UM Arabic Flagship prides itself on its personalized approach to language learning. Flagship students work one-on-one with professors, graduate students and peers each semester at UM.
Flagship takes the concept of instructor “office hours” to the next level by incorporating into each course mandatory weekly one-on-one meetings with the instructor. Students have the ability to control the conversation during these individualized meetings and are encouraged to discuss topics that interest them personally or academically. This allows the student to develop a relationship with instructors and gives students agency over their language-learning journey.
Additionally, beginner and intermediate students are offered free weekly peer tutoring through a program in which Flagship uppperclassmen work one-on-one with underclassmen on specific objectives with which the students need assistance. This helps freshmen and sophomores become comfortable speaking Arabic with fellow students and, eventually, with native speakers of the language. And, upperclassmen often act as personal and academic mentors to the students they tutor.
In students’ junior and senior years, they have weekly individual meetings with graduate students who are native speakers of Arabic. Once again, Flagship students have the power to choose the topics discussed with their domain mentors. Students typically choose topics in their “domain” or field of study to acquire niche vocabulary to be used in the workplace upon graduation.
During the Capstone year abroad, students are assigned Moroccan language partners, local university students, who meet one-on-one with Capstone students multiple times weekly. Students also have the option to live with their language partner. Many students develop lasting relationships with their new Moroccan friends.