Languages and Cultures


Chico State offers beginning and intermediate courses in Arabic (see Arabic offerings in the university catalog) and those courses are part of the minor in Middle Eastern Studies

Learning Arabic is an excellent choice for a variety of reasons:

  • Arabic is the official language of 25 countries and the native language of 315 million people, making it the 5th most commonly spoken language in the world.

  • There is a high demand and low supply for Arabic speakers in the Western world. Learning the language can be an asset in many different careers both in the public and the private sector.

  • There are also financial incentives for learning Arabic as the US government has designated Arabic as a language of strategic importance and will offer scholarships and learning opportunities for students who are willing to learn. 

  • The Middle East is a fast-growing market for trade. Businesses that hope to conduct trade or offer services in this area of the world need employees who understand the language and culture to be able to communicate and negotiate effectively.

  • The Arabic-speaking world has made significant contributions to world civilization and has its own rich cultural heritage. Arabic speakers have contributed over the centuries to world knowledge in science, medicine, philosophy, mathematics, navigation, and architecture. Moreover, the Arab world has its own unique art, music, literature, cuisine, and way of life. A knowledge of Arabic opens up access to a vast body of knowledge in its original language and to distinct cultural traditions.

  • Arabic is not as hard as you think! The written alphabet may look intimidating to an English speaker, but there are just 28 letters to learn and all but a few sounds of Arabic are found in English. Most vocabulary is derived from three-letter root stems which allows learners to recognize and acquire several related words at once. Certain aspects of Arabic grammar, such a verb tenses, are simple compared to systems in other languages.

Are you ready to give Arabic a try? Check the Current Course Schedule for available courses!