Heefner Brings East and West Together in Language Program

Byline: Alyse Lynch

Posted: October 19, 2010

"We're all kind of pioneers here," says Reginald Heefner, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Arabic and Chinese and a student of the Teacher Intern Program (TIP) at Wilson College. This is because for the first time in Wilson's history, a course in conversational Arabic is being held.

Beginning Arabic I (ARB 171) fulfills both a language requirement and a non-western cultures requirement. The class is held Mon., Tues., Thurs. and Fri. from 3:00pm to 3:50pm in Warfield Hall, room 005.

The Challenges of Learning Arabic

The Arabic class is both challenging and engaging. Students must learn a new language, a new alphabet and a new culture. Because of the challenge he is placing on his class, Heefner makes sure to keep the class lively and interesting. His goal is to get the students excited.

From the moment the class begins, conversation is being held in Arabic. Arabic music is playing in the background as students enter the room and prepare themselves for class. Students are expected to study at least two hours per day. Heefner advises his class, "Arabic is not something you can cram at the last minute."

Small Rewards Equal Big Inspiration

Heefner inspires his students to learn Arabic with small rewards. He asks his students in Arabic, "Do you like music?" When each student replied in Arabic, "Yes, I like music," they were given cassette tapes of Arabic music to take home and listen to. Each student is eager to come to class.

Beginning Arabic II (ARB 172) will be held in the spring semester. The Arabic program is still on trial. Heefner encourages everyone to sign up for his class so that it may become a permanent part Wilson College's offered courses. Heefner hopes that is Arabic becomes a steady part of Wilson College, that in the future he may be able to teach other courses in his other languages such as; Chinese, Japanese or Russian.

Last Updated: September 25, 2011

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