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Arabic Language and Culture in Film

by Zainab Alwani, Nasser M. Isleem and Mbarek Sryfi

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Featuring a content-based, communicative approach to language learning which encourages the development of foreign language competency in communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities, Perspectives aims to stimulate linguistic production through carefully-planned and thought-provoking discussion and analysis. In addition to valuable insight into both colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic, Perspectives presents and encourages language use in context while offering a wealth of activities to explore culture, history, geography, the arts and society.

Perspectives was created for the intermediate to advanced level student and may be used either as the primary text in a culture, conversation or film course or as a supplement to any existing language program. In any class, students will benefit tremendously from the exposure to authentic materials, the use of language in context and the constant cultural exposure provided for by these highly acclaimed films.

All activities in Perspectives are given in Arabic and are graduated according to level of difficulty, allowing the instructor to choose those which are most appropriate for his or her students. The exercises in each chapter are contextualized within the framework of each film, reinforcing the use of language within a meaningful context while providing students with the opportunity to develop oral and written competence in the language. With Perspectives, students will broaden their vocabulary, enhance their cultural awareness, share ideas, discuss, debate and analyze, but more importantly, they will find enjoyment in and an appreciation for the language learning experience.


  1. The Olive Harvest Hanna Elias, Palestine, 2003
  2. Rana’s Wedding Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine, 2002
  3. Paradise Now Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine, 2005
  4. Against the Government Atef El-Tayeb, Egypt, 1992
  5. Hello America Nader Galal, Egypt, 2000
  6. Nasser 56 Mohamed Fadel, Egypt, 1996
  7. Yacoubian Building Marwan Hamed, Egypt, 2006
  8. Ali Zaoua Nabil Ayouch, Morocco, 2000
  9. Le Grand Voyage Ismael Ferroukhi, Morocco, 2004
Click on the links above for more information about the films and how to purchase them. You may also find many of these films at your favorite online retailer.

Why use films for language learning?

  • Films provide a stimulating context for discussion and analysis.
  • Increased exposure to authentic language use in context promotes learners’ linguistic development.
  • The historical and cultural context provides a critical perspective on society.
  • Students may watch the films outside of class, as many times as necessary, while allowing in-class time to be used more effectively for language learning.

Additional Resources for Perspectives

Chapter Components
About the Authors