“Sahtain” (“To Your Health”) – STARTALK Summer Online Arabic Student Program

About this Course

June 20-July 28, 2016

“Sahtain” is a fully-online five-week STARTALK student program (June 20-July 28) that provides an engaging summer learning opportunity to high school juniors & seniors and freshman undergraduates. The learning experience will involve self-paced online daily work (asynchronous) within our Learning Management System (LMS), combined with live online meetings (synchronous) with instructors from Monday through Thursday weekly. This online course is offered free-of-charge to eligible participants.

The initial application deadline was May 10, but applications are still being accepted. As we approach our capacity of 30 students, new eligible applicants will be placed on a wait list in case any spots remain. Accepted applicants will be notified beginning in mid-May, and admissions will take place on a rolling basis thereafter until all slots are filled.

Start the application process by completing the online form (click the Apply Now button in the upper right). Then, please email application materials to: [email protected]

Application materials include:

  • Personal essay about your previous experiences with learning Arabic, why you would like to continue studying Arabic in this program, and how you think this program will help you with your Arabic learning goals. (Must be no longer than 2 pages double spaced, 1 inch margins.)
  • A few sentences in Arabic about yourself (Include your name and the date in Arabic at the top of the page). Either handwritten (LEGIBLY) and scanned, or typed letters are accepted. (Do NOT use Google Translate. It is obvious when Google Translate or any other automated translator online is used, and if such use is suspected, that is grounds for automatic disqualification from participation in the program).
  • One letter of recommendation from a current or former teacher of Arabic or any other foreign language teacher indicating your level  OR an OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) result and any other relevant information about you as a student/language learner.

Thematic Curriculum Unit

The theme centers on staying fit and healthy. Students will take on roles as nutritionists or fitness coaches as they progress through the curriculum. Participants will interact using the three communication modes, presenting information on foods, nutrition and maintaining good health, using various media and authentic materials from the internet, and newly developed learning materials. The curriculum will integrate culture by analyzing proverbs and sayings from Arabic language on health, by allowing students to use Arabic to investigate what it means to be healthy and unhealthy in certain segments of Arab societies, and by introducing students to ways of maintaining fitness through sports and dances of North Africa and the Middle East.

The curriculum will allow for connection to other disciplines such as math (when calculating calories, for instance), science (when discussing anatomy of the body), and art (dance). Students will be able to compare and contrast discussions about healthy lifestyles in the U.S. and in some Arab societies.

For the final project, students will work in pairs to design a week-long meal and exercise plan with specific  nutritional facts for each meal they create. Each pair will present their designed diet plan to the entire group using video descriptions, charts, and illustrations during synchronized time.


This program is open to students who:

  • Have previously taken a Beginner Arabic course
  • Have studied Arabic for at least one year during the regular academic year or for 2-3 consecutive summers since 2013 or 2014 in other STARTALK or summer intensive programs.
  • Plan to enroll in an Intermediate Arabic course in Fall 2016
  • Are highly motivated to continue learning Arabic and developing proficiency
  • Are capable and comfortable learning in a fully online environment
  • Are U.S. citizens, legal residents, or others currently enrolled in a U.S. educational institution

Students who have studied Arabic in a previous STARTALK summer student program are especially encouraged to apply.

Students should be at a “novice mid” / “novice high” level of proficiency at the start of the program. The program intends to elevate participants’ proficiency to an “novice high” / “intermediate low” level, and to provide a foundation for further intermediate level study.

Participants who complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion, and will have the option to apply for units of university course credit at a nominal rate, through the California State University – San Bernardino’s College of Extended Learning.

Technical Requirements

  • Stable high-speed internet connection
  • Recent model desktop or laptop computer (Mac or PC – 2013 or later)
  • Headset with microphone
  • Webcam (built-in or external)
  • GMail or GMail-powered email account

This course cannot be completed using mobile devices, including iPad and Android tablets.

Applicants’ Locations (partial list)

Course Contact(s)

Dr. Mouna Mana, Program Director
[email protected]

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Course Availability

Course Instructors
Lina Kholaki
Instructional Lead

World Languages and Cultures

High School Students, College Students


Language of Instruction

Target Language(s)

Course Credit

Course Cost

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