Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Dialectal Arabic

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Oriental Studies

DESCRIPTION Students are encouraged to choose an Arabic dialect between Levantine and Tunisian Arabic. The former represents Eastern Arabic (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine), whereas the latter reflects Western (Maghribi) Arabic to which the Maltese language is very closely related. Both dialectal varieties have the advantage that, apart from being well understood across the Arab world, they are relatively quite "close" to the Modern Standard Arabic with which students are already familiar. In this study-unit students learn the basic grammatical and syntactic elements of these dialects independently. The main emphasis is on students developing survival and conversational skills covering real life situations based on high frequency vocabulary. Students also learn how to use terms of address, common expressions, idioms, as well as proverbs which frequently feature in daily speech. Reference is regularly made to aspects of Arab culture in the Levant and across North Africa which are closely bound to, and find their expression in, the dialectal reality.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims at teaching students the fundamentals of one Arabic dialect at 'Level A' proficiency.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (daily life situations);
- communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information;
- describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need;
- reach level A2 (Basic User) of the Common Reference Levels: global scale (the Council of Europe Language Levels).

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- comprehend and communicate, in basic dialectal forms of Arabic, about issues pertaining to the personal sphere, immediate needs and the immediate environment;
- interact correctly with Arabs speaking the taught dialect, whilst recognizing the underlying broad cultural principles governing Arab realities.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Aquil, Rajaa, et al. Ultimate Arabic: Beginner-Intermediate. New York: Living Language, 2006.
- Feghali, Maksoud N. Spoken Lebanese. Parkway Publishers, Inc., 1998.
- McLoughlin, Leslie J. 2005. Colloquial Arabic (Levantine). Routledge, 2005.
- Ben Abdelkader, Rached, Naovar, Aziza. Peace Corps Tunisia Course in Tunisian Arabic. Washington, D.C., 1979.
- Ben Abdelkader, Rached et alii. Peace Corps English-Tunisian Arabic Dictionary. Washington, D.C., 1997.



Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Kurstin Gatt
Martin R. Zammit

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.