To Learn Arabic, You Have to Walk the Walk

I have been asked several times at my university in Oman to do a brief “cultural introduction” to native speakers of English from North America and Europe who have come to improve their Arabic. I start by mentioning that there is a large difference between learning how to speak a language and learning how to navigate a culture. Then I segue into a discussion of how to dress appropriately.

My watchwords are: no knees or elbows on display in public. Usually, at this point, several of the listeners look angry, disbelieving and/or bored, especially the men wearing tight, casual T-shirts and women in spaghetti-strap underwear shirts. Read more …

Article extracted from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Category: Articles | Topic: Arabic culture, Omani culture, cultural competence, linguistic fluency | Views: 39 | Comments: none

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