Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (Arabic)


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide an introduction to the basic structures of the grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).
  • To teach students to understand, speak and write MSA at a basic level
  • To provide students with an introduction to the language skills necessary for the further study of Arabic in Intensive Arabic B-E.


  • The module begins with an introduction to the Arabic script and writing system.
  • The main part of the module is structured around the textbook 'Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya', Part 1, supplemented where necessary with other materials.
  • The module will cover the first ten units of 'Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya', Part 1, providing an introduction to the basic grammer and syntax of Modern Standard Arabic, with a view to developing a basis for further study.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • familiarity with the Arabic script.
  • a basic knowledge of the more straightforward aspects of Arabic grammar and syntax.
  • some basic Arabic vocabulary.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • be able to read short sentences or passages of Arabic using familiar vocabulary
  • be able to translate short sentences from and into Arabic using familiar vocabulary
  • be able to speak about oneself, and to ask and answer simple questions on a limited range of topics;
  • understand straightforward spoken MSA using familiar vocabulary.
Key Skills:
  • the initial development of presentational and interpersonal communication skills.
  • basic experience of language learning techniques, enabling students to further their study of Arabic.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • language classes enable the basic structures of Arabic to be explained in an interactive environment. Language exercises enable the student to develop fluency and confidence in the language.
  • regular class tests and homework ensure that progress can be carefully monitored throughout the year.
  • tutorials provide an opportunity for practicing oral and aural language skills and for the correction of errors.
  • end-of-module examinations provide a measure of the level achieved over the year as a whole.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 66 (@ 11 weeks) 6 per week 1 hour 66
Oral Tutorials 22 2 per week 1 hour 22
Preparation and Reading 312
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Classwork Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
classwork 100%
Component: Interim Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2 hour examination 90%
oral examination 10%
Component: Final Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
3 hour examination 80%
oral examination 20%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given regular class tests and written homework exercises.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University