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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Part IA | Core subject | Convenor: Dr Saussan Khalil

Course Description 2023-24

These two papers are taught as a single course. The aim is to equip students to read and write Modern Standard Arabic, and cover all the basic grammar, and to hold simple conversations in one particular Arabic dialect. The course teaches Egyptian Colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic in parallel and in a way where each reinforces the other. The classroom language is Egyptian Colloquial as far as possible, and Modern Standard is used to develop reading and writing skills. The course covers all the basic grammar of both varieties and a broad range of vocabulary, and aims to equip students to reach an upper elementary/lower intermediate level in both, to hold a range of basic conversations with confidence and to understand fairly simple authentic texts with the help of a dictionary. The course uses our own in-house textbook.

Form and Conduct

MES.1: This paper will contain three questions, all of which must be answered: two passages of Arabic with questions (30 marks each) and one passage of Arabic for translation into English (40 marks).

MES.2: This paper consists of two sections: a one-and-a-half hour written examination (50 marks) and an oral examination (50 marks). The written examination will contain one writing task in Arabic from a choice of tasks (30 marks) and a translation from English into Arabic (20 marks). The oral examination will consist of three sections: (a) Listening comprehension (20 marks); (b) Liaison interpreting (15 marks); (c) Discussion (15 marks). (b) and (c) together: 10 minutes. All timings are approximate and all oral examinations are recorded.


This description is subject to change, for the latest information, students should consult the Undergraduate Handbook available on the Faculty Intranet.



Terms taught
Michaelmas, Lent, Easter
Michaelmas, Lent, Easter
Michaelmas, Lent, Easter