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Qatar University to have Arabic as Medium of Instruction
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 490

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imdramayu wrote:-
Quote:
Making Arabic the medium of instruction will hurt the job prospects & relevance of studies for graduating students.
Sure...entering and doing well in the program will be easier. But less useful.


Fortunately, Imdramyu, your concerns are unfounded - as the
medium of instruction for the QU's Graduate Program this fall
will be English -
http://www.qu.edu.qa/students/graduate_programs.php
Twenty of QU's Masters courses will be taught in English.

The only ones taught in Arabic are the Masters courses in Arabic Literature and Language,
and two courses in the Sharia and Islamic Studies department.


Therefore, the title of this thread is misleading.

Geronimo
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millie18



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the undergraduate programs? I thought they had switched nearly all of them to Arabic - there was one exception I believe but I can't remember which one it was?
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 490

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Details of the Undergraduate Programs' courses are available at:-

http://www.qu.edu.qa/students/programs.php

Click on the links in the bottom half of this webpage for
the language of instruction for each of the courses on offer
within the various Colleges.

A slight majority of the Majors are offered in English -
21 -as opposed to 17 in Arabic. So, my earlier response to
Imdramayu concerns should have been a more qualified one...
'for the most part unfounded'.

Geronimo
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 490

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those with an interest in the future of post-seconadary education policy
in Qatar now have the opportunity to read the Rand Corporation's
study online - and for free. Smile

"Qatar’s Supreme Education Council asked RAND to conduct a one-year study to assess whether the current post-secondary education opportunities in Qatar are aligned with the nation’s social and economic goals, and to help articulate priorities for developing post-secondary educational opportunities, either in Qatar or through financed study abroad.

The study determined that occupational demands are in the professional, technical, and sales and service occupations for men, and in the professional and clerical occupations for women. Overall, the pattern of demand favors individuals with some post-secondary education. However, education and career choices, especially for men, are somewhat misaligned with demand.

There are numerous post-secondary offerings in Qatar to prepare Qataris for work in high-demand fields at the undergraduate level, but not for graduate studies. The study also identified other gaps in the provision of education, and developed several options for addressing them.

The recommended investments for consideration are as follows:

(1) to address the currently limited opportunities available to Qataris who need further course work before going on to university studies, consider establishing a government-sponsored community college;

(2) to address the limited choices in four-year degrees available to high-achieving students beyond the degrees offered in Education City, consider recruiting a top liberal arts college or developing an honors program at Qatar University; and

(3) to address the lack of master’s degrees being offered in fields essential to Qatar’s social and economic progress, consider expanding Education City’s offerings or restructuring Qatar University programs.

The study also recommended that a financial-aid program for adults be started and that an overarching strategy of investment be developed for post-secondary education before any investments are made."


http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG644.html


Geronimo
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battleshipb_b



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Preserving English Reply with quote

Battling to Preserve Arabic From English's Onslaught
By D. D. GUTTENPLANhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/world/middleeast/11iht-educlede11.html

