Muscat: Thirty-eight students from 11 countries have come to Oman to learn Arabic at Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers in Manah.
During the eight-week course, the students receive 160 hours of classroom teaching, as well as a continual cultural programme, which includes visits to the most important Omani historical and cultural sites.
The course also includes cultural lectures and lessons in Arabic calligraphy.
“I joined this college because I was interested in learning Arabic, as well as Oman’s culture, which is what I’m mostly looking forward to. I was just surprised when I found the course to be more intense than what I expected,” said Vera Novotna, a 25-year-old student from the Czech Republic.
“I was studying Arabic back in Poland, when my colleagues told me about their successful experience in learning Arabic in Oman,” said Beniamin Lewicki. “I liked the course and the classes here, the teachers are also great, and there is loads of speaking, which is what I found the hardest thing in learning Arabic.”
Another 20-year-old student, Ksenia from Belarus, said, “I’ve known about this programme from my teacher at University. I study at MSLU, which is the linguistic university in Minsk. When I heard about this programme it was like a dream: palms, sun, classes with a native speaker almost every day, twice a week you have an excursion into a historical domain, the sea and more.
“I asked myself what am I waiting for? It’s an opportunity to study language in a natural environment, to know deeply its culture, traditions, and customs. My eyes lit up. Every day I try to know more about Oman. The system of teaching here is modern and very easy to understand.”
The Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Native Speakers aims to produce graduates with basic linguistic and cultural competency.
It strives to enable students to communicate and interact effectively in any Arab society, and to allow them to continue further studies in educational institutions where Arabic is the medium of instruction.
The college has the support of His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has promoted the spread of Arabic globally by establishing chairs in Arabic language studies at a number of universities throughout the world.