Daniel Zitnick

Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies

Teacher of Arabic language; aligns Arabic teaching pedagogy with current research in second language acquisition.

I currently teach elementary Arabic at Wellesley. I have some experience teaching in summer programs and at the intermediate/advanced level as well.

I recently received an MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language from the University of Michigan. My academic focus was aligning Arabic teaching pedagogy with current research in second language acquisition. From within this framework, I strive to create a learning environment that is fun and engaging for students, but also takes into consideration how they actually learn a new language. I am always looking for ways to bring authentic cultural activities into the classroom. while allowing students to be themselves and express what they want to express in this beautiful language.

I also received an MA in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan. My research examined women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. For my thesis, I researched the role of Islamic legal scholarship in the domestic debate over gender segregation in Saudi Arabia.

Outside of the classroom and lesson planning, I enjoy time with family and I am an avid Michigan and Kansas City sports fan.


  • B.A., University of Michigan
  • M.A., University of Michigan

Current and upcoming courses

  • An introduction to the Arabic language. The course takes a comprehensive approach to language learning and emphasizes the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are introduced to the principles of grammar, taught how to read and write in the Arabic alphabet, and trained in the basics of everyday conversation. Through the use of a variety of written, video, and audio materials, as well as other resources made available through the Web, the course emphasizes authentic materials and stresses the active participation of students in the learning process.