Munther Younes, senior lecturer in Near Eastern Studies, has been named the winner of this year's Sophie Washburn French Instructorship. The award, named in honor of Sophie Washburn French, is given annually to recognize excellence in language instruction among lecturer faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences. The awardee holds the instructorship for one academic year. In addition to the title, the holder of the Sophie Washburn French Instructorship in a given year receives professional development funds in the amount of $5,000.
The selection committee highlights Munther's 27-year record of distinguished accomplishment in language instruction and his contribution to burnishing the reputation of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell. Already a recipient of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Prize in 1992, Munther has dedicated his career at Cornell to his "integrated" approach to the teaching of Arabic. Unlike the "classic" approach, his method introduces learners to both varieties of Arabic, the written and the spoken, in a way that reflects the use of the language by native speakers. This has enabled his students to pursue careers in various government positions as well as graduate study in the most prestigious Arabic programs in the United States. His approach has been adopted by a number of institutions in the United States and Europe.
The publication of Munther's innovative pedagogy has been equally impressive. He has authored a three-volume textbook series, a training manual for teachers of Arabic as a foreign language, and two volumes on specialized aspects of Arabic instruction.