BA Politics and Arabic

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Arabic Language 5

Course unit fact file
Unit code MEST51050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is an advanced level language course which teaches the skills of reception (reading and listening), production (speaking and writing) in the target language and mediation between the target language and English. Through this course students will further develop their linguistic competences, specifically in the use of a wider range of syntactic structures. Students will be working independently within a blended learning environment which integrates traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction with online digital learning available via Blackboard and supplemented by extra online resources to aid students in their independent learning. . The course will also develop written production skills, paying special attention to a more advanced range of specific areas of style, and a broader range of functions through addressing language and cultural specific themes. It will also develop students’ translation skills (Arabic to English and English to Arabic) and enable them to produce oral discourse in more sophisticated contexts.  


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Arabic Language 4 MEST51042 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

Successful completion of MEST51042 followed by a substantial period of residence in an Arabic speaking country or equivalent.

Available to students taking Arabic Studies, MES with Arabic, and any joint degree with Arabic.


  • To enable students to master complex structures with higher fluency covering a range of topic areas.  
  • Produce oral and written discourse with a broader range of functions, employing a range of stylistic and syntactic features of an advanced level and of greater sophistication than in previous levels
  • Translate effectively into English and into Arabic texts which present more sophisticated syntactic, lexical and conceptual challenges.
  • Think independently and learn to apply a self-determined approach that focuses on the importance of knowing how to develop their own learning skills.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Achieve a broader awareness and understanding of the culture of the Arab World.
  • Understand the historical development and cultural context of topics covered in relation to the Arab World.
  • Obtain full awareness of the use of the Arabic language in many contexts.
  • Obtain the skills to further their learning and knowledge of the language in the future.

Intellectual skills

  • Broaden intellectual and cultural interests by drawing from both the topics covered and suggested Independent Learning tasks.
  • Develop the ability to research, analyse, discuss, evaluate and provide supporting evidence on issues relating to the Arab World.

Practical skills

  • Understand most of the details of the Arabic language, written and spoken, and how it is used in different context and on a variety of topics.
  • Read and understand various kinds of source texts (journalistic, literary, etc.) dealing with a variety of topics.
  • Converse fluently, accurately and in a participatory fashion on a variety of topics. 
  • Write accurately, relevantly, succinctly and clearly about ideas, events and topics, using complex and varied language.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop the ability to improve their own learning and performance by identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  • Enhance their personal organization and time management skills.
  • Strengthen their interpersonal and communicative skills and the capability to work in a team through group work.
  • Heighten their awareness of and responsiveness to cultural diversity and intercultural communication.
  • Improve their ability to present information and analysis in a precise and orderly fashion through essays and oral presentations.
  • Improve their ability to work and learn independently.
  • Improve their IT skills.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Formative or Summative Weighting within unit (if summative)
In Class Test - Week 12   20%
Semester 2 Written Exam   50%
Presentation (in the target language)   20%
Aural Exam   10%


Students will have formative assessment during the semester to assess their progress and to give them written feedback on it. This will be spread over the weeks and will test all four language skills.    

Feedback methods


Feedback Method Formative or Summative
  • In-class comments on language learning and students’ performance in Oral and Written Arabic
  • Written comments on assignments/homework throughout the year.
  • Face to face feedback if required (during office hours).
  • Feedback sheets indicating the quality of exam performance in the various categories will be made available to students.


Recommended reading

There are no set texts. Material will be distributed by the course tutor.

Suggested list of references is included below while a more extensive one will be provided on Blackboard.

Students are advised to have at the very least (i) an Arabic-English dictionary (ii) an English-Arabic dictionary (iii) a grammar reference book.

Wehr, Hans, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Arabic-English Dictionary (Urbana, Illinois: Spoken Languages Services, 1994); Doniach, N.S. et al., The Concise Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary (Oxford: OUP, 1984); Buckley, R., Modern Literary Arabic (Beyrouth: Librairie du Liban, 2005); Haywood, J.A.   & Nahmed, H.M., A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language (Lund Humphries, 1995); Dickens, James & Watson, Janet E., Standard Arabic: An Advanced Course (Cambridge: CUP, 1999). Arabic newspapers.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 66
Independent study hours
Independent study 123

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Orieb Masadeh-Tate Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Extra-curricular activities – CONTINGENT UPON SECURING AUTHORISED NATIVE SPEAKERS:  L-PAL  a scheme where students are given the opportunity to pair up with a native Arabic-speaking partner. They meet to exchange help with their studied languages (English and Arabic) and therefore help each other progress. The emphasis is on conversation.  

This course and all its materials are available on Blackboard. Resources to extend on classroom work and for self-study will be available. Work will be classified according to skill, e.g. Reading, Listening, Grammar, etc. and there will also be folders for weekly work.  

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