this summer was for the purpose of renewing my contact with spoken everyday Arabic and studying Modern Standard (Classical) Arabic in a traditionally Arabic environment with competent Arabic speaking professors,” McKeithen said.

“This trip was motivated by the offering this fall of a compressed video course originating here and conducted simultaneously on the Grambling campus.”

An attractive feature of the institute is that it allows advanced students to customize instruction to their own needs. For this purpose, the institute employs professors from Qayrawan University in the city of Fez. Qayrawan is the oldest university in the Arabic speaking world and was founded in the 10th century.

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