Arabic Beginner I

Course Status: 
CEU code: 
SLTG 5025
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
18 Sep 2017 - 8 Dec 2017
Rashed Daher

Arabic Beginner I 

2017/18 Fall Term
Language course, 3 credits 

Instructor: Dr. Rashed Daher

Office Hours: by appointment


Arabic (classical – pre 20th century - and modern) is one of the most important languages required to understand Middle East culture and Medieval history. Learning Arabic is essential to all those who have interest in getting an overall vision of Islamic history and understand the thorough link between Islamic and Christian cultures, political and economical developments, as well as linguistic features throughout middle ages up till recent days. Achieving the ability to read, and later to analyze historical Arabic texts provides the student not only a unique capability of understanding most of the intercultural and political events between Medieval Europe and Middle East, but also to have the chance of creating his own standpoint concerning those events. Briefly, reading Arabic texts in source language opens a wide and new horizon for the student in learning Medieval history and following the development of Arabic language throughout 15 centuries of continuous usage.    


Goals and Learning outcomes

After two terms of learning Arabic, students will be able to obtain a “general use” of the language; they will be expected to achieve the following:

a. Write and read Arabic almost perfectly, even without using vowel signs.

b. Understand much of standard Arabic language by listening, as well as, depending on student skills, a basic level of speaking (Standard language, not dialect).

c. Read, understand, analyze and translate moderate Arabic texts.

d. Get essential bases for further learning of the language in the future.

Besides gaining a massive basic knowledge of the language, students will also get an insight to some features of Islamic, and especially, Arabic culture. This will lead to understanding much of the environment in which the source material written in Arabic was born.

Participants’ ability in Arabic will be assessed through maximum two short quizes (15-20 minutes) and a final examination at the end of the semester.      


Each class will begin with a brief repetition of the material we have learned in the previous lessons. Then we will check the assigned homework, continue learning grammar and practicing grammatical rules, read different texts, and finally (depending on time left) train the oral use of the language. Regular homework will be set; students should count that successful participation in this class will require at least triple the amount of time outside the classroom than inside the classroom.



1. Schulz, Krahl, Reuschel: Standard Arabic. An elementary-intermediate course. Cambridge University Press, 2000 (for grammar).

2. Fawzieh A. Bader: Al-Asas for Teaching Arabic for Non-Native Speakers. Part 1 (Beginner Level). Noorart Inc. 2010.   

3. Karin C. Ryding: A Reference Grammar of Modern standard Arabic. Cambridge University Press, 2005 (complementary material).

4. Dr. F. Abd al-Ra’uf: Duroos al-Lugha al-Arabiyya. Fatwa online – Islamic University, Medina.

5. Other background texts and listening material which the students will receive in time.

Week 1 (18/9 and 22/9/2017)


Learning the alphabet – writing skills.

Week 2 (25/9 and 29/9/2017)

Learning the alphabet, writing skills + exercises

Week 3 (2/10 and 6/10/2017)

Writing skills + exercises

Grammar 1 - 2.

Reading: Schulz, Krahl, Reuschel: Standard Arabic - lesson 2 + exercises.


Week 4 (9/10 and 13/10/2017)

Grammar 3 - 4 + practicing exercises.

Reading:  : Schulz, Krahl, Reuschel: Standard Arabic – lesson 3 + oral communication.



Week 5 (16/10 and 20/10/2017)

Short quiz.

Grammar 5

Reading: Standard Arabic – lesson 4 + exercises + oral communication (Al-Asas p.1).


Week 6 (27/10/2017)

Revision 1

Grammar 6 - 7 + exercises.

Reading: Standard Arabic – lesson 5 + short text translation and analysis.


Week 7 (30/10 and 3/11/2017)

Grammar 8 - 9 + exercises.

Standard Arabic – lesson 6

Reading: conversations (Al-Asas).


Week 8 (6/11 and 10/11/2016)

Grammar 10 - 11 + exercises.

Reading: Duroos al-Lugha al-Arabiyya. Fatwa online – lessons 1→6


Week 9 (13/11 and 17/11/2017)

Revision 2: Standard Arabic lessons 2-6.

Grammar 12 - 13 + exercises.

Reading: conversation (Al-Asas) + oral communication


Week 10 (20/11 and 24/11/2017)

Short quiz.

Grammar 14 – 15 - 16 + exercises.

Standard Arabic – lesson 7


Week 11 (27/11 and 01/12/2017)

Grammar 17 – 18 – 19 – 20

Standard Arabic – lesson 8.

Reading: Durus al-Luga al-Arabiyya + overall revision + text analysis.

Week 12 (04/12 and 08/12/2017)

Final Revision-consultation.

Written exam



Regular attendance (at least nine sessions out of twelve) is mandatory. Student performance will be assessed through 2 short quizzes and a final written exam composed of text translation, grammatical and listening exercises. Terminal grade: 50% performance throughout the semester, 50% final exam.

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