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I am interested in teaching at the university-level in Arabic. Would teaching arabic in a high-school first(as I have no university-level teaching experience) help me? I currently teach science to 6th graders, and am considering quitting after 4 years there.

I have an MS in Arabic from UCLA, also an MS in Educ. Bachelors in Arabic also. Thanks

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Any experience is welcome, indeed. However, it is highly dependent on the open job positions you will face. Have you thought about any university (in your city/state/country) which you are intended to apply for a position?! If yes, do your experience meet their requirements?! –  Ivan Machado May 1 '12 at 23:50
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is my opinion that unless you have a PhD in Arabic or something intimately related to it you won't get more than a part-time adjunct instructor position. If your goal is to teach some classes without working towards a full appointment, then you might not need the PhD.

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I would note that in the US South, especially at junior/community colleges and the like, a Master's can be considered sufficient to be a full-time teacher of undergraduates. Whether or not such a place specifically teaches Arabic and would want hire a non-PhD, I cannot say. –  BrianDHall Feb 17 at 22:03
    
@BrianDHall: At a community college, yes. But are there really four-year schools in the US that will hire people with a master's? And I doubt that any community college in the US offers Arabic. –  Ben Crowell Feb 18 at 2:59
    
@BenCrowell Go figure mesacc.edu/programs/arabic I didn't really expect that, either (if there's one there's probably more, of course). Some Universities in Florida that I know of, for instance, hire "Instructors" with only a Masters, especially in the Business field and sometimes in Psychology (example being University of West Florida, a 4-year U). But it's very hard to find faculty listing for who teaches Arabic, so I can't see if this includes this field. –  BrianDHall Feb 18 at 5:02
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@BenCrowell It also appears many military towns and their associated colleges and Universities offer Arabic, for somewhat obvious reasons, so if there is a sufficient lack of supply then it is possible they might actually be after instructors with a Master's. One would have to contact these schools directly to find out for sure. But mac is certainly correct that these rarely/never lead to full professorships. –  BrianDHall Feb 18 at 5:04
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Are you a native speaker? If you are not, don't bother. If you are, try substituting. Teach adult education courses. Military courses. Speak to your own professors for suggestions. You may have to relocate.

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I disagree. A native speaker is not automatically the best teacher of his language. That speaker must be able to articulate the principles of his language to non-natives. A non-native instructor with a validated level of fluency may even be better able to understand the non-native learner's mistakes. –  mac389 Feb 18 at 11:58
    
You cannot teach languages like geometry or calculus. I did not say that all native speakers are capable of teaching. But only those teachers who are native speakers are truly in a position to teach others. A non-native speaker is too likely to pass on his own mistakes to students. There are exceptions, of course. A non-native speaker will also find real difficulty competing against a candidate who is a native speaker. A qualified Arabist who is not a native speaker will find many job opportunities but teaching non-Arab speakers is not one of them. –  user26732 Feb 19 at 4:50
    
I'm not sure I understand your point. I never mentioned geometry or calculus. Native speakers often make mistakes, even if they are called colloquialisms. Can you explain rather than restate your argument? –  mac389 Feb 19 at 21:46
    
Geometry and calculus are universal subjects which may be taught by anyone. Not so for language. As Borges said, different languages are not merely sets of word equivalencies but different ways of ordering reality. If you have not been brought up in the foreign language you are simply not in a position to teach that different reality which is an essential component of the language. Anyone can be guilty of a typo. A 'colloquialism' is not an error but part of that different reality. In (American) English, can you say your ABC's without the song? How can you teach if you don't know the song? –  user26732 Feb 21 at 13:00
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