Northwestern to Offer Online Arabic for Media Course

September 6, 2016 | This article originally appeared on Northwestern University in Qatar News & Events. 

Mounir Ouanaimi, an adjunct lecturer at NU-Q, has received a grant from the university’s home campus to adapt the popular course to an online version, which will be targeted to Arabic-speaking media professionals and students.

The online version – Arabic for Media, Linguistic Choices by Media Professionals – received funding from Northwestern’s Office of the Provost and Faculty Distance Learning Workgroup. The goal is to support projects that encourage student learning through the innovative use of technology.

“The Arabic for Media course that is now offered at NU-Q is designed to examine the linguistic implications of language used in Arabic media. In educating future journalists and media leaders in the Arab region, Northwestern recognizes that this includes reaching out to Arabic media professionals as well. This online course will assist us in reaching out more broadly across the region. Mounir is an exceptional teacher who has perfected this course at NU-Q over several years.” said NU-Q’s Dean Everette E. Dennis.

Arabic for Media will be offered online via Coursera
NU-Q encourages its students who will live and work in the region to master Arabic to be able to work professionally in the region. Since 2010, NU-Q has offered a similar course to Arabic-speaking students that is taught in the classroom.

The university has developed this course to provide students with a deeper understanding of the linguistic properties of media output and will guide the students in the process of using this understanding in the real world. Touching on subjects such as sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, and translation, the course will add to the students’ expertise in the real-world as they craft and produce meaningful stories.

“I have found that, traditionally, Arabic for Media courses mainly offer interesting reading comprehension exercises. They do not always help students develop sensitivity to the implications of language use on mediated content,” Ouanaimi said. “The theoretical background offered in this course gives students more insight in regards to the linguistic decisions they make in the workplace.”

The course, while expected to help students improve their Arabic language proficiency, requires an intermediate-high proficiency level of Standard Arabic (ACTFL) or Arabic B1 (CEFR).

This course will benefit anyone who is interested in language and media. It will be the only Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Arabic in Education City and will offer faculty and the university an opportunity to experiment with modern learning technologies. 


The class is offered free through Coursera and can be found at: The course begins September 26.