Montana Arabic Summer Institute
The University of Montana conducted the Montana Arabic Summer Institute (MASI) 2008 program from June 16th to July 16th. Funding was provided from a STARTALK grant administered by the National Foreign Language Center. STARTALK is one of the projects of the National Security Language Initiative to expand foreign language education in under-taught critical languages.
Seventeen high school students participated in the program to study intensive Arabic. MASI 2008 was built on the existing UM Arabic teaching resources and experience. Students developed the communication skills of at least a novice-mid speaker based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The program also familiarized students with Arabic cuisine, music, poetry, dress, customs, traditions, and body language to develop cultural knowledge.
Successful completion of the MASI 2008 allowed students to receive three college credits, with an option to receive two more credits in the fall 2008 semester to earn a total of five college credits, which is equivalent of the first semester of introductory Arabic language at The University of Montana.