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At A Glance

Programs & Activities - Muscat, Oman  

Daily Schedule
A typical week for an intensive Arabic language student includes small classes with several different instructors for 30 hours per week. We focus our classes on different skills – i.e., Grammar, Reading/Writing, Conversation, Media - and shift teachers to keep the learning environment lively and interesting.

Teaching Staff & Administration
The learning environment is relaxed and inspiring, with accessible instructors who encourage students’ best efforts. All of the Arabic language classes are taught by Omani instructors trained to teach Arabic as a foreign language. These instructors go through a vigorous training program and regular professional development workshops to further strengthen their skills.

The teaching staff works together to coordinate a web of integrated topics that reinforces students’ learning from class to class. In addition, we encourage all of our instructors to develop and utilize innovative teaching methods, and their enthusiasm for teaching is quite contagious!

For instance, to teach a lesson on Omani culture including practical vocabulary words, one instructor temporarily renovated her classroom to resemble a traditional Omani home, with floor cushions and curtains draped over chairs. Students sat on floor cushions, sharing kahwa and sweets while chatting in Arabic. Another teacher gave a lesson in Arabic in one of our large, fully equipped kitchens, as students learned to prepare a typical Omani dish – all in Arabic!

Our Arabic language program focuses on all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking), and students quickly notice their abilities improving as they spend 20 hours per week learning the language. Students learn Arabic for four hours each day, five days per week, with several different teachers for different skills, and a Peer Facilitator (language partner) for afternoon conversation that reinforces formal classroom learning.
Afternoon conversation sessions with Peer Facilitators (PFs) are a special part of our Arabic language regimen, and a unique program component pioneered by our staff. In addition to our morning classes, PF sessions provide 6 additional hours a week of direct conversation with an Omani in groups of two or three students. Unless indicated otherwise, PF sessions are a normal part of students' programs and are included at no additional cost. Extra charges for PF sessions are applied, however, under the following circumstances: 1) a student arrives after classes have begun and needs extra PF time to catch up, 2) a student requests additional PF time for a short period, or 3) a student desires a private PF.
It is our experience that students benefit most from small class sizes which gives them every opportunity to participate and receive ample faculty attention. CIL classes typically contain 3-7 students and never more than 10.

Intensive Arabic Program (IAP)
The IAP consists of 20 classroom lessons per week of instruction in conversation (Modern Standard Arabic), grammar, media, and reading/writing. Our curriculum is based on the Al-Kitaab series. We combine this formal classroom instruction with 6 hours per week of conversation practice with an Omani language partner, also known as a Peer Facilitator (PF). In addition to these, students participate in weekly extra-curricular activities that include academic lectures, seminars, review sessions and cultural activities which enhance the Arabic curriculum. All students will be assessed prior to the start of classes for placement and at the end of their program.

The IAP is delivered during our:
    Academic Year
    Fall/Spring semesters
    Summer programs
    Winter Program
    Short-term programs

Arabic courses are 3-credits each (except two beginner courses that are 4-credits each) and are designed and numbered according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) levels:
    Arabic 101-102-103: Beginner Arabic I-II-III
    Arabic 201-202-203: Intermediate Arabic I-II-III
    Arabic 301-302-303: Advanced Arabic I-II-III
    Arabic 401-402: Superior Arabic I-II

What’s covered and why
All three levels of Modern Standard Arabic (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), as well as Omani dialect. We utilize the textbook Al-Kitaab fii Talum Al-Arabiya (Parts 1, 2 and 3) which we find facilitates a smooth transition between home universities and studies at CIL.
In addition to the Al-Kitaab textbook, we also use materials developed by our teaching faculty. Arabic instruction at CIL covers reading, writing, vocabulary, media literacy, comprehension and active use of lughat-al-muthaqqafeen (“educated speech”), as heard on Al Jazeera.


Admissions & Academic Credit

Students age 18 or older can participate in the programs regardless of educational background, occupation or nationality. No previous knowledge of Arabic is required.

Students desiring credit for their study should contact their home school or request the NRCSA Credit Fact Sheet. Generally, U.S. universities consider 15 hours of study to be equal to 1 semester credit.

For general information on academic credit, please click here.


Special Activities

Cultural & Social Activities

Our programs are supplemented by an array of excursions in Oman that allow students to explore the multiple dimensions of this fascinating country that hosts our students. Students are given the opportunity on most weekends of their time in Oman to visit villages that have existed for over 4,000 years, cities that have served central roles in Omani and Ibadhi history, desert locales that force one to marvel at the force of nature, and wadis (valleys/ravines) that redefine our understanding of beauty. These excursions are included in the program cost. We feel that learning is enhanced both by feeling connected to your host country as well as the break that you get from leaving Muscat and allowing your brain the rest it needs from such rigorous study.

Some Omani adventures include hiking the towering 3,300m/10,000’ Jebel Akhdar, known for stunning Grand Canyon-like vistas, the agricultural terracing separating villages that cling to the mountainside, and various varieties of fruit trees, including award-winning pomegranate, that flourish in the cool higher elevations.

A visit to Nizwa, Oman’s former capital, now less than 90 minutes from Muscat on a modern highway, previously took all day to reach by donkey on a rugged path. The restored Nizwa Fort offers a glimpse into Oman of the past, and is surrounded by a bustling market area, the souk, with its meat, fruits and vegetables, crafts, silver and khanjars, traditional Omani daggers. Nearby in one direction is Misfat Al Abreyyin, a 4,000 year old continuously-inhabited village on the side of a ravine. Locals still use the falaj to provide water for residents’ homes as well as to irrigate the terraced agricultural plots used to grow papayas, bananas, and sugar cane.

Intensive Arabic Program

Cultural & Social Activities

National Registration Center for Study Abroad
P.O. Box 1393    Milwaukee, WI   53201   USA
Tel: (414) 278-0631    Fax: (414) 271-8884    E-Mail:
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