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Spoken Arabic: Egyptian


Admission requirements

Successful completion of MSA 4 and Arabic Texts 1 & 2, or a comparable level – to be endorsed by the examination committee.


This course aims at introducing students who have successfully completed one year of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) to Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA), prior to their stay in Cairo during the second semester. The course provides students with vocabulary and expressions related to topics of everyday life and culture while also focusing on grammatical features of ECA, contrasting them with MSA structures.

Course Objectives

Students are expected to reach level A2 of the CEFR. Combining MSA background and ECA training, they will be able to handle conversations related to basic topics (Introducing themselves, use polite greetings and formal expressions, deal with most relevant scenarios from everyday life. In addition, students will be able to conduct themselves in culturally appropriate manner in many social situations.

Mode of instruction

seminar/workgroup with mandatory attendance

Course load

  • Classroom lectures: 26 hrs.

  • Preparation and homework: 104 hrs.

  • Test preparation: 10 hrs.

  • Total course load: 140 hrs (5 ECs).

Assessment method

To be allowed to sit for the final exam, students must satisfy the following skills requirements throughout the course:

  • Classroom participation: 20%

  • Quizzes: 30%

  • Homework assignments: 30%

  • Project: 20%
    Students who achieve at least 60% of the above skills requirements may register for the final exam, which counts for 100% of the course grade.
    Students who do not receive a passing mark for the final exam may take a resit exam.




  • Abbas al-Tonsi, Laila al-Sawi, &Suzanne Massoud , (2010) Kalaam Gamiil: An Intensive Course in Egyptian Colloquial Arabic: Volume 1. American University Press. Cairo, Egypt. ISBN 9789774163159.

  • Additional material as deemed appropriate by instructor.


Registration in uSis.


Academic Integrity
Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. You can check the following links:

  • English

  • Dutch
    Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, I assume that work is your own and that all sources are indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).

Note on the teaching language

Since students in this class have completed one Arabic year, they are expected at the end of the semester, hopefully, to deal with a fully Arabic Class; this will help you improve your language.
For that reason, the main language in this course is the Egyptian Colloquial. We will refer to MSA to get the idea more clear or to make connection between MSA and Colloquial. When needed, English is used in order to ensure your totally understanding.