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 SRU says 'Al salaam a'alaykum' to Arabic language courses 




April 9, 2007

Contact: K.E. Schwab  




SRU says 'Al salaam a'alaykum' to Arabic language courses


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Young children learn a few foreign words − Bonjour, Nyet, Si and Gesundheit − but few pick up Arabic words or phrases. That's a problem Slippery Rock University hopes to address when it starts offering three semesters of Arabic language and culture courses beginning next fall.

            The courses, part of SRU's department of modern languages and cultures offerings, will make use of a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program funded by the National Security Language Initiative. They will also allow students to fulfill their bachelors of art language requirement and to meet their "Global Community Goal" course requirement, said Eva Tsuquiashi-Daddesio, department chair.

            "In addition to learning the language and learning about the culture of the Middle East, this new language program will inspire students to become even more aware of the world in which they live. It will further spark interest in the vast historical perspectives related to the Middle East thus allowing them to better understand those living in today's Arab countries and what they bring to the current world-cultural climate," she said.

            Another hope of the program, Tsuquiashi-Daddesio said, is that SRU graduates will be encouraged to expand their knowledge of Arabic language and cultures to become desperately needed language instructors. "The increased need is being reflected not only in the enrollment surge we are experiencing in our department, but also in the increasing call for better support for foreign language programs," Tsuquiashi-Daddesio said, pointing to a March 28 story in the nationally circulated Chronicle of Higher Education that reported, "The U.S. Department of Education needs a high-ranking official to oversee its efforts to dramatically expand Americans' proficiency in foreign languages and knowledge of international affairs." 

            SRU currently offers language and culture courses in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

            The first Arabic lesson will begin with the phrase "Good day," spoken as, "Al salaam a'alaykum."


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.



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