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University of Iowa News Release

June 16, 2006

UI To Host Arabic Language Summer Institute For High School Students

Eighteen gifted high school students from across Iowa and the nation will have the opportunity to study everything from Arabic language to the religious practices of Arabic-speaking people during the Foreign Language Summer Institute (FLSI) June 18-23 at the University of Iowa.

The institute is a one-week residential summer program for students who are currently in 9th through 11th grades. This is a collaborative program between UI International Programs and the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

The institute will provide students with an introduction to the Arabic writing system and conversational survival skills in the language, ranging from greetings to elementary language structures. Participants will also explore such cultural aspects as food, music and clothing, as well as the various societies of the Arabic-speaking world. The curriculum is designed for students with no previous knowledge of Arabic and will be conducted in Arabic and English.

"The Belin-Blank Center is a national leader in identifying high-ability students and providing them with outstanding educational experiences," said Jan Warren, student program administrator for the Belin-Blank Center. "Our collaboration with International Programs is a perfect example of a 'win-win' situation for students."

While students will be in class six hours a day, their out-of-class experiences are vital to the overall goals of the institute, including seminars, off-campus field trips and cultural and recreational activities such as dances and picnics, Warren said.

The curriculum was designed by Georgette Jabbour, the Arabic instructor in the UI linguistics department under a National Resource Centers (NRC) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students will be introduced to spoken and written Arabic and will join in discussions with invited speakers. The students will visit the Iowa City Mosque and a Christian St. Raphael's Church in Iowa City.

This program is offered as part of the UI's efforts to increase the teaching of less commonly taught languages at Iowa, said Elena Osinsky, director of the Autonomous Language Learning Network (ALLNet) program at the International Programs.

All 18 students participating in the Institute will receive a $700 scholarship that covers the entire cost of the week.

For more information, contact Jan Warren at 319-335-5192 or Visit the Institute Web site at

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Jan Warren, 319-335-5192,; ALLNet Program: Elena Osinsky, 319-335-2825,; Writer: Kelli Andresen