May 27, 2014

Learn Arabic in Morocco!

video

[cheerful background music]

Hi I'm Kalyn
I'm Nathan
and we are NSLI-Y students in Marrakech, Morocco

Kalyn: 
Well, the NSLI-Y program is a fully funded State Department scholarship 
for high school students to study what the State Department
what the government considers critical languages 

Nathan: So the CLC is the Center for Language and Culture 
The main component of our program is Arabic classes 
we study standard arabic, called fuṣḥá

Kalyn: I take Arabic classes 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week
There is about five of us in a class 
so that keeps things very small and very personal. 
You interact with your teachers on, you know, 
such a personal basis and that has been great.

Nathan: The CLC uses what is called the communicative approach 
so the class is all in Arabic, no English allowed 
which initially was difficult,
but in the end it's really paid off. 

Kalyn: t is by far the best way to pick up a language 
and now I've studied Arabic for somewhere around a year, year and a half
and I'm able to communicate and express myself very fluently 
The best part about travel in my opinion 
is the connections that you make with other people 
and when you are able to do it in the colloquial 
when you are able to do it in the language of the country that you are in 
it makes those connections so much more, so much stronger 

Nathan:This is the kitchen, our favorite part. 
My friend Mama Khadija 
She is the cook for the Center of Language and Culture 

Kalyn: She's number one! She's number one

Nathan: I think this experience has definitely confirmed my love for travel, international studies and languages.
Being an American in a different culture 
going out in the street and speaking to someone in Arabic 
and just seeing people's reactions 
and the way people light up when they hear you speaking Arabic. 
They hear that you are interested in Morocco 
that you're interested in their culture. It's really rewarding.

Kalyn: Morocco, It's, I don't know, It's kind of a part of me now. 
And, I think without this experience, I would be 
somewhere totally different
You know, who knows what the future will hold 
but I know beyond a shadow of doubt 
that Morocco has been such a life-changing experience for me. 

[cheerful background music]