Arabic Language Programs at Sijal
Sijal provides expert language instruction to learners at all levels of Arabic. Based on best practices in foreign language pedagogy, the curriculum is comprehensive and relates to real-life situations. Students learn both Modern Standard Arabic/MSA (al-fuSHa) as well as colloquial Levantine Arabic (al-'arabiyya al-mashriqiyya). This is the dialect spoken in Jordan, where Sijal is located, but also in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon. Students with proficiency in colloquial Levantine Arabic are able to communicate across the Arab world.

The intensive curriculum offers the same content as a full academic year of university study and covers the same topics and breadth of material as the most rigorous courses. Unlike many Arabic programs (which focus solely on standard or formal Arabic), Sijal engages the diglossic aspect of Arabic, enabling students to learn and produce casual spoken Arabic as well as formal MSA by including both in the curriculum.

Sijal’s instructors build an environment in which the student is at the center of a highly interactive learning process. Throughout the program, students learn about and actively engage with practices and products of Arab cultures, using Arabic in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes. All language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar) are integrated into the full range of activities.

The curriculum for the beginner and intermediate levels is based on the best-selling series from Georgetown University Press, Al-Kitaab fii Tacallum al-cArabiyya (Brustad, Al-Batal, Al-Tonsi), the most widely used Arabic language textbooks in schools and universities in North America. These include online activities as well as extensive video and listening passages available on DVD and as audio files. The texts in the Al-Kitaab series are supplemented by selections from Arabic language media and the internet, academia, literature, and the arts. For Colloquial Arabic we use materials developed here at Sijal.

Homework provides a crucial opportunity to reinforce skills as well as internalize new language structures and material. Review and written assignments will require approximately 3-4 hours each day. Instructors hold regular office hours to meet with students on an individual basis. In addition, an in-house bilingual tutor is available for questions and review after class to provide additional learning support.

Students are constantly immersed in Arabic within and outside the classroom. By using the colloquial Arabic they learn in class, students can successfully interact and build relationships with the local community around Sijal.
Core Objectives:
  • Build a strong foundation in all skills in Arabic (listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar)
  • Introduce cultural awareness
Students Can:
  • Read and write in Arabic
  • Use courteous and culturally appropriate expressions
  • Introduce and identify themselves
  • Command an active vocabulary of a few hundred words
  • Expand their vocabulary using the root/pattern system and the Arabic dictionary
  • Understand the fundamentals of Arab culture and society
  • Begin and maintain a simple conversation and exchange information on familiar topics (e.g., themselves, schooling, career and family) using accurate pronunciation and natural forms of expression
  • Connect basic sentences in order to provide information on familiar topics
  • Relate in some detail what they see, hear and read
  • Understand main ideas and some details when listening to sentences or short conversations and some media
  • Understand main ideas and many details in some texts containing familiar vocabulary in formal Arabic
  • Write a series of sentences in Arabic about a familiar topic or experience (e.g. a short passage on a familiar topic or a polite letter or informal note)
Levels Achieved: Successful students reach Intermediate Low on the ACTFL scale and between A1 - A2 on the CEFR scale.
Core Objectives:
  • Expand active vocabulary and commonly used formal expressions
  • Engage with a wide variety of texts and topics

Students Can: 
  • Understand and summarize some extended speech on a variety of familiar and some unfamiliar topics from a variety of media
  • Understand many different types of texts
  • Understand subtle points of familiar texts and information from unfamiliar topics
  • State and support views and be active discussants on familiar topics and some unfamiliar topics in formal Arabic
  • Deliver a presentation on a variety of topics
  • Express ideas in writing using detailed narratives, descriptions or explanations with appropriate transitions and idiomatic expressions
Levels Achieved: Successful students reach Intermediate High/Advanced Low on the ACTFL scale and between B1 - B2 on the CEFR scale.
Core Objectives:
  • Engage with authentic texts and programming while refining reading, writing, speaking, listening, vocabulary, and grammar skills
  • Read and understand texts from the Classical Arabic (medieval) tradition
Students Can: 
  • Understand and summarize extended speech and lectures
  • Understand newspapers and most forms of media
  • Understand long, complex texts and recognize some literary styles
  • Communicate in formal Arabic with fluency and flexibility on concrete social and professional topics
  • Deliver a clear presentation on academic or professional subjects or topics of personal interest
  • Write clear, structured texts for a variety of audiences on concrete social and professional topics
Levels Achieved: Successful students reach Advanced Mid-High/Superior on the ACTFL scale and between B2 - C1 on the CEFR scale.
For students interested in personalizing their coursework, we offer private one-on-one or two-on-one tutoring with a Sijal instructor. This coursework can be taken as its own class or as a way to complement other classes undertaken at Sijal. The content of the tutoring can focus primarily on Modern Standard Arabic, Colloquial Arabic or Classical Arabic and can be tailored exactly to the interests, level and background of the student. Private tutoring is available year round and does not need to coincide with Sijal's regular academic calendar.

The cost of private tutoring as of January 2018 is as follows:

20 JOD per educational hour between the hours of 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday - Thursday for individuals.

30 JOD per educational hour before 9:00 AM and after 5:00 PM Sunday - Thursday or on weekends for individuals or two-on-one lessons at any time.

To schedule private coursework, please fill out the following registration form. Should any questions arise, please contact us at
The Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture offers evening Colloquial Arabic classes from the beginning levels, which cover the fundamentals of Coloquial Jordanian Arabic, to advanced coursework based on authentic materials. The curriculum was designed for expatriates living in Amman and is communicative and task-based. The instruction is structured to activate both grammar and vocabulary in each lesson and class sizes are kept small to ensure personalized attention for each student.

Each session of the evening course lasts for 8 weeks for a total of 40 educational hours. The classes meet twice a week, either on Sundays and Tuesdays from 6:00 - 8:30 PM or Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 - 8:30 PM, depending on level placement and student enrollment. To register for the upcoming Winter session of the evening course and schedule a placement test, please fill out the following  registration form

The cost of the course, which includes all materials and the placement test, is 300 JOD.