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Arabic and Chinese languages are believed to be the most ancient in the world.
English "alphabet", French "alphabet", Spanish "alfabeto",
is alif-ba-ta, the first three letters of Arabic

Teaching Philosophy & Objectives

Arabic language courses are offered to promote linguistic balance within the Secretariat and improve the language capabilities of its staff, who work in a multicultural and multilingual environment. The purpose of these courses is to provide staff members with the opportunity to achieve proficiency in other official languages and develop greater respect for diversity. These courses are also a great source of information about the culture and other aspects of the Arab countries.
The Arabic Language programme at the United Nations in New York uses a communicative approach. It offers Regular and Special courses. Both types of courses are evaluated by continuous assessment, including end-of-term examinations, placement tests, students' feedback, and class observation.

Regular courses focus on developing general skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. They give students a good foundation in lexis (vocabulary), syntax (grammar), phonology (pronunciation and intonation), semantics (meaning), and pragmatics (language in context), as well as cultural awareness. Our Foreign Language Pedagogy: Teaching Grammar, Teaching Reading, Teaching Speaking, Teaching Listening, Teaching Writing, and Teaching Culture.

"Learning is a process of discovery. Learner discovers knowledge.
Teacher is facilitator and model learner"

The above was mentioned in a paper on teaching foreign languages, this is the philosophy of our programme, which means that both students and teachers are partners in this educational process. Our teachers are very dedicated, enjoy teaching, always work hard to find suitable materials and make the learning process an enjoyable experience. Teachers and students share the responsibility of creating a dynamic classroom environment. Our main focus is to teach students how to communicate. Hence, from the beginning even when starting with alphabet, we teach communicative skills through situations chosen and personalized to correspond with students' life and work at the UN.


Classes are usually offered before work, at lunch time 12-3, or after work. Two types of Arabic language courses are offered in each thirteen-week term:
Regular: Courses are organized for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels offered in nine levels 1-9. Classes meet 3 or 4 hours per week (1 hour each session). Levels 1, 2 and 3 meet four hours per week, 4-9 meet three hours. End-of-term examinations for all nine are given in the thirteenth week of the term.
Special: Courses in specific areas, such as conversation, listening, reading, pronunciation, Proficiency preparation, media,and cultural and linguistic diversity, are also offered. Courses normally meet for one or two hours periods. Special language courses enable staff to focus on improving their abilities in specific skill areas. They enhance, expand and reinforce language skills participants have acquired so that staff members continue to maintain and develop their linguistic abilities and prepare them to sit for the proficiency examination and perform their duties in the headquarters or field missions.