SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic

Module Code:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

PLEASE NOTE: This module will be divided into two 15-credit modules next academic year (i.e Language A and Language B). The overall objectives and outcomes for the year will not change. There may be some slight changes to the formal assessment. Students will be required to take a written test in the last week of Term 1 and should therefore not plan to be absent from SOAS at this time.

This is an intensive grammar-based module covering the main aspects of syntax and structure of Modern Standard Arabic. It is especially tailored to the needs of Masters students. The module aims to develop students' skills in reading, writing and comprehension as well as to provide an essential tool for future research related to the area. It is also a foundation-module for any further/advanced module(s) in the Arabic language.



Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic is an intensive grammar-based module open to postgraduate students. In addition to training students in reading comprehension, writing and the use of the dictionary, the module mainly aims to cover all the basics of Arabic grammar so that by the end of the module, students who need to use Arabic texts in their research are able to read and understand these texts independently, with the help of the dictionary. The oral component of the module aims to provide them with basic conversation skills which could help them conduct field research in Arabic-speaking countries.


A total of 22 weeks of teaching, consisting of 3 hours of lectures and 2 hours of tutorials per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination (65%); one oral presentation (15%); term 1 mid-term test (10%); term 2 mid-term test (10%).

Suggested reading

The module textbook is: 

  • Eckehard Schulz, Guenther Krahl and Wolfgang Reuschel, Standard Arabic:  An elementary intermediate course (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules