SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Arabic (Modern Standard) Beginners Course

Duration: 1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term. 20 hours blended learning.

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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Course fees quoted are per term of 10 weeks.

This course is designed for complete beginners of Modern Standard Arabic and will teach them to apply the language within a limited range of everyday situations using the four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will learn to express themselves at a basic level of communicative interaction. They will also be introduced to the essentials of the Arabic writing system and learn to read and write basic words and sentences.


The course is taught in English and Arabic and includes an appropriate exposure to Arabic grammar and vocabulary, while developing the skills of comprehension in listening and reading, and the skills of expression in speaking and writing.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page.


Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course. Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop

Entry Requirements and Progression Route

For this course, Arabic MSA Beginners 1, no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Arabic MSA Beginners 2, you need to have completed the Beginners 1 course (regular or intensive) at SOAS Language Centre, or have an equivalent level of guided learning hours (a minimum of 15 hours).

The progression from Arabic MSA Beginners 1 is to Beginners 2, and then to Beginners 3. Upon successful completion of Arabic MSA Beginners 3, learners can progress to an Elementary level course in Arabic.

Please note, that each term, classes are subject to quorum requirements.

For course dates and information, please see our timetable information:
Related Information

See the full list of short evening courses and accredited programmes in Arabic on the Arabic Section Homepage.

Back to the Language Centre Homepage


Arabic MSA Beginners 1

In this course you will:

● Recognise and use the Arabic alphabet
● Be comfortable with the pronunciation of the letters
● Understand the difference between feminine and masculine forms
● Use common greetings
● Introduce yourself
● Share your nationality, profession, and family
● Form simple sentences
● Describe things like your town and objects
● Make polite requests
● Explain what belongs to who
● Ask basic questions
● Understand features of dialects
● Understand the iḍafa structure

Arabic MSA Beginners 2

In this course you will:

● Talk about people and countries
● Describe nationalities
● Be familiar with MENA countries and their capitals
● Recall the numbers 1-10, then 11-100
● Understand conjugation and use of numbers
● Navigate a shopping situation
● Describe what you have and what you want
● Use gender agreement between nouns and adjectives
● Know the colours and how to use them
● Navigate a party situation
● Talk about holidays
● Use the days of the week
● Describe your daily routine
● Learn basic media-related vocabulary
● Understand the introduction to the dual and some plural patterns
● Understand and recognise past tense verbs

Arabic MSA Beginners 3

In this course you will:

● Talk about yourself, friends, and family
● Use the iḍafa structure
● Understand the use of Arabic names
● Talk about living in the city
● Use plurals
● Talk about the weather
● Give reasons and expand sentence structure
● Use interrogatory sentences
● Express likes and dislikes
● Understand and use possessive pronouns
● Talk about feelings and opinion
● Talk about university and school
● Understand and recognise the present tense of verbs
● Expand the use of the definite article
● Apply feminine/masculine adjectives correctly
● Understand and use subject pronouns
● Use nominal and verbal sentences
● Use and differentiate between adverbs, adjectives, and nouns
● Consolidate vocabulary and structures covered

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class.