"Talking Arabic” in Israeli Universities


“Talking Arabic”, a special project to teach spoken Arabic to Israeli students from different backgrounds, has been launched by the Israeli Students Association (ISA) and in conjunction with the Perach Project.

​The project is managed by Arab student volunteers who teach their fellow students who don’t speak Arabic, and in return receive scholarships for teaching. The curriculum is divided into different stages, ranging from basic studies of spoken Arabic to full fledged discussions in Arabic on a variety of topics. As a part of their lessons, participants in the course learn about Arab culture and society as well.


Staff from COGAT joined one of these lessons at the Hebrew University’s medical faculty building in Jerusalem and met with medical students learning Arabic. This group is different in that they specifically study medical terms and diagnostics in Arabic. As Nauras Arayda explains, in the video above, that they practice scenarios where participants take turns being acting as a doctor and attempting to diagnose and discuss the patient's condition in Arabic.

Arayda, a 5th year medical students at Hebrew University teaches the course there as a part of the “Talking Arabic” project. “Both the students who don’t speak Arabic and the students who teach have the same incentive for joining the project,” said Arayda. “They both want doctors in the future to be able to speak Arabic,” he added.  

Students who had graduated from the project claim that their Arabic speaking skills have significantly improved. Many students reported that their ability to converse with patients in Arabic had improved and that it was important to be able to speak directly with patients who only speak Arabic. This course has been for them a positive experience and an amazing opportunity to learn Arabic and Arab culture.