SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Programme Code: POFD0001

Start of programme: Monday 10 October 2016

3 Terms During Academic Year 2016-2017

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


This SOAS Language Centre programme of professional development leads to highly sought after and widely accepted post-graduate qualifications (Certificate and Diploma) in teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language. These awards have contributed substantially to the professionalising of Arabic teaching in the UK and elsewhere and to the recognition of the expertise of teachers of Arabic as a Foreign or Second Language.

The Certificate in Teaching Arabic is designed to:

  • meet the rapidly growing demand in the UK and elsewhere for trained teachers of Arabic as a foreign language.
  • provide trainees with the knowledge and skillsand the guided teaching practice to enable them to teach Arabic using the latest communicative methods.
  • equip trainees with the essential knowledge and skills which will enable them to teach Arabic using the communicative approach to a broad spectrum of Arabic learners in UK, European and worldwide educational contexts.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Arabic is designed to:

  • equip trainees to be able to deal professionally with the teaching of Arabic in different contexts and through the integration of different varieties of the Arabic language.
  • familiarise trainees with the theoretical principles underlying various commonly used communicative teaching methods and techniques.
  • develop trainees competencies in the design and effective use of instructional materials and learning activities for Arabic as a foreign language.
  • show trainees how to create coherent and progressive schemes of work and design efficient, effective and interactive lessons that are adapted to trainees' learning needs.
  • show trainees how to evaluate second language learners' performance objectively and how to describe achievement and proficiency levels appropriate testing terminology.
Arabic Teacher Training Class with Najwa

Graduates will be qualified and well-prepared for teaching Arabic in higher education in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world, for teaching Arabic at private institutions or companies, for fulfilling administrative roles in educational organisations and for undertaking commissioning and editing in companies which create and market Arabic language courseware.

Term Dates:

Term 1: Monday 10 October 2016 - Friday 16 December 2016 (10 weeks)
Term 2: Monday 9 January 2017 - Friday 17 March 2017 (10 weeks)
Term 3: Monday 20 March 2017 - Friday 23 June 2017 (11 weeks, including final test week)

NB: Term 3 covers a 3-week Easter break 3 April - 21 April

The mode of training is full-time, though attendance in sessions at SOAS is not required 5 days per week. The course typically requires attendance on three days per week, depending on assignments set and appointments to observe live teaching which may be on an evening or on a Saturday. The days where no presence at SOAS is required are to be devoted to lesson planning and materials preparation, writing of self-reflections and peer appraisals, readings of materials (books/journal articles, online sources, etc.) on applied linguistics and teaching methodology, self-access learning, specified VLE learning activities, guided independent study, assigned homework tasks and completion of formal assessments.  The programme is very demanding and trainees will be expected to spend at least 20-30 hours of study outside of class every week.


Trainees take compulsory courses in two main areas, with two modules taught and assessed in each area at both Certificate and Diploma levels:

1. Principles and Practice in Communicative Language Teaching for Arabic:

  • Arabic Applied Linguistics
  • Language Awareness, Methods and Techniques in Teaching Arabic

2. Knowledge and Skills for Second Language Teaching:

  • Theories of Language Learning and Acquisition
  • Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching and Language Assessment

Teaching Practice

A key component of the course is the opportunity for live observation of experienced teachers, and for practice in the teaching of Arabic with different types of student groups, covering a range of levels. Trainees will observed and assessed in their teaching of Arabic, including the quality of lesson plans and teaching materials they have created, the range of their competencies in using a variety of different communicative teaching techniques and their ability to create rapport and establish a co-operative learning environment in class.

All our teacher trainers are expert classroom teachers themselves. Have a look at one of them teaching and see the kinds of classroom skills you will learn to use yourself.

Trainee Evaluation

Eman - Student Profile Image

Our teacher trainees are always very positive about the quality of the teacher training programmes at the Language Centre. This is what Eman, a recent graduate from the Arabic Teacher Training programme, had to say about it:

“When I joined the course, I already had experience in teaching Arabic. However, this course has shown me a completely different approach to teaching Arabic. It made me re-think my teaching methods and strategies and helped me when designing my courses and syllabuses and preparing my teaching materials. Our studies consisted of lectures, seminars, workshops, peer teaching sessions and research activities. During the course, you will have the chance to teach students at SOAS and gain experience of using different kinds of equipment and teaching strategies."


