Language Centre

Arabic (Modern Standard) Accelerated Beginners Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term; 40 hours blended learning per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Course aim

This accelerated course is designed to complete two levels in a single term, for example, students can complete Beginners 1 and Beginners 2 in one term. This way, within one academic year, students can complete all of Beginners Arabic (3 levels) and all of Elementary Arabic (3 levels) like so:

  • Term 1 = Beginners 1 and Beginners 2
  • Term 2 = Beginners 3 and Elementary 1
  • Term 3 = Elementary 2 and Elementary 3

Complete beginners of Modern Standard Arabic can join this course where they will learn to apply the language within a range of everyday situations using the four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

The course will develop communicative skills in a wide range of contexts enabling the student to effectively interact in many situations. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


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 40 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 30 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. It is then supplemented by a minimum of 10 hours of guided independent learning with 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

For the first stage of Accelerated Arabic (i.e. Accelerated Arabic Beginners 1/2), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join the second term of this three-term course, Accelerated Arabic Beginners 3/Elementary 1, you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (approximately 40 hours). The progression route from Accelerated Beginners 3/Elementary 1 is to Accelerated Arabic Elementary 2/3. Upon successful completion of Accelerated Arabic Elementary 2/3 learners can progress to a Pre-Intermediate level course in Arabic.

For Term 1 of this course no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Term 2 of this course (Beginners 3 and Elementary 1) you need to have completed the Beginners 1 and Beginners 2 courses (regularly or accelerated) at SOAS Language Centre, or have an equivalent level of guided learning hours (approximately 40 hours).

The progression between terms is explained above.

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

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Term 1: Beginners 1 and Beginners 2

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
  • 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

Term 2: Beginners 3 and Elementary 1

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
  • speak about your daily routine
  • describe your home and surroundings
  • talk confidently about your studies, work, and leisure
  • express possession of items
  • describe feelings and emotions
  • be able to provide reasons and explanations
  • learn about cultural Arab foods
  • navigate a restaurant scenario
  • further develop skills of using Arabic numbers and quantities
  • understand and use of the present and past tenses
  • understand the roots and patterns of verbs

Term 3: Elementary 2 and Elementary 3

In this course you will:

  • learn to speak about your social life
  • talk about weekend activities and leisure
  • tell the time
  • give your positive and negative opinions
  • explore the religious activities in Arab culture
  • use a wider range of ways to describe people and objects
  • use ordinal numbers
  • navigate a hotel booking scenario
  • be able to use quantifiers
  • understand the use of the subjunctive in Arabic
  • be able to use object pronouns
  • be able to report information and opinions
  • talk about studies and scholarships
  • access basic articles and short biographies
  • describe your home and local area
  • understand and use definite and indefinite iḍafah when describing
  • know different ways of describing past actions
  • navigate a job search
  • make plans and express hopes/wishes
  • describe future events (affirmative and negative)
  • create and use superlative sentences
  • understand verb patterns and their implied meanings

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