SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Urdu Literacy B (PG)

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2022/2023
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 2

The module is designed for students who already speak and understand Urdu or Hindi to some degree and have a lower-intermediate ability in reading and writing Urdu (equivalent to a level attained in the Urdu Literacy A (PG) module). The course provides practice in reading comprehension by looking at selected Urdu texts and textual extracts from a range of sources. Texts are read in class, and are re-visited in homework tasks in which students make active use of material from the texts. Texts are taken from journalistic and literary sources, yet the focus is on language, rather than on the literary qualities of the texts. Successful students will gain the ability to read intermediate level Urdu texts and write short to medium-length Urdu passages. In addition, students will develop a basis to access authentic Urdu language sources and approach topics relating to the histories, societies and cultures associated with Urdu.


Successful completion of Urdu Literacy A (PG) - 15PSAH032 module or equivalent.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • develop knowledge and understanding and appropriate use of Urdu vocabulary at intermediate level
  • develop the ability to read and understand short and medium-length passages in written Urdu taken from literary and journalistic sources at intermediate level
  • develop the ability to produce short to medium-length passages in written Urdu at intermediate level


Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

Students on this module will be studying the following:

  • Persian and Arabic influences in Urdu
  • News in Urdu (print and online)
  • Typing in Urdu
  • Reading and writing on social media
  • Prose and poetry
  • Film dialogue and songs

Method of assessment

  • One reading task (recorded as a sound file) (300 words) (15%)
  • One translation task (300 words) (20%)
  • One presentation in Urdu (10minutes) (15%)
  • One exam (2 hours) (50%)

Suggested reading

Core Reading

Narang, Gopi Chand. 1967. Urdu: Readings in Literary Urdu Prose. New Delhi, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language

Additional Reading

Matthews & Dalvi. 2014. Complete Urdu. London, Hodder Education

Delacy, Richard. 2010. Read and Write Urdu Script. London, Teach Yourself Books

Asani Ali. 2007. Let’s Study Urdu.  Yale University Press

Bhatia, Tej. 2000. Colloquial Urdu.London, Routledge

Platts, John T. 1977. A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English. New Delhi, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation

Schmidt, Ruth Laila. 1999. Urdu: An Essential Grammar. London,  Routledge


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules