Language Centre

Arabic (Colloquial Levantine) Elementary Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Levantine Arabic is the dialect of Arabic spoken in the Levant region of the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan).

The Elementary course is for students who have completed the full Beginners course at SOAS or an equivalent number of hours of formal Arabic language study (approximately 60 hours). If neither of these apply to you but you think this may be your level, an online assessment can be conducted, please book (MS form)

The course aims to use Levantine Arabic in a range of frequently encountered situations across the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course places a greater focus on speaking skills for communicative purposes. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


The course is taught in English and Arabic and includes a suitable exposure to Arabic grammar and vocabulary, while further 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 (email or any other source you can find.

Entry requirements and progression route

This course is aimed at students who have completed the full Levantine Beginners Course (Arabic Levantine Beginners 1, 2, and 3) or equivalent (approximately 60 hours of formal study). After completing Levantine Elementary 1, students progress onto Levantine Elementary 2, and then Levantine Elementary 3. After this, students can begin the Levantine Pre-Intermediate level.

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

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Arabic (Levantine) Elementary 1

In this course you will:

  • learn useful vocabulary and phrases to use for shopping
  • talk about past events and activities
  • use active participle to express professions
  • discriminate between regular, hollow and weak verbs
  • learn how to negate verbal and nominal sentences
  • conjugate all forms of the verb ‘to be’
  • describe items: colours and shapes
  • discover the roots and patterns of verbs
  • learn about clothing items and fabrics
  • learn about seasons, months and expressions of time
  • learn and use various negation forms

Arabic Levantine Elementary 2

In this course you will:

  • describe what you have bought and seen
  • express feelings and describe reactions
  • talk about future events and plans
  • describe events you are witnessing
  • use prepositions to describe places of items
  • make excuses and give reasons
  • differentiate between weak and doubled verbs
  • learn how to use subject and object pronouns
  • learn how to use common subordinating conjunctions
  • describe furniture and items around the house

Arabic Levantine Elementary 3

In this course you will:

  • make suggestions for future activities
  • express desire and state preferences
  • talk about duties and necessities
  • make polite and casual invitations
  • learn to accept and decline invitations
  • use frequency adverbs efficiently
  • converse using past, present and present continuous
  • use regular, hollow, weak and doubled verbs
  • talk about habits and daily activities
  • describe special occasions
  • use modal verbs to indicate ability, show obligation or give permission.

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.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

Related information

See the full list of Language Centre short courses in Arabic on the Arabic language homepage

Back to the Language Centre