Diploma in Arabic FAQ
Can I take just one term without registering for the Diploma?
Yes, some students take a single term without formally registering to take the Certificate or Diploma. However, as the successful completion of the first two terms is awarded with a Certificate, students are advised to register for either the Certificate or the Diploma.
How are the classes structured?
Classes run for 15 hours per week, Monday to Friday. In addition to the classroom contact hours, some individual sessions will be available by appointment. Classes are held between 10.00 am and 1.00pm. The program is very demanding and students will be expected to spend at least 15 hours of study outside class every week. The course is continually under review and improvement so the exact structure can vary from session to session. The course includes work on all the four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing with emphasis on the balance of those four skills. Assessment is through a combination of termly written and oral examinations and continuous assessment.
What can I do by the end of the Certificate course?
By the end of the Certificate course students will be able to:
- Write Arabic Naskh script with good accuracy.
- Write notes, short messages and compositions on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
- Write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.
- Communicate adequately within a range of social situations using the appropriate register.
- Enter unprepared conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events)
- Express opinion on a range of topics and deal with some non-routine activities.
- Narrate a story or relate the plot of book or film and describe reactions.
- Understand the main points of clear standard speech in everyday situations.
- Obtain information and extract details on a range of familiar topics.
- Read Arabic Naskh script with accuracy.
- Understand texts on everyday or job related topics.
- Understand the description of events, feelings and wishes.
What can I do by the end of the Diploma Course?
By the end of the Diploma students will be able to:
- Write Arabic script with accuracy, both Naskh and Ro q’a.
- Write straightforward connected texts on a variety of subjects related to their fields of interest.
- Write short, simple essays on topics of interest. Summarise, report and give opinions about accumulated factual information on familiar routine and non-routine matters within their field with some confidence.
- Write clear, detailed descriptions on a variety of subjects related to their field of interest. Write a review of a film, book or play.
- Communicate effectively within a wide variety of situations. Seek, convey and respond to information, ideas and opinions on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current affairs).
- Give a prepared straightforward presentation on a familiar topic within their field which is clear enough to be followed without difficulty most of the time, and in which the main points are explained with reasonable precision. Deal with follow up questions, but may have to ask for repetition if the speech was rapid.
- Describe and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
- Understand clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- Understand the main points of many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest.
- Understand texts that consist of everyday or job related language.
- Understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.
- Understand the main points of newspaper articles.
- Understand variations in the written language
How does this course compare with other recognised standards?
Approximate equivalents with other recognised standards are given below for reference only. For a detailed description of CEF Level Descriptors for SOAS Language Centre Certificate / Diploma courses, see our page on external frameworks.
Common European Framework:
- End of Stage 1 (Certificate) is the equivalent of level B1
- End of Stage 2 (Diploma) is the equivalent of level B2
Who teaches the classes?
SOAS Language Centre has a staff of over twenty trained and experienced native-speaker teachers of Arabic. The course is run under the academic supervision of the Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East . The course is usually taught by a team of four main teachers. The end of term examinations are supervised and approved by the Academic Director and External Examiner.