SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Urdu Language 1

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

This is a basic module for beginners in the written and spoken language; students are not assumed to have any previous knowledge of the language or its script. The module covers all the major tenses and constructions of the language, enabling successful students to acquire basic skills in reading, writing, comprehension and speaking. Literacy in the script is taught early on, and much emphasis is placed on good pronunciation and on the social and linguistic conventions of everyday conversation. 

Classes are highly ‘interactive’, with much participation from students through drilling, question-and-answer exercises, and other such class activities. As in all language modules, full attendance and regular submission of coursework is essential, and the five hours of class time have to be matched with at least as much again in private study.



This is a core course for 1st year BA South Asian Studies where Urdu is the language chosen.

Language acquisition courses are only available as minor courses on MA programmes.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate… 

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Urdu grammar 
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Urdu vocabulary 
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Urdu structures and expressions in a given context 
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Urdu on everyday topics 
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Urdu on everyday topics 
  6. the ability to understand spoken Urdu and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written exam (60%) and an oral examination (20%) taken in May/June. Two one-hour written tests in week 2 of Term 2 and the week after Reading Week in Term 2, counting for 10% each. These tests will be on vocabulary acquisition, comprehension or specific language structures and will be agreed in class beforehand. 20% of total mark (10% each).

Suggested reading

The module will be based on:

Details to be supplied by the convenor at the beginning of the module.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules