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 the Arabic-speaking countries.

This module aims to:

  • Develop further the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in Arabic in areas of immediate relevance such as personal information, study, work and leisure
  • Enable students to interact in situations and routine tasks requiring exchange of information on familiar matters and activities
  • Develop strategies for coping with unfamiliar language or unexpected responses, such as asking for repetition or clarification and looking for key words and links based on the root system.
  • Equip students with a greater understanding of the culture, society and daily life in the Arabic-speaking countries and explore the relationship between language, culture and thought.

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

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

  • Successfully completed Arabic Level 1
  • Gained an Arabic GCSE Qualification
  • Already achieved A1+ or equivalent on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

Please note: This module is currently undergoing minor modifications and is therefore subject to change. 

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Mosque ArchwayThis module will equip you with the ability to:

  • communicate in simple routine tasks and handle short social exchanges
  • describe in simple language people, living conditions, educational background and jobs
  • understand the main point in short, clear and simple messages or announcements
  • read and understand short, simple texts and everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses and timetables
  • write short notes and messages and simple personal letters
  • identify selected historical, geographical, cultural and social characteristics of the Arabic-speaking countries

Indicative core content

You may not have had contact with the language for some time and therefore the emphasis in the first term is on a thorough revision of the basic Arabic structures. In the second term, new structures are introduced. In addition, your communication skills will be developed, both in the spoken and written language.


  • 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


  • 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;
  • filling forms for study/job applications

Learning and teaching approach

Weekly in-class activities cover reading, writing, listening and speaking. Learning will involve pair work, group work, and individual tasks and will include critical evaluation of texts, audio and video material. A range of weekly homework tasks give you the opportunity to revise and consolidate knowledge and skills.

All pieces of coursework are marked and returned within two weeks. Detailed feedback is provided for each individual section of the coursework, giving the correct answer along with suggestions for improvement.  Generic feedback on each individual piece of coursework is also provided in class.


  • Coursework: Listening comprehension, grammar and writing tasks (approx. 220 words) (10%)
  • Examination: 1-hour Written Exam including reading comprehension, grammar and writing tasks (approx. 300 words) (20%)
  • Practical: 6-minute Oral test (10%)
  • Examination: 1-hour Written Exam including reading comprehension, grammar and writing tasks (approx. 300 words) (20%)
  • Practical: 15-minute End-of-module Oral Exam (40%)

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."