Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA)

In addition to providing funding for a research project, the Fulbright grant also offers an opportunity for grantees to receive three to six months of language training if the language in the chosen country is eligible. Languages that the U.S. State Department considers “critical” include Chinese, Russian, Farsi, Korean and of course, Arabic, among others.

The ALIF courtyard

During this past week and a half I’ve been busy filling out a worksheet that outlines what program I intend to take part in if selected and its associated dates and costs. I was torn between a program in Rabat, Morocco’s capital, and the Arabic Language Institute in Fez (ALIF).

I ultimately decided on the ALIF program because academically the two programs seem about equal. Also, since my research takes place in middle schools in Fez and Ifrane, living in Fez for a few months as a student to get a head start on adjusting to life in the Middle Atlas region seems like a good idea. ALIF’s website is helpful but unfortunately lacks pictures.

Plus, Fez has an exciting history as a cultural center of Islamic learning (check out the Kairaouine Mosque) and the old city is on UNESCO’s world heritage list.

If selected to receive the CLEA, I will take six weeks of formal Arabic language classes and six weeks of colloquial, or spoken, Moroccan Arabic. As of now I know NO colloquial Moroccan Arabic so the award would be especially helpful later as I speak to middle schoolers about math. Hopefully I hear word soon.

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About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
This entry was posted in CLEA, Fulbright Student Research in Morocco, 2010-2011. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA)

  1. Laurs that looks so beautiful!! I can’t wait to come visit you. Must go to that mosque. Unbelievable. Glad your chose Fez. Seems so cool.

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