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Study information

Arabic for Beginners

Module titleArabic for Beginners
Module codeARA1015
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Giorgia Ferrari (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

 Arabic is a modern language spoken by hundreds of millions of people and a foundational language of human civilisation. This elementary-level module introduces you as a complete beginner to the fundamentals of the language, enabling you to acquire basic reading, writing, oral and aural skills to level A1 (breakthrough/beginner) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Through language, it will introduce you to aspects of Arab cultures. You will use a textbook as well as a variety of learning materials chosen by your lecturers.

If you have prior knowledge of Arabic acquired outside of your degree programme or have not completed the prerequisite modules, your level will be assessed by the module convenor in order to establish whether this module is suitable for you—admission in such cases is not guaranteed.


Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will enable you to achieve basic proficiency in the language. You will first be introduced to the Arabic script, followed by the basics of Arabic grammar and syntax. Using a mixture of narrative-based and authentic content—both written and audio-visual—you will work on all language-related skills, including reading, listening, speaking, writing and cultural knowledge. You will be encouraged to practice learned material independently.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Extract a broad sense and some specified detail of texts at CEFRL level A1.
  • 2. Extract a sense and some specified detail of aural communications at CEFRL level A1.
  • 3. Write short and simple texts on selected topics at CEFRL level A1.
  • 4. Verbally elicit, understand and communicate basic factual information and simple selected topics relevant to everyday situations in Arabic, displaying reasonable levels of accuracy, at CEFRL level A1.
  • 5. Achieve straightforward translations out of Arabic.
  • 6. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of Arabic and utilise it to understand and produce texts in it.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Consolidate your own learning by using available learning aids, in a variety of media, and organise this process with guidance from course tutors.
  • 8. Understand the principles of intensively learning a new language and organise learning time with guidance from course tutors.
  • 9. Use a reference grammar book and a bilingual dictionary to check the structural and lexical accuracy of your writing and expression in Arabic.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Work in groups at solving basic linguistic tasks.
  • 11. Develop time management strategies through developing skills of self-study.
  • 12. Exercise autonomy and judgement by developing independent learning skills.
  • 13. Deploy strategies for coping with unpractised linguistic, social and cultural situations.
  • 14. Appreciate of the cultures of people who speak Arabic.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, the syllabus will cover the following topics: 

  • Arabic letters and sounds, 
  • Introduction to Arabic grammar and syntax, 

Introduction to vocabulary enabling students to talk about themselves, their families, what they do, and their immediate surroundings.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 66Lectures. Emphasis on active and passive learning, listening and reading skills, as well as developing confidence to speak Arabic
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 44Group and pair work with emphasis on conversation and writing skills
Guided Independent study 22Using digital materials and/or the language laboratory
Guided Independent study22Assessed tests contributing towards continuous assessment mark. An average mark will be taken of all the marks of the assessed tests.
Guided Independent study 146Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly practical and written assignments Weekly practical and written assignments 1-14verbal and/or written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Continuous assessment 30One 90 minutes written test including reading, writing, grammar and translation One listening test (30 minutes) One oral test (7 minutes per student) 1-14 verbal and/or written feedback
Written Examination (May/June assessment period)502 hours 1,3,5,6,11,13verbal and/or written feedback
Oral Examination 107 minutes 2,4,10,11Verbal feedback
Listening Examination 1030 minutes 2,6,11verbal and/or written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Continuous AssessmentOral Assignment: ( 2 minutes Video Recording) Listening Assignment (up to 30 minutes) Written assignment under exam conditions (200 words in Arabic) 2 hours under exam conditions3,6,11,12,13August/September reassessment period
Written Examination Written Examination (2 hours) 50%1,3,5,6,11,13August/September reassessment period
Oral Examination Oral Examination (7 minutes) 10%2,4,10,11August/September reassessment period
Listening Examination Listening Examination (30 minutes) 10%2,6,11August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Al-Mashrafi, A.N.S., At-Takallum: A Comprehensive Modern Arabic Course, Elementary A1. The Light Inc.

Al-Mashrafi, A.N.S., At-Takallum: A Comprehensive Modern Arabic Course, Elementary A2. The Light Inc

Supporting Materials:

Wehr, Hans A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Wiesbaden, Harassowitz, 1976.

Key words search

Beginners Arabic

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date