A Post-GCSE or equivalent module in Arabic language and culture

Module details

  • Offered to all Undergraduates
  • Monday, Tuesday or Thursday 16.00-18.00 (depending on year of study)
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
  • 2 term module worth 7.5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

A communicative module for students with some prior knowledge of the Arabic language and culture of Arabic-speaking countries.

This module aims to:

  • Help you with developing existing basic skills in everyday language use through revision and consolidation
  • Extend your range of vocabulary, simple structures and introduce new constructions
  • Provide you with the opportunity to develop all your fundamental language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) in Arabic
  • Equip you with the necessary tools for independent language learning
  • Offer you an insight into a range of aspects of the culture and daily life in Arabic-speaking countries
  • Prepare you to progress towards higher language levels

By the end of the module, students should have reached approximately the A2+ level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

To be eligible for this module, you need to have done one of the following:

Please note: The information on this module description is indicative. The module may undergo minor modifications before the start of next academic year. 

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Mosque Archway

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Respond to and produce simple spoken language in familiar contexts, applying your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary
  • Respond to and produce simple written texts
  • Apply your knowledge and skills of grammar and vocabulary at the A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
  • Demonstrate the relevant level of intercultural awareness in your handling of everyday social interactions in Arabic and your use of language
  • You will have had the opportunity to engage with a range of digital language-learning tools to support your production


Indicative core content


In this module, you will cover the following linguistic structures:Alcazar

  • The nominal and verbal sentences
  • Plural forms (al-Jam3): masculine, feminine and ‘broken’ patterns (taksiir)
  • Noun-adjective phrases
  • Plural of non-human nouns and agreement with singular feminine adjectives and verbs
  • The Idafa structure (possessive: ‘of’ structure)
  • ‘To have’: 3inda, ma3a, li
  • Object and possessive pronouns
  • The past (complete), present (incomplete) and future tenses
  • Conjugation of irregular verbs
  • The subjunctive mood of the present tense form
  • Negation: the negative particles, e.g. ‘laysa’, ‘maa’, ‘laa’
  • Interrogative particles
  • Verb patterns
  • The modal verbs: ‘wish’, ‘want’ and ‘must’
  • Nunation of adverbs (tanwiin)
  • ‘Mundhu’ (since/for)
  • The conjunctions ‘bi-sabab’ and ‘li-anna’
  • The gerund: al-masdar

The above linguistic structures will be applied to the following topics:

  • Living and working abroad
  • Stages of education in the Arab World
  • Immigration and childhood memories
  • Reminiscing about the past and future aspirations
  • Personal ads in newspapers, personal qualities and preferences (culturally sought-after qualities)
  • Comparing the past with the present
  • City life and the environment
  • The weather and seasons
  • Family and friends
  • Daily activities: work, study and hobbies
  • Working as a graduate fellow/teaching assistant at the university
  • Job adverts and careers
  • Arabic food

Learning and teaching approach

In line with modern foreign languages communicative and active learning methodologies, the in-class activities will cover all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). These will include pair and group work (dialogue practice, information gap exercises, discussion), individual tasks, discovery and formulation of grammatical rules, work with texts, etc. Homework and coursework tasks will give you the opportunity to revise and consolidate your knowledge and skills and to develop your awareness of how to use language-learning tools independently. Our approach not only ensures you engage with a wide range of tasks and activities, but also seeks to support different learning styles.

All pieces of coursework are marked and returned within two weeks. Marking criteria and rubrics are included as needed with each coursework to ensure learners are supported to complete their work and are aware of assessment expectations. Feedback is provided for each individual section of the coursework, giving the correct answer(s) along with suggestions for improvement. In addition to the number of points out of a maximum total, an overall percentage grade is given. Generic feedback on each individual piece of coursework is also provided in class.


The module includes formative as well as summative assessment.

FORMATIVE: Homework tasks relating to grammar and syntactic knowledge and the skills of listening, reading, and/or writing are set every week on the VLE. Students are encouraged to complete the tasks to get feedback from the course teacher and familiarize themselves with the assessment expectations. Additional self-study materials and guidance are also available on the VLE to reinforce learning and allow students to develop at their own pace.

SUMMATIVE: You need to complete two pieces of coursework (one per term); two 1-hour timed assessments (tests scheduled at the end of Term 1 and at the end of Term 2); and one practical, i.e. oral examination (at the end of Term 2 or at the beginning of Term 3). Coursework and written/oral examination all contribute to the final grade.

  • Coursework (10%): Set mid-term (Term 1) on the virtual learning environment and includes listening/grammar and writing (full task approx. 150 words). Submission window: one week.
  • Examination (20%): In-class test (hard copies will be distributed, and answers to be handwritten). This 1-hour test will take place at the end of Term 1. It will include reading, grammar task(s) and writing (full task approx. 250 words).
  • Coursework (10%): Set mid-term (Term 2) on the virtual learning environment and conducted on Microsoft Teams, it consists of an in-class listening and speaking task (6 minutes in duration).
  • Examination (20%): In-class test (hard copies will be distributed, and answers to be handwritten). This 1-hour test will take place at the end of Term 2. It will include reading, grammar task(s) and writing (full task approx. 250 words).
  • Practical (40%): End-of-year oral exam (15 minutes), consisting of a presentation and general conversation.

Key information

  • 7.5 ECTS points awarded on successful completion of the course.
  • Available to take for credit towards your degree where your department allows. Also available for extra-credit.
  • You must be prepared to attend all classes and and undertake approximately 3 hours of private study each week in addition to the assessment.

Coursebook: Al-Kitaab fi Tacallum al-Carabiyya with DVDs. A textbook for Beginning Arabic Part 1 Third Edition (2011) by Mahmoud Al-Batal, Abbas Al-Tunsi and Kristen Brustad, Georgetown University Press (ISBN 978-1-58901-736-8)Al-Kitaab fi Ta ‘allum al-‘Arabiyya with DVDs supported by additional materials

Dictionary: Cowan, J.M. 1999. The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Fourth Edition. Spoken Language Services.

Relevant websites:

"Thank you for helping me get started with learning the Arabic language. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course and hope to continue learning in some way!"
"I was impressed with [the teacher's] depth of knowledge on the Arabic language, and the text was explained in a comprehensive and interesting manner. I really enjoyed the lessons and feel like I learnt a lot."