The Middle East Studies/Arabic major recently acquired a second major program to accomodate higher learning in the Arabic language.
This new Arabic language major is designed to help students reach the superior level of reading and speaking comprehension, a professional ability level they need for government or agency work. The Arabic Language can only be taken as a second major and is most compatible with the Middle Eastern Studies major.
Dilworth Parkinson, section head of the Arabic field in the Asian and Near Eastern Language department, said the new second major program gives students the practice and opportunities to gain superior level skills in the Arabic language.
“Students in the Middle Eastern Studies major complete three years of Arabic followed by a study abroad which all count for the Arabic language second major program,” Parkinson said.
The program follows the student’s study abroad. It is a two-semester program that increases the depth of learning students need to have a full understanding of the language.
Jason Xochimitl, a native of Provo, is a Linguistics and Arabic double major with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at BYU. Xochimitl described Arabic as the most beneficial language to know when applying for government jobs.
“The biggest benefit I’ve seen out of it, aside from being able to speak [Arabic], is just when you learn another language you have to learn about another culture — whether you like it or not,” Xochimitl said. “It makes you like it. It really broadens the way you think about things and the way you perceive things; it’s eye-opening.”