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.
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.
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.