Diploma in Teaching Arabic: £7,200.00. The Diploma programme fees can be paid in full before the start of the programme or as two equal instalments:

- the first by the start of the course in October: £3,600.00
- the second by the end of the second week in January: £3,600.00

We offer a 5% discount to those who pay the full course fee for the whole year by the start of the programme.

Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa must pay their total tuition fees for the Diploma programme in full upon accepting their offer and also receive the 5% discount.

Certificate in Teaching Arabic: £4800. This must be paid in full before the start and there is no 5% discount.

We hope that all trainees will complete the 3-term programme leading to the major qualification: the Diploma. Past experience has shown that Diploma graduates find it much easier to obtain good teaching positions. Students who have paid for only the two terms leading to the Certificate may continue on the Diploma Phase on payment of the remaining £2,400 by the end of Term 2. The running of the Diploma Phase in Term 3 is dependent on there being a viable number of trainees for teaching practice to be accomplished successfully: this is normally 8 trainees, though it may be varied at the discretion of the Programme Convenor.

Students who enrol on this programme may apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) to cover all the fees. For further information on this, please follow the link below:

Career Development Loans

* For Self-Funding students only, we offer a 5% discount to those who pay the full course fee at the start of the first term.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have a first degree or equivalent, preferably in Arabic language or a related area. Candidates must pass a SOAS Language Centre test of Arabic language competency. Overseas candidates must have a command of English equivalent to IELTS 6.5. The SOAS Admissions page gives more information about English language requirements.

Candidates will be accepted onto the programme subject to a satisfactory interview with the programme convenor. The English level of non-native English speaker applicants can be assessed as part of the interview. Arrangements can be made for telephone/Skype interviews.

Applying for the Programme

Enrolment onto our Teaching Certificate/Diploma programmes is by the SOAS LC Certificate & Diploma Application Form (downloadable; in Word). The completed form and supporting documentation (personal statement, transcripts or certificates from relevant previous study, evidence of English Language level and at least two references) should be sent to the Language Centre by post or e-mail addressed to the Arabic Teacher Training Administrator:

Ms Romany Luckcock
Language Centre, SOAS
22 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44 (0)20 020 7898 4595

We cannot accept payment in cash, or credit/debit card payment by telephone.

For Overseas applicants, you will need to apply for a student visa. To start this process, see our guidelines page.

Closing Date for Applications: 

Enrolment of overseas students continues till Friday 16th September latest. This deadline will apply only if applicants have returned all application documents correctly and paid the full course fee by Friday 16th September so that the CAS can be sent out by Monday 19th September. This is the last deadline by which the study visa can be obtained in time.

If visas are delayed, students may be accepted onto the course up to two weeks after the start date only. Last joining date: Monday 24th October. If the visa is not obtained in time, students cannot join the course and their place may be allocated to an applicant on the waiting list who does not require a visa. Students arriving late will be expected to do extra work set by tutors to enable them to catch up.

Students not requiring a visa should also apply as early as possible to be sure of getting a place but by Friday September 23rd at the latest. Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Programme Convener and only if there are places remaining.

Whilst attending the teacher training programme at SOAS Language Centre, trainees, like all SOAS students, will abide by the code of conduct of the institution, which may be found at:
Participants are also protected by the professional standards of the institution, which operates a transparent and accessible complaints procedure, which may be found at:

Every effort is made to ensure that the information given about our programmes is accurate and up to date. However, some changes may become necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and
academic reasons. In such circumstances, SOAS will: (i) endeavour to keep any changes to a minimum; (ii) take all reasonable steps to minimise disruption; and (iii) keep trainees informed appropriately by email advising
of where to seek further information if required.

Please contact the Arabic Language Administrator if you have any questions about our Terms and Conditions before you apply for the course.