Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Professor Farzad Sharifian


This unit provides an introduction to spoken and written Modern Standard Arabic in four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to students with no prior knowledge of the language. An overview of the Arabic script, sound system and basic grammar rules is provided, with emphasis on acquiring and using the language in a communicative way. Students will also acquire an understanding of the cultural practices and traditions of the Arab speaking world in view to establishing a foundation of linguistic, socio-linguistic and socio-cultural knowledge which may lead to further studies in the field.


At the conclusion of this unit, students will have achieved language competency in the following skills:

  1. Speaking - Ability to speak at a basic level in Modern Standard Arabic;

a. Maintain very simple face-to-face conversations on familiar topics such as personal needs, introduction and identification of self, others, objects; exchange greetings, elicit and provide very basic biographical information;

b. Formulate and respond to simple questions.

  1. Reading - Ability to read and understand a range of simple Arabic texts;

a. Recognize all of the characters of the Modern Standard Arabic alphabet.

b. Demonstrate ability to read very simple written material containing high-frequency structural patterns and vocabulary;

  1. Writing - Demonstrate sufficient control of the writing system to meet basic needs;

a. Relate personal history, discuss topics such as daily life, preferences, and very familiar material;

b. Demonstrate good control of elementary vocabulary and some control of basic syntactic patterns;

  1. Listening - Demonstrate sufficient comprehension to understand information or questions about basic needs or on very familiar topics;

a. Understand simple questions and answers, simple statements and very imple face-to-face conversations in the Modern Standard Arabic;

b.Comprehend conversation about basic needs.

  1. Awareness and understanding of the cultural practices and traditions of the Arabic-speaking world.


Written work and oral activities (at home and in-class, 1350 words): 30%
Mid-semester test (900 words): 20%
Attendance and participation: 10%
Examination (3-hours, 1800 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture and seminar per week
One 2-hour workshop and tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study