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MES Lecture: Dr. Molly Patterson and Christopher Mathews, “Arabic Language Acquisition for BVI (Blind and Vision Impaired) and Dyslexic Students
September 23, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT
Drawing on personal experiences, Dr. Patterson (who is dyslexic) and Mr. Mathews (who is blind) will discuss some of the joys and challenges they faced learning Arabic as a second language. Mr. Mathews and Dr. Patterson are currently working on a project at UW Whitewater focused on improving Arabic language learning outcomes for students with vision and visual processing challenges. In addition, this talk will address some of the systematic obstacles for students with disabilities in current Arabic language classrooms across the United Sates. Although this talk is focused on Arabic pedagogy, it will also address the broader theme of disability and the future of Middle East Studies.
About the presenters:
Dr. Molly Patterson is a Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic History at UW Whitewater. A graduate of UW Madison, Dr. Patterson is a specialist in the study of Abrahamic Religious History. She teaches a wide variety of courses including Islamic Civilizations and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. She has recently written on the topic of Christian Zionism in Israel. Dr. Patterson has studied Arabic through the Advanced level. Dr. Patterson was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school and is interested in the link between Arabic language acquisition and visual processing disorders.
Christopher Mathews is a Middle East Studies Major at UW Whitewater. His academic interests include the study of Human Rights in the Middle East and Arabic language pedagogy. As a member of the BVI (Blind and Visually Impaired) community, Mr. Mathews is dedicated to increasing access to non-Western language study at the University Level. Mr. Mathews has worked with Dr. Patterson as a research assistant for the past year.