SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic

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Full Year

This is an intensive grammar-based course covering the main aspects of syntax and structure of Modern Standard Arabic. It is especially tailored to the needs of Masters students. The course aims to develop students' skills in reading, writing and comprehension as well as to provide an essential tool for future research related to the area. It is also a foundation-course for any further/advanced course(s) in the Arabic language.



Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic is an intensive grammar-based course open to postgraduate students. In addition to training students in reading comprehension, writing and the use of the dictionary, the course mainly aims to cover all the basics of Arabic grammar so that by the end of the course, students who need to use Arabic texts in their research are able to read and understand these texts independently, with the help of the dictionary. The oral component of the course aims to provide them with basic conversation skills which could help them conduct field research in Arabic-speaking countries.


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with 5 hours classroom contact per week in language classes.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (65%); one 15 minute oral examination (15%); term 1 mid-term test (10%); term 2 mid-term test (10%).

Suggested reading

The course textbook is: 

  • Eckehard Schulz, Guenther Krahl and Wolfgang Reuschel, Standard Arabic:  An elementary intermediate course (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules