When I heard that APLTI was going to be online the summer of 2020, I was a little nervous. I had set high goals for myself going into the summer, hoping to reach an advanced-low on my OPIs, and I was worried from other online class experiences that I wouldn’t grow nearly as much as I would in an in-person class. Needless to say, I was fortunate to be wrong. The professor kept attention (and morale) up by keeping the day dynamic, and his enthusiasm definitely helped convince me to stay invested in the class. The class was organized not like an in-person class forced online, but an online class geared for the situation, which helped things from feeling off-beat. In particular, the use of online breakout rooms offered more opportunities for direct peer to peer Arabic practice not possible with in-person instruction. It was also a great way to get to know our classmates better and decompress from more intensive lessons.
Some of my favorite highlights from the program were simply getting to talk to students from all over the country in these breakout sessions. What more, whether watching films or cooking Yemeni foods as a class, the program still offered a host of cultural activities that took advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by online instruction. While online intensive learning was certainly a change from the sort of instruction I was used to, I was still able to meet my language goal of improving to advanced-low while also making some quality friendships.