BA Sociology and Arabic

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Arabic Language 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code MEST51011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is a beginner’s level language course for students with no prior knowledge of Arabic. On completion of this course, the student will be able to understand simple instructions, respond appropriately in everyday situations, express themselves using limited vocabulary and formulaic expressions and use the target language in a limited number of contexts with simple grammar. By the end of the course, the students are expected to achieve competence in Arabic approximately equivalent to A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).  The course content is based on a set course book plus supplementary material. 

This unit is compulsory and as such requires a pass mark of 40% or above at the first sitting in order to progress to the next level of language in the 2nd semester.  Students who fail to meet this requirement will be able to discuss their options with their relevant Programme Director and may be able to move onto the non-language degree award of Middle Eastern Studies


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


The aim is to familiarize the students with the Arabic Alphabet and introduce them to simple spoken and written forms and grammar of the language and to enable them to begin to express themselves in simple role-play and simple dialogues, and to begin to read simple authentic texts. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify the Arabic Alphabet and familiarize themselves with the sounds, and simple grammatical rules 
  • Acquire vocabulary which will help them to conduct basic conversations
  • Read and comprehend simple texts and identify the basic sentence construction in Arabic.
  • Be able to write independently simple essays on a number of basic topics taught in class.

Intellectual skills

  • Engage in problem solving activities, working on comprehension, oral and aural skills.

Practical skills

  • Enable the students to use the language communication skills in everyday activities and to a limited extent, in the work situation.

Students will principally be able to:

  • Introduce themselves
  • Find about other people
  • Read notices, signs, advertisements and simple messages
  • Write simple essays independently.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • develop their ability to improve their independent learning and performance by identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  • develop their personal organization and time management skills.
  • develop their interpersonal and communicative skill through group work inside and outside the class-room and preparing written and oral classroom presentations.
  • begin to gain awareness of and responsiveness to cultural diversity and intercultural communication.

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Continuous written assessment in-class: 


Week 9  – Comprehension & Grammar Quiz  


Week 10 - Translation & Writing  


Written exam –January

1.5 hours 


* An overall of 40% pass mark of the total is required in order to progress to the next level. 


Students who fail to meet this requirement will be able to discuss their options with their relevant Programme Director and may be able to move onto the non-language degree award of Middle Eastern Studies.


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

  • Formative feedback on weekly assignment
  • 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.
  • Summative feedback
  • Feedback sheets indicating the quality of the exam performance in the various categories will be available to students.



Recommended reading

Course Book (Subject to change with prior notice):  

-  At-Takallum: A Comprehensive Modern Arabic Course. Student Book, Starter/A1 Level by Ahmad Noor Al-Deen Sabir Al-Mashrafi 2017 

- At-Takallum: A Comprehensive Modern Arabic Course. ELEMENTARY A2 Level by Ahmad Noor Al-Deen Sabir Al-Mashrafi 2017 



Students are required to be in possession of a dictionary when the classes start. 

Doniach, N.S. et al., The Concise Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary (Oxford: OUP, 1984);  Wehr, Hans, Arabic-English dictionary (Urbana, Illinois: Spoken Languages Services, 1994).  


Recommended Reading  

Al-Kitaab Fii Ta Allum Al- Arabiyya: Pt. 1: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic:  by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, Abbas Al Tonsi.  2004 


Abboud, P.F. et al. (eds), Elementary Modern Standard Arabic (EMSA) (Cambridge: CUP, 3rd ed. 1983).  

Mace, J., Arabic Grammar (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998); 

Wightwick, J. & Gaafar, M., Mastering Arabic (including CD pack) (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 1990). 

Scheduled activity hours Lectures 22 Seminars 44

Independent study hours
Independent study 134

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Orieb Masadeh-Tate Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)

All students will be allocated to a PASS group.  Sessions are run by pairs of higher year student leaders who have taken the course, in which attendees have a chance to actively discuss difficult course concepts with their peers.  Sessions focus on problem solving in groups in a tutor-free environment where students can raise key questions with each other and, in doing so, understand the material better themselves.  PASS is student-led, informal, friendly and hopefully fun.

  • Middle Eastern Film Club, taking part in celebrations of Middle Eastern Festivals. 


This course and all its materials are available on the online platform Blackboard. There will be resources to extend on classroom work and for self-study. Work will be classified according to skill, e.g. Reading, listening, Grammar, etc. and there will also be folders for work done week by week.  

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