The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Rothberg International School

Department of Undergraduate Studies

Spring Semester 2019


Course 48233: Colloquial Arabic (Beginners)

Miss Noa Byder


Office Hours: By Appointment


Course Description

During the course students will acquire the 4 skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing Colloquial Arabic. Attention will be given to active use of the spoken dialect. Classes are conducted in Arabic, and students will be expected to gradually participate in class in Arabic. Students will acquire basic vocabulary, declension of nouns and prepositions, and basic conjugation of verbs. The course is accompanied by original study material written in Arabic as well as songs. 

A selective list of topics:

- Acquaintance and self-presentation

- Greetings and common expressions

- Family and kinship terminology

- Numbers: asking the time, counting, age

- Using place prepositions

- Talking about where you went and what you did

Course Requirements

Presence in class and active participation are two main conditions for success in this course. This is not a theoretical course and in order to learn how to speak Arabic one must be present and participate. Another crucial dimension is the willingness of students to work seriously at home between lessons; without work at home the above mentioned goals cannot be reached.

Breakdown of marks:

1. Quizzes, active participation, presence and assignments preparation – 40%

2. Midterm exam– 20% (written exam 10% and group presentation 10%)

3. Final exam – 40% (written exam 20% and group presentation 20%)




Reading List


Yohanan Elihai (2007) The Olive Tree dictionary : A transliterated dictionary of conversational Eastern Arabic (Palestinian). Jerusalem: Minerva. Overseas Library DIC. A:E E426

AlJabari, R. (2010). Oxford essential Arabic dictionary : English-Arabic, Arabic-English. Oxford : New York: Oxford University Press. Overseas Library DIC. E:A-A:E O98