Welcome to the Arab American Language Institute in Morocco!
AALIM offers language instruction and content courses for individuals looking to learn about Morocco’s rich history and culture. We offer instruction online and in-person year round, and we have found our models of instruction suit both independent learners, students enrolled in school, as well as those looking for a study abroad experience. Apply for one of our programs today, or contact us with questions and find the program that best suits your needs.
A Leader in Study Abroad
The Arab American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM) was founded in Meknes, Morocco in 2008 and has become a world leader in study abroad. AALIM was developed under the academic direction of Dr. Driss Cherkaoui, who began the Institute after many years of teaching Arabic in the United States and directing and teaching in study abroad programs in Morocco. Dr. Cherkaoui is a native Moroccan who immigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago, and holds a PhD in Arabic literature from the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
AALIM partners with colleges and universities, international organizations, governments, and has hosted numerous students to study Modern Standard Arabic, various Arabic dialects, and regional studies in Morocco. Our on-site programs include classroom instruction, conversation practice with language partners, cultural activities, excursions, and lodging with host families.
A Pioneer of Virtual Arabic Learning
In 2020, AALIM has become a pioneer of virtual Arabic learning and cultural exchange. We took action early to transition our programs to an online environment, leveraging the newest technologies in videoconferencing and virtual classroom management. As a result, AALIM has provided online programs in Arabic language and Moroccan culture for several cohorts of students in 2020, and we are excited to continue refining and strengthening our online programs.
We look forward to a future in which we combine the best of online learning and in-person instruction in a safe and responsible way. We welcome the opportunity to reimagine language learning and find innovative ways to deliver world-class educational experiences to our students in the semesters to come.
Why Arabic ?
In today’s complex world, Arabic is a critical language in efforts to achieve worldwide peace and understanding. In addition, Arabic has a long and rich linguistic history. At the AALIM Center, we strive to convey the fundamental beauty of the language while responding to the practical communication needs of today’s students, who may plan to work in diplomacy, government, NGOs, or private business.
Modern Standard Arabic
AALIM offers courses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) from beginning to advanced levels. Student progress will be independently verified by outside assessors (such as ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) testers). The AALIM Center also offers an innovative Moroccan Arabic (Darija) course, with extensive materials to help students improve from beginning to near-native fluency. Our goals are set in reference to ACTFL standards and students experience daily progress. Small or individual classes assure focused attention for each student. Students are encouraged to practice their language skills together or with language partners outside class time and while they are exploring Morocco.
what we do
AALIM’S GOAL IS TO HELP EVERY STUDENT IMPROVE THEIR ABILITIES AND CONFIDENCE IN THE LANGUAGES AND CONTENT COURSES THEY TAKE WITH US, WHETHER IN MEKNES OR THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING.
Language & Cultural Immersion Programs
Language courses are offered in Arabic (Modern Standard, Moroccan, Egyptian, and Levantine), Tamazight, French, and Spanish. All languages are offered at all levels, from beginning to advanced. Our language curricula are centered on internationally-recognized standards and incorporate listening and reading materials from books, stories, films, series, and the media. Classes are conducted in the target language as much as possible in order to foster an immersive linguistic environment. Additionally, we have a language partner program, where our study abroad and distance learning students meet with Moroccan peers to practice their target language.
Academic content courses are offered in conjunction with AALIM’s university partner, Moulay Ismail University in Meknes, Morocco. We connect students to experts in topics ranging from history to religion to the environment and encourage them to consider these issues from diverse perspectives. Academic content courses are conducted in the target language and can be combined with supplementary tutoring hours with AALIM instructors to help students understand the course material.
We believe that Moroccan cultural programs enrich the learning experience, both in Meknes and through distance learning. AALIM organizes interactive discussions, tours, and exposés highlighting different aspects of Moroccan culture. Topics include culinary tutorials, musical concerts, art lessons, holiday celebrations, wedding traditions, and more.
Students receive official transcripts upon successful completion of language and academic content courses. Students seeking to transfer credit to their home institutions must make all necessary arrangements with their institution prior to enrolling with AALIM.
For over a decade, AALIM has fostered lasting partnerships with a range of government, university, and high school partners in the United States, Morocco, and across the Islamic world. These wide-ranging connections help make the AALIM learning experience diverse, practical, and engaging.
Our facilities are large, renovated riads (traditional Moroccan houses) in the heart of the historic city of Meknes, which is within close walking distance from where students live. The buildings date back as far as 1870 and have been renovated in recent years by artisans from all over Morocco.
Each classroom in AALIM’s buildings is equipped with updated technology and students enjoy free WiFi and study spaces. AALIM works closely with local and regional police, as well as private security, to maintain 24/7 protection and surveillance of the facilities and surrounding areas in Meknes.