Grand Valley was selected as a host institution for an Arabic language teaching assistant through the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.
The FLTA program works two ways, providing international teachers and scholars the opportunity broaden their knowledge of American cultures and expand their teaching skills in the U.S., and strengthening the instruction of foreign languages at colleges and universities.
The teaching assistant is Yasmine Lamloum, a native of Tunisia, who is leading introductory Arabic courses during this academic year. Majd Al-Mallah, chair of Modern Languages and Literatures, said the program is similar to a cultural exchange, but with a linguistic component.
“This program that will provide our students with an authentic exposure to the culture and language of someone who has lived in the Middle East and, as a result, build a cultural bridge between the two countries,” Al-Mallah said.
Lamloum earned a master’s degree in English literature while in Tunisia and said she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the future.
“This experience offers me the opportunity to be a cultural ambassador for my country and serves as a rich cross-cultural exchange to help build connections between the two worlds,” said Lamloum.
Grand Valley recently added an Arabic minor within Modern Languages and Literatures; Al-Mallah said he hopes the FLTA program will continue to increase interest for students pursuing the Arabic language.