Earlier this summer, 29 undergraduate students from three countries and 10 states came to Harvard’s campus for advanced training in Arabic language and culture teaching. They were here for an intensive three-week workshop, the Arabic Institute for the Next Generation, run through the Outreach Center at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Funded by a STARTALK grant to advance the teaching of Arabic in high schools, the program was designed to support the growing national demand for trained and certified high school Arabic teachers by introducing highly proficient Arabic language undergraduate students with little or no teaching experience to the content, pedagogy, and approach skills useful both to teach Arabic in grade nine to twelve classrooms and to pursue licensure from relevant state departments of education. Held May 23 through June 8, 2012, the Arabic Institute for the Next Generation was offered at no charge to Arabic language students from colleges, universities, and community colleges.
“As a Department of Education National Resource Center, the Outreach Center works to support the advancement of knowledge about the languages and cultures of the Middle East region. The chance to collaborate with the STARTALK program, Harvard faculty, graduate students from Harvard and other schools, as well as with K-12 teachers of Arabic around the country is a natural fit and one we are proud to be a part of,” said Paul Beran, director of the Outreach Center.