The Oberlin Review

Faculty Letter to Save Arabic Language Program at Oberlin College

March 15, 2019

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Arabic Studies Committee, the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program, and other language programs have read the statements of Acting Dean David Kamitsuka published in the Review last week (“Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally,” March 8, 2019). This letter responds to those statements. Additionally, it responds to other written correspondence between the Dean’s Office and faculty and students that occurred outside the above-mentioned article. 1. The acting dean stated that Arabic “enrollment levels have not been sustainable … in the last eight semesters of intermediate Arabic, course enrollment averaged four students per class.” As a matter of fact, between 2009 and 2019, Arabic language courses...

An Open Letter from Arabic 102

March 15, 2019

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

On Feb. 22, the Review published an article announcing that the Arabic teaching assistant position would be cut next year (“French and Arabic Teaching Assistant Programs Reduced”). This was quickly followed up with another article explaining that due to concerns over its long-term sustainability, Oberlin’s Arabic program would be cut and replaced with an online Shared Language Program (“Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally,” The Oberlin Review, March 8, 2019). As first-year Arabic language students, this decision saddens us. We strongly believe that this path will seriously harm Arabic study and related fields at Oberlin. However, as much as we have been upset by the decision to cut the Arabic program, we have ...

Arabic Transition Offers Opportunity to Model Creative Collaboration

Editorial Board

March 8, 2019

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The recent decision to transition intermediate and advanced Arabic courses to a digital classroom platform known as the Shared Languages Program (covered in-depth in this week’s Review, “Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally”) has highlighted two truths about Oberlin’s current campus climate. The first, which has been obvious for quite some time, is that the time to make difficult decisions is here. Oberlin’s finances are at a point where, if action is not taken now, the institution will struggle to keep its doors open down the road. The second is that College administrators and students are getting better at coming together and discussing in good faith what those decisions are, and how they should be add...

Arabic Courses to Be Offered Digitally

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

March 8, 2019

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Oberlin will change the way students take Arabic language classes starting next academic year. Moving forward, students will take intermediate- and upper-level Arabic courses through the Shared Languages Program, an initiative of the Great Lakes College Association. The courses will be taught in a “digital classroom” with live group video sessions led by Hanada Al-Masri, associate professor of Arabic at Denison University. The Shared Languages Program is available to all 13 colleges and universities in the GLCA, including Oberlin. Gabriele Dillmann, GLCA Consortial Languages director and associate professor of German at Denison University, founded the program to increase access to language education for GLCA sch...

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