About

Who sponsors Five College Spoken Arabic courses and where do sessions meet?

Joint Sponsorship

Five College Spoken Arabic courses are sponsored jointly by the Five Colleges: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The administrative home for these courses is the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages (FCCSWL). The Center is located at Amherst College, 79 S. Pleasant St. in downtown Amherst (directions to the Center). FCCSWL's operations and staff are supported equally by each of the five institutions. The courses offered by the Center are listed at the University and have been approved for Five College interchange credit by each of the other four campuses. A student studying for a degree at any of the five institutions may enroll in Fall and Spring academic courses as part of their regular course load. There is no special fee.

Mission of FCCSWL

The role of FCCSWL is to support study of the Less-Commonly Taught Languages (commonly abbreviated as LCTLs) by Five College students. FCCSWL works only with languages not represented in traditional classroom language offerings at the colleges. Arabic is the one exception. Spoken Arabic courses are designed to complement classroom offerings in Modern Standard Arabic by giving Arabic students an opportunity to develop conversational skills in a specific dialect. In addition to offering courses, FCCSWL also engages in numerous course and materials development projects funded by government and private foundation grants.

Sessions on All Five Campuses

Spoken Arabic courses may be scheduled to meet on any of the five campuses. Conversation sessions meet on the home campus of the native speaking conversation partner assigned to each section, and conversation partners are spread out among all five campuses. Sessions are scheduled based on schedule information submitted by admitted students. Each student is assigned to whichever conversation section can best meet his/her educational needs with preference given to a home campus or nearby campus location when possible. The Center does not have the resources to provide home campus sessions for all students and conversation partner availability is limited. Therefore, a student enrolling in the course should be aware that his/her sessions may be scheduled to meet on another campus.