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Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners


Admission requirements

Entry requirements for students in the BA Midden-Oostenstudies/track Modern Midden-Oosten:
Propedeutic exam and 15 EC trackspecific courses (BA 2/1st semester).

This course is for students who did not take MSA 1 and 2 in their first year.
Students who completed MSA 1and 2 take Modern Standard Arabic Reading (5852VRAL2)


Modern Standard Arabic is the official (written) language of 22 countries, including Morocco. During this course students are introduced to the Arabic script, basic vocabulary and basic grammar.

Course objectives

  • Learn to technically comprehend Arabic script

  • Learn to technically write Arabic

  • Acquire basic vocabulary

  • Acquire basic grammatical knowledge


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The course is offered as part of a full-time program of studies, and therefore work commitments, holidays, or overseas travel do not constitute valid reasons for absence. The lecturer should be informed in writing of any classes to be missed for a valid reason (i.e., due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond the student’s control, such as documented illness, family bereavement, problems with residence permits, victim of crime, or railway delays). In case of a justified absence, it is up to the Lecturer to decide whether the missed class should be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Please note that you are required to provide documentation that supports your case for absence where possible. Absence without notification and approval could result in a grade deduction, or in work not being marked and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. It is assumed that students' work is their own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). Students may not substantially reuse any work they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.
Assignment(s) must be submitted to Brightspace through Turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.


Classroom participation and homework assignments (20%)
Midterm exam (20%)
Final exam (60%)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


If the final grade is 5.5 or less students may take a resit once (100%).

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Materials will be provided by the teacher.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: De Vrieshof.


Important: this course is taught at NIMAR in Rabat, Morocco.