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Arabic - Beginners


Admission requirements



This is a 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.

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 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

(Online) seminar.

Assessment Method

Participation, 10%
Quizzes (5), 25%
Homework assignments, 15%
Presentation, 10%
Portfolio, 40%

Reading list


  • Alif Baa, Third Edition, Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi.

  • Al-Kitaab Part One, Third Edition, Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi.


  • Hans Wehr, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English). Edited by J. Milton Cowan.

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


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, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dalia Abdel Baki,