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Welcome to our Program


Learn Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, or Persian

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Our students and our faculty welcome new and current students to our unique language and culture program. We hope you will choose to begin or continue studying with us. In addition to scheduling an array of interesting language and culture courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian every quarter,  we offer tutoring services to help you advance your language skills and regular cultural programming such as language tables, movie nights, and guest speakers (we regularly collaborate with the MENA Student Association and the MENA Studies Program).  If you study with us, you will acquire important language skills and a fresh perspective on the cultures and people of the MENA region.  The MENA region stretches from Morocco to Iran, and it is one of the most diverse regions with more than sixty languages being spoken throughout.


Arabic Minor

The MENA Languages Program is excited to announce that we are now offering a Minor in Arabic, to students who wish to gain a high level of proficiency in Arabic.  Arabic is a very important language: with more than 300 million speakers word-wide, it is the fifth most-spoken language globally. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations and the United States government has deemed knowing Arabic as strategically important for the country.

The course work leading to the Minor in Arabic is carefully scaffolded along a set of overarching goals that inform the pedagogical tasks employed in each class:

  • Goal one: to understand and interact with communities of different ethnicities and cultures 
  • Goal two: to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Goal three: to speak Arabic at the advanced low level on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale

The Minor in Arabic requires 6 Arabic courses at the 200- and/or 300- level chosen from the various courses offered in the MENA Languages Program.

Find out more about our Arabic Minor

Turkey, born from the remnants of the former Ottoman Empire, represents a unique convergence  of history and culture at the intersection of Asia and Europe.  Are you interested in learning more about this unique country and a culture that reflects both East and West? We are offering two new courses for students interested in joining our learning community:

  • Turkish 111-1
    First-Year Turkish through TV shows (M/W/F from 11-12:10) 

    In this unique introduction to modern Turkish language and culture through TV shows, students will immerse themselves in the personal stories of the characters and everyday realities of life in Istanbul while learning to speak a critical language spoken by 85 million people around the world.
  • MENA 290-6-1
    Foodways of Turkey: A Multi-ethnic Look at Food, Culture and Identity (MW 2-3:20)
    In this course students will explore the complex relationships between food, culture, and society through the lens of Turkish food from the Middle Ages to the present. The course explores primary and secondary sources from history, anthropology, literature, film and media.
Explore our Turkish courses for Winter 2024

We have a unique program



Our program recognizes that students are diverse learners from racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds. To encourage students to excel, we offer a variety of learning situations and scenarios including the frequent use of new technologies and opportunities to practice with native speakers of the target culture. The goal is for students to acquire the new language efficiently and thoroughly while being engaged.

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Many of our students take advantage of the various study abroad opportunities the University offers and all come back with engaging stories to tell.  Mara Kelly spent her summer in Jordan learning Arabic: "During my time in Amman, Jordan, I lived with a Jordanian host family, which was the highlight of my experience. My host family helped me feel at home and was incredibly welcoming."

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Our program has exceptional teaching faculty who regularly receive awards and accolades for teaching. Every faculty member makes a concerted effort to offer classes that are engaging, motivating, intellectually fulfilling, and have an interactive learning environment.  


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News and Events



MENA Languages Welcomes Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants

Northwestern University was chosen to host four Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants for the 2023-24 Academic Year.  MENA Languages is excited to welcome two of them: Akrem Karoui, who will work closely with the instructors and students in the Arabic Language program; and Selin Tanis, who will work in the Turkish Language program.  Read more about Akrem and Selin here.  

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Upcoming Events


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Latest MENA Languages News

Partnership with the Institute for the study of Islamic Thought in Africa
Language Learning in Action
Fadia Antabli publishes a poem: Congratulations.
Language Learning in Action
Turkish Coffee Culture Event

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