A Post-A/S Level or equivalent module in Arabic language and culture

Module details

  • Offered to 3rd & 4th Years
  • Thursdays 16.00-18.00
  • 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 to develop existing skills in everyday language use through revision and consolidation
  • Extend your range of vocabulary, as well as more complex structures, and introduce more sophisticated constructions
  • Provide you with the opportunity to extend all your language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), to be able to communicate more confidently and understand, and respond to, standard speech and authentic material (adapted as appropriate) 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 B1+ 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 the main points of standard speech on familiar topics relating to personal or work-related matters
  • Read and demonstrate comprehension of factual texts, consisting of standard and mainly high-frequency everyday or job-related language
  • Interact on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life
  • Produce simple texts on familiar topics using Arabic script to narrate events, describe feelings, and express opinions
  • Demonstrate intercultural awareness and understanding of differences in social and everyday practices between own and target culture
  • Engage with a range of digital language-learning resources to support language development

Indicative core content

AlcazarIn this module, you will cover the following linguistic structures:

  • The negative particle ‘laysa’
  • Interrogatives and question words
  • ‘Amma’ and ‘fa’ (as for ….)
  • Ordinal numbers
  • The prepositions ‘ilaa’ and ‘3ala’ + pronouns
  • Object pronouns
  • The subjunctive
  • Quantifiers (e.g. all, several, no one, each, every)
  • The adjectival sentence
  • The comparative and superlative: ‘af3al’ form
  • Conjugation of verbs with a vowel letter: (initial, medial, final)
  • Negation of the future: ‘lan’
  • ‘Kaana’ and its sisters
  • ‘Inna’ and its sisters
  • The jussive mood: ‘lam’
  • Verbs with doubled ending
  • Conjugation of ‘maa zaala’


  • Daily activities and living with the extended family
  • The ‘family house’
  • Social clubs: ‘al-nadi’
  • Media Arabic
  • The weekend
  • Friendships and relationships
  • Personalities and lifestyles
  • A hotel guide
  • Life-changing decisions
  • Biographies
  • Working and studying abroad
  • Edward Said immigration and nostalgic feelings

Learning and teaching approach

In line with MFL communicative and active learning methodology, in-class activities cover all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and include: Pair work (dialogue practice, information gap exercises, discussion and collection of key terms/ideas followed by report to plenum); group work (discussion, creation of posters); individual tasks (presentations [with PowerPoint, as well as video uploaded to Blackboard]; discovery and formulation of rules; critical evaluation of texts, audio and video material. Homework tasks give you the opportunity to revise and consolidate knowledge and skills. This approach not only ensures you engage with a wide range of tasks, but also supports different learning styles.

All pieces of coursework are marked and returned within two weeks. Marking criteria and revision guidance (how-to guides) are included as needed with each coursework, to ensure learners are supported to complete their work and aware of assessment expectations. Detailed 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, it consists of listening/grammar and writing (full task: approx. 200 words). Submission timeframe: 1 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. 300 words).
  • Coursework (10%): Set mid-term (Term 2) on the virtual learning environment, it consists of an in-class listening and speaking task on Microsoft Teams (7 minutes each).
  • Examination (20%): In-class test (hard copies to 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 control, and writing (full task approx. 300 words).
  • Practical (40%): End-of-module Oral Exam (20 minutes).

Key information

  • 7.5 ECTS points awarded on successful completion of the module.
  • 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: Brustad, K. et al. 2004. Al-Kitaab fi Ta ‘allum al-‘Arabiyya (Part I, with DVDs). Georgetown University Press, supported by additonal materials

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

Relevant websites:

"I really enjoy going to my Horizons class, the module is very interesting and I like the fact that we are a small group, which allows for everyone to talk equally and receive strong feedback."