Methodological aspects of the development of regional studies courses. Evidence from the Arab countries studies course
The paper presents analysis of a new kind of educational courses based on multidisciplinary approach. The course synthesizes the methodologies and advances of regional studies and regional geography, cultural and cross-cultural studies and communication, oriental studies, civilization studies, second language acquisition and second language teaching. The course is a part of a wider language program elaborated and implemented at NRU HSE (Saint Petersburg) and bases essentially on the inclusive strategies of Arab countries study, primarily language learning techniques (Arabic). It requires preliminary commandment of elementary course of Arabic. This study aims to analyze a year’s experience of constructing the Arab countries studies course and its teaching process, and to evaluate the merits and demerits of its aspects, taking into account the peculiarities of the academic activity, language skills, basic dictionary, and comparative analysis of several similar courses.