Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us & online events
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  9. Ask a student
  1. Short courses
  2. Courses
Study at City

Arabic Beginners (Year 1) Short Course

Key information

Choose a start date
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Course Code:
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Booking Deadline:
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Covid-19 update: The learning doesn't have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you'll get lots of support from your tutor. Book now.

Start learning Arabic with our Arabic Beginners short course. The course is made up of three parts (parts 1-3), taught at progressive levels. Take one part or enrol on all three to complete the full beginners syllabus.

Why choose this course?

Whether learning Arabic for travelling, working abroad or with foreign companies, the Arabic Beginners course will enable you to communicate confidently on a basic level in everyday situations, socialise and not feel out of place when visiting Arabic-speaking countries.

This Beginners Arabic short course is an introduction to the language and way of life in Arabic speaking countries. Challenging but rewarding, the course is perfectly suited to those looking to develop a basic command of Arabic.

The full beginners course is made up of three 10-week beginners’ modules – part 1, part 2 and part 3. Enrol on the full syllabus (parts 1-3) to gain a complete knowledge of Arabic for beginners at the best price. Our teaching takes place one evening a week, ideal for those with various commitments or working full-time.

Our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

The Arabic script is introduced letter by letter with grouping depending on the shape of the shell. Listening and speaking exercises in the class reinforce the relationship between letters learnt and their associated sound.

You will learn about Arabic media, how to make polite requests and express likes and dislikes, receive an introduction to food and drink; and learn to describe daily activities. By the end of the course, you will have an understanding of the structure of Arabic and will be able to speak, read, write and understand simple Arabic sentences.

By the end of the course, you’ll understand the structure of Arabic and feel confident translating simple sentences, communicating at CEFR A1 level the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Is it the right level for me?

If you have no prior knowledge of Arabic you must start with part 1, or the full syllabus (parts 1-3).

If you have some basic knowledge of Arabic and you are already familiar with the content of part 1 you may choose to enrol on part 2 or 3. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

If you are a complete beginner and you want to start in January, you can join our Arabic Beginners Parts 1 & 2 combined course which combined part 1 and part 2 in one term.

Please make sure you have the correct level by using our online guidelines.

  • “ Top tutor highly recommended ”


    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

We’ve designed this course to help you understand the structure of Arabic. The three parts will help you learn to speak, read, write and listen to simple Arabic sentences.

Throughout the year, you’ll learn:

  • To write and read the alphabet and recognise their sounds (phonetics)
  • Some colloquial Arabic
  • Greetings and introducing yourself
  • Everyday objects; surroundings; family, countries and people
  • Daily routines; numbers and prices; telling time and weather
  • Food, drink and activities
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Handle simple daily conversation and request information
  • Present, past and future events
  • Arabic culture: Arab countries and capitals, political system and media.

Grammatical structures 

  • Subject and predicate
  • Pronouns: separate; attached
  • Expressing possession
  • The relative adjective Nisba
  • Gender in Arabic nouns
  • Diacritical marks Shadda, madda, tanwin, sukun
  • Demonstrative pronouns; gender agreements
  • Contrast particles
  • Assimilating and non-assimilating sounds; sun and moon letters
  • Definite and indefinite nouns; idafa structure; dual nouns; plural of non-rational noun (non-human)
  • Arabic verbs; object of verbs
  • Negatives
  • Interrogative form
  • Ordinal numbers and number noun agreement
  • Preposition of place
  • Object of prepositions
  • Pronouns of separation.



Prerequisite knowledge

Modules are taught at progressive levels, if you have no prior knowledge you must start part 1 or enrol on the full syllabus (parts 1-3).

If you wish to join part 2 of the Arabic Beginners course, you must have completed part 1 or be familiar with the content taught in part 1, specified in the What will I learn? section.

If you wish to enrol on part 3 of the short course, you must have completed both parts 1 and 2 or be familiar with the content taught in these two modules, found in the What will I learn? section.

Please check your level by using our online guidelines before enrolling.

English requirements

You will need to respond to instructions and read course documents in English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis of this Arabic short course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

Classroom activities will include:

  • role-playing;
  • classroom discussion;
  • pair and group work;
  • work on pronunciation and intonation;
  • grammar in context.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are an important element in our lessons. More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts are generally set as homework.

Your progress will be assessed on an on-going basis through homework and performance in class. You will receive verbal feedback from your lecturer when appropriate and written feedback with your homework. All evaluation will take place in a relaxed and informal setting.

You will be encouraged to build your own Arabic Learning Portfolio (ALP). This will be discussed with your tutor.

There is no formal assessment and no qualification is issued at the end of the course, but you will be awarded an official City, University of London certificate on completion of the course. You must attend over 70 per cent of the classes to be eligible for the certificate.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Part 1

Ahlan wa Sahlan Letters and Sounds of the Arabic Language

With Online Media Access the Online Interactive Exercises (Password inside the textbook)

By: Mahdi Alosh, Allen Clark

  • ISBN10 -0300214464
  • ISBN13 -9780300214468

Example of contents of part 1:

Parts 2 and 3

Ahlan wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners, Second Edition: With Online Media Access the Online Interactive Exercises (Password inside the textbook)

By: Mahdi Alosh, Revised by Allen Clark

  • Publication date 01 Nov 2015
  • ISBN10- 030021989X
  • ISBN13- 9780300219890

Example of contents of parts 2-3 through year 1,2 and 3

Tutor information

  • Ahmed EI-Shareif

    Ahmed EI-Shareif is a native Arabic speaker from Egypt. He obtained his Master of Arts in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language from SOAS, University of London.  He also attended several workshops run by the Authors of Al-Kitaab in Texas University, USA and London.

    Ahmed currently teaches Arabic at City (CASS & LGP Modules) and SOAS. He previously taught at Suffolk College, Westminster University, International House London and Kings College London.

    Ahmed is an External Examiner for Pearson education, and Chartered Institute of Linguists. He also designs and runs training courses for the development of Arabic teachers abroad and in UK.

Next steps

This Arabic Short Evening Course for Lower Intermediate Students is a fantastic intermediate evening class for Arabic learners.…