Critical Language Scholarship Program | Meknes, Morocco

Meknes, Morocco

Program Dates:

June 21 - August 16, 2023

Hosting Institution:

Arab American Language Institute in Morocco

The CLS Arabic Program in Meknes is administered in partnership with the Arab American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM). AALIM is accredited by the Moroccan Ministry of Education and offers all levels of Arabic study throughout the year as well as cultural tourism and special programs for adult learners.

CLS students in Meknes participate in an intensive 8-week language learning environment designed to cover the equivalent of one academic year of university-level Arabic study. Students receive a minimum of fifteen hours per week of formal classroom instruction by trained and experienced teachers where they focus on both Modern Standard Arabic and the local Maghrebi Arabic dialect, known as Darija. The CLS Program in Meknes employs a communicative, interactive teaching style that promotes proficiency, with classes focusing on improving students’ skills in all areas.

Outside of formal classes, students have regular one-on-one meetings with local language partners who are typically Moroccan university students and community members. The purpose of these meetings is to practice conversation skills on topics of students’ own interest in a relaxed environment and to learn more about Moroccan society. In the past, students have visited new neighborhoods, museums, and local historical sites with their language partners.

Additional co-curricular activities are designed to complement the academic program and expand students’ understanding of Moroccan life and culture. In the past, these activities have included learning to cook traditional Moroccan tagine and learning about the nomadic cultures of Morocco. Moreover, students in the Meknes program are encouraged to explore the historic city in their spare time, getting to know both the traditional markets near the famous Bab Mansour as well as the contemporary cafes and bakeries in the modern Ville Nouvelle.

To further immerse themselves and practice their language skills, students live with host families for the duration of the program where they learn firsthand about the everyday Moroccan family experience. Students share meals, drink mint tea, and participate in conversations on a range of topics with their host family. Past students have noted how important this element of the program is for learning about the rhythm of contemporary daily life.