SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Arabic (Modern Standard) Beginners 1 - Semi-intensive

Duration: 2 weeks, 20 hours

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  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Fees for this course are £299, payable in advance.

Arabic MSA Beginners 1 Semi-intensive is designed to enable learners to communicate in Modern Standard Arabic within a limited range of everyday situations.

Duration: 20 hours, 2 weeks, 6th - 17th August

Mode of attendance: 18:00-20:00 on weekday evenings, Monday to Friday


Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the recognised means of formal spoken and written communication. It is used throughout the Arabic-speaking world on official occasions, in education and the media.

The course covers listening, speaking, reading and writing, using contemporary printed and audio/visual material. An appropriate balance is struck between learning the grammar and vocabulary for accuracy and communicative activities for fluency practice. Students are introduced to the Arabic alphabet - the shapes, sounds and articulation points of the most frequently used letters - and taught how to read and write fairly basic words and sentences. Students will acquire a vocabulary of around 200 words and be able to use fairly basic sentence patterns and expressions in simple everyday conversation.

The course is taught in Arabic and English. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow for intensive interactive practice and individual support. Students are expected to undertake about 1-2 hours of self-study on top of the class contact hours.


Wightwick, J, and Gaafar, M. (2014) Mastering Arabic 3rd Edition London: Palgrave MacmillanExtra supplementary materials will be provided by the teacher.


All courses will take place on the Bloomsbury campus of SOAS. Click here for a map of the Bloomsbury campus.

Room locations will be notified once the Registration Period for the course has closed.


There are discounts available for SOAS staff and students and also for staff and students of a number of University of London colleges. Please check here to see the list of colleges of which membership would qualify an applicant for a discount.

Terms and Conditions

Before applying, please be sure that you have read the SOAS Language Centre Terms and Conditions.

How to Apply

Since beginner courses presuppose no knowledge of the language, there are no assessments offered for this course. To apply, simply click on the relevant product in the Online Store (If a discount applies, please contact the relevant Administrator).

Important Note

Please note that, if you wish to progress smoothly to the next level of study, you should expect to devote enough time out of class to self-study and revision. Although the summer courses are designed to ensure that you make progress regardless of how much self-study you do, we strongly recommend that you put sufficient private study time aside to support the in-class tuition you receive. Please be aware that the pace of the summer courses is fast-moving. You are strongly advised not to over-commit yourself for the duration of a course that contains the word ‘intensive’ in its description. For those who wish to study at a more leisurely pace (one contact session of 2 hours a week), our term-time courses are ideally suited.

Continuing Your Study

This semi-intensive course is equivalent to the regular Beginners 1 course; students who complete this course will be able to join any Beginners 2 in the Autumn or Winter Term of the academic year 2018-2019.


You can book this course in our Online Store.


Day 1

- Introduction to the Arabic Language

- Alphabet and pronunciation (I)

- Greetings

Day 2

- Alphabet and pronunciation (ii)

- Introducing oneself: name, nationality, occupation

- Putting words together

Day 3

- Alphabet and pronunciation (iii)

- Writing simple sentences

- Exploring grammatical gender

Day 4

- Talking about one’s family

- Feminine nouns

- Asking questions: What is this?

Day 5

- Alphabet and pronunciation (iv)

- Talking about one’s occupation

- Plural forms

- Describing things

Day 6

- Alphabet and pronunciation (v)

- Polite requests

- Indefinite and definite articles

- Possessive endings

Day 7

- Describing places

- Asking questions: Where? How? What?

- ‘Sun letters’

Day 8

- Arabic prepositions

- Introduction to some to dialect features

- The idafa construction

Day 9

- Forming more sentences

- More about adjectives
- More about plurals
- Describing one’s town

Day 10

- Asking more questions

- Writing and listening activities

- Review and test

Continuing Your Study

Students who have completed this course will be able to join one of the Beginners 2 classes scheduled to start in the Autumn or Winter Term of the academic year 2018-2019.