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Arabic 3 (Upper-)Intermediate


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies who have passed Arabic 1 Beginners and Arabic 2 Pre-intermediate


This is an intermediate MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) course. MSA is the common language of the 22 Arabic countries, and is widely spread in the inter-Arab media. Building on the basics students have acquired at the beginners and elementary level, this course enables them to reach an intermediate proficiency. It also provides students with the cultural background they need for their stay in one of the many countries of the region during the 4th semester. Major similarities and differences between MSA and the colloquial Arabic of the country chosen for the stay will be touched upon.

Course objectives

Improving the listening skills to provide a basic access to Arabic audio-visual media
Low-intermediate command of conversational Arabic
Ability to understand relevant information in newspapers and simple texts without the help of the Dictionary
Write short essays on common topics
Familiarity with different aspects of Arabic culture and history
The course aims at the A2/B1 level of the Common European Framework.


The timetable will be available on the BA International Studies website this autumn.

Mode of instruction

Two two hour tutorials every week

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or a tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load: 140 hours (5 EC)
Attending classes: 48 hrs (4 hours per week x 12 weeks)
Preparing classes, exams and extra activities: 92 hrs

Assessment method

  • Use of the target language to present and interact with correct pronunciation, vocabulary items and grammar: In Class oral assignment (twice per semester) 10%

  • Mastering Arabic script: In class dictation test 10%

  • Use of course contents, including vocabulary items, grammar: Written Exam 20%

  • Use of the target language to converse with correct pronunciation, vocabulary items and grammar: Final Listening exam/Oral exam 30%

  • Use of course contents, including vocabulary items, grammar: Final Written exam 30%

The resit will be a written exam of two hours, and will test if the students have reached the end level of this semester. This exam consists of the following components:

  • Reading and writing;

  • Written dialogue;

  • Vocabulary and grammar.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrollment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Compulsory Literature:

  • Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, Abbas Al-Tonsi, Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-‘Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part Two, Third Edition, 2013, Georgetown University Press.

  • Companion web site to Al-Kitaab Part two,

Recommended Literature:

  • 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).


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.