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Arabic - Beginners


Admission requirements

Required course(s):


Recommended course(s):



This is a semi-intensive Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) course for beginners. MSA is the common language in the 22 Arabic countries, and is widely spread in the inter-Arab media. This course will provide students with the basics in Arabic and give them a good background. In addition to MSA, students are introduced to Egyptian Arabic, as it is the most widely used spoken variety of Arabic. It is a semi-intensive course; expect to spend at least six hours a week in studying and preparation outside of class to be able to pass the course.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students will start using short memorized phrases to interact in simple predictable situations. Students will be able to understand and express basic information about familiar topics like self, family, likes or dislikes. Students will be able to reflect on how to express such information in culturally appropriate and relevant manner.

This course aims at the A1 level of the Common European Framework.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction


Assessment Method

The final grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the following:

Oral Project 10%
Homework 10%
Quizzes (4) 20%
Participation 5%
Midterm Exam 25%
Final Exam 30%

Reading list

  • Alif Baa, Third Edition with website, Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. ISBN: 9781647121815

  • Al-Kitaab Part One, Third Edition with website, Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. ISBN: 9781647121877

  • Additional material as deemed appropriate by instructor, made available via Brightspace.

Recommended readings:

  • Hans Wehr, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English). Edited by J. Milton Cowan. Fourth Edition, considerably enlarged and amended by the author. (Ithaca, N.Y., 1994).


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dalia Abdel Baki,