LONDON — At Northwestern University in Qatar the administration recently came up against a surprising problem: How to improve students’ Arabic. The overseas campus of the renowned university in Evanston, Illinois, attracts students from 30 countries for its programs in communications and journalism, popular majors in the hometown of Al Jazeera, the satellite broadcasting network. Although courses are given in English, about 60 percent of students speak some form of Arabic. “But most of them don’t speak Arabic well enough to appear on Al Jazeera,” said Everette E. Dennis, the school’s dean.For the past two years the school has offered a course in Arabic for Media. But it is optional, and not terribly popular. According to the draft of a new plan by administrators, a goal is to help students “achieve competence at a level that will allow them to work professionally in the media.” Proposed measures include arranging for more instruction in Modern Standard Arabic — the dialect used in print and broadcast, which can seem almost like a foreign language to students raised in the Gulf — hiring an Arabic writing coach and making Arabic for Media a requirement.At Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, “our faculty realized there was an issue,” said Gerd Nonneman, dean of the school, which like Northwestern is in the Education City complex in the capital, Doha. Roughly two-thirds of the students come from an Arab background, but more than half of them “never get to professional proficiency in their own language,” he said. Georgetown divides its Arabic classes into two streams, “heritage learners” and “foreign language learners,” with both groups brought together in the final year for advanced learning.
The school also recently submitted a proposal to the Qatar Foundation, a government-supported nonprofit that frequently finances educational initiatives, to create new teaching materials for heritage learners. “Quite a few of these kids have never really had an Arabic education,” Mr. Nonneman said.But if the ambitious scale of the two schools’ response is unusual, the underlying problem, namely the rise of English as a lingua franca throughout the Arab world and the consequent decline of Arabic, has prompted increasing concern. Recently the Qatari government, which has devoted an enormous amount of time and resources to building branch campuses from half a dozen U.S. universities in Education City, announced that starting next year the language of instruction at Qatar University, the country’s largest, would switch to Arabic from English. The Education Ministry of Qatar did not respond to queries.
This month, Gulf News, the English-language daily published in the region, reported that Saudi Arabia had prohibited the use of English to answer telephone calls in hotels, private companies and government offices.“As is so often the case in the Gulf, the move was announced suddenly with little chance for the organization or students to prepare for it,” said Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East specialist at Chatham House , the Royal Institute of International Affairs. “The recent shift to Arabic at Qatar University reflects wider sensitivities about protecting the local culture in the country with the world’s highest rate of inward migration,” Ms. Kinninmont said.“There is a feeling that Arabic is fast becoming a second language in the Gulf, as people need to use English as a common language with the huge number of expatriate workers who make up most of the private sector, and as the wealthy and educated youth increasingly speak to each other in English,” she added.
The tendency of educated Arab youth to switch back and forth from Arabic to English — or Inglizi in Arabic— is popularly known as Arabizi. That is also the name of a blog devoted to the use of Arabic run by Fatma Said, a researcher in applied linguistics atBirkbeck, University of London.“The problem is the whole education system in the Gulf countries,” Ms. Said said. “I’ve heard plenty of young Arab children who speak English with a Thai or a Philippine accent” picked up from domestic help.“If the parents are wealthy enough to send their children to private schools everything is taught in English,” she continued. “In state schools in the Gulf the medium of instruction is Arabic, but the teaching is often not very good. And Gulf Arabic is very different from Modern Standard Arabic. So how do they expect students to learn?”
Patricia Ryan , who has taught English in the Gulf for 40 years and currently teaches atZayed University in Dubai, said requiring students to learn English was a mistake. “Latin was the language of the powerful Roman Empire, and where is it now?” she said. She added that promoting Arabic in schools, particularly in universities, would help preserve written Arabic. It could also lead to more original research in Arabic, the same way that research is produced in native languages in Germany, Russia and China as a complement to research in English, she said. But she warned that the benefits would take time. “We can’t just jump from teaching math in English to teaching it in Arabic,” she said. “School is hard enough without burdening the students with these language shuffles.”
But Ms. Said was more skeptical. “Language is not something you can turn on like a switch,” she said. “You need to learn an academic history in the language.” At the present, she said, the most accomplished users of Arabic tend to come from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and North Africa, “where they really learn the language in school as a modern living language.”“In Syria learning Arabic properly was a matter of national pride,” she added.Instead of banning languages, Ms. Said said she favored a truly bilingual education, in which students would be taught, and expected, to speak both English and Arabic fluently from elementary school onwards.At Northwestern in Qatar, Mr. Dennis said he assumed the primary language of instruction would remain English. But he, too, favored a more bilingual approach. “We tell our students not to excommunicate yourself from your language and culture,” he said.
Sara Hamdan contributed reporting from Dubai.
A version of this article appeared in print on June 11, 2012, in The International Herald Tribune.
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