The Department of Applied Linguistics

Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL)


The Department of Arabic Language Instruction (ALI)




December 15th-17th, 2019.

In celebration of The American University in Cairo’s Centennial, the TAFL program at the Department of Applied Linguistics and the Department of Arabic Language Instruction (ALI) announce the holding of the third international conference on Arabic language and linguistics.

The conference aims to offer a venue for presenting and discussing original research on topics pertaining to Arabic language and linguistics; in addition to teaching Arabic to native and non-native speakers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The conference also aims to tackle areas of pedagogy, assessment, sociolinguistics, and the structure of the Arabic language.

Our Keynote Speakers are:

Kees Versteegh, Professor of Arabic, Nimegen University, Holland.

‘Fantastic Languages and How to Learn them’

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Munther Younes Professor of Arabic, Cornell University, USA.

‘The Arabic Problem: Why I’rrab is a Mess and Why a Real Language Reform Remains a Distant Dream’

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Ghazi Abuhakema,  ACTFL Trainer, USA. 

‘Standardize Assessment of Arabic Language Proficiency and its Impact on Circular Development’

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The conference also includes the following events:

Pre-Conference Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPI) Workshops

In line with AUC’s pioneering role in the field of teaching Arabic to speakers of other languages and in celebration of the Arabic Language World Day, two concurrent four-day-OPI workshops will precede the conference (December 11th-December 14th, 2019). These workshops are to provide the opportunity to a limited number of participants (ten in each) to take part in this event. The workshops will provide training on the use of oral proficiency assessment guidelines for evaluation of students’ speaking skills as part of phase one of the process of becoming certified testers.  In addition, they will be offered by the internationally acclaimed American Council for Foreign Language Teaching (ACTFL). This will be one of the rare opportunities where such training is made available to participants in the Middle East.

We are happy to announce that on the occasion of AUC’s centennial, AUC will be covering 50% of participants’ fees in the workshops.

Participants in the workshops must be registered in the conference.

Registration in OPI workshops is currently closed

Two Hands-on Sessions

The sessions aim at involving AFL teachers in active discussions about real learning problems and how to address them. Participants in sessions will carry out activities that will encourage them to react, interact, and reenact such problems and then work on solutions (for more information).




The Arabic language teaching and learning context in Europe enjoys a great deal of diversity.  Instructors come from diverse training and educational backgrounds.  Students enjoy even more diversity in terms of their linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as well as purpose for learning Arabic.  Such diversity poses a unique challenge to teachers of Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) on the individual and institutional levels.  Individual instructors often find themselves in fluid teaching situations that vary from class to class, where (s)he is expected to be highly adaptable and to rely on a wide range of skills.  Institutions need to rely on highly skilled instructors who, in addition to regular classroom skills, are capable in additional areas such as curriculum design and material adaptation. The question is: what tools and skills do AFL teachers need in order to fulfill all the above?

The aim of the half-day workshop is to initiate an effort across European institutions to identify areas of commonality and diversity in Arabic language teacher training and preparation.  The workshop will also serve as a meeting point for members to collaborate in (research) projects addressing the many facets of teacher preparation around the continent. This workshop will be geared towards discussing the various aspects of Arabic teacher preparation in Europe such as needs analysis, standards, assessment, study abroad, teacher proficiency, etc.

The workshop will be back to back with The Third International Conference on Arabic Language and Linguistics , held at the American University in Cairo (December 15th – 17th) in celebration of the International day of Arabic language and AUC’s centennial; thus allowing participants the double benefit of attending such an important event as well as participating in ENTA workshop.

To register for the workshop and/or business meeting, Click here. There is no registration fee for the workshop, but all participants must register for the conference.  The workshop program is available here.”

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