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Modern Standard Arabic 

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the default language of Arabic literature, science, politics, and the media. Books, newspapers, official documents, private and business correspondence, academic articles, street signs and shop signs are all written in MSA. It derives from the Classical Arabic of the Qur’an and retains most of its characteristics, though nowadays the grammar may be somewhat simplified.

So where and when is MSA actually spoken?

As the lingua franca of the Arab World and the official language of all Arabic-speaking countries, MSA allows Arabs from different countries to communicate with each other. It is taught at schools and in universities, and most people will have at least some knowledge of it.

MSA is more complex than spoken dialects of Arabic and learning it requires more effort, but the payoff is substantial. MSA is the heart and soul of the Arabic language and the greatest treasure of the Arab culture. Learning it will open the door to all of the Arab World for you. It is also the language of the Muslim civilization – an indispensable tool to deepen your knowledge of the history and sociology of a religion shared by more than 2 billion people on the planet.

Unless you are a complete beginner, we evaluate your level of Arabic at the beginning of your course and pick the level appropriate for you.

We offer two modes of learning MSA:

Semi-intensive: 15 hours of instruction time per week devoted to a standard MSA core course.

Intensive: 20 hours of instruction time per week; devoted to both a standard MSA core course and a Formal Spoken Arabic course.

We use the following textbooks in teaching MSA, according to your preference:

  • NaHwa ennaHo (our own program made in Lessane Arabi Center)
  • Al-kitaab bayna yadayk (Saoudi Arabian program)
  • Al-kitaab fi-ta’alum al-‘Arabiya (USA program)
  • Arabisch intensiv (Bochum University program – Germany)
  • Mastering Arabic (English program)
  • Advanced Media Arabic (Leeds University – England)
  • Learn Arabic in Europe (Syrian program)
  • Al-Nahwu Al-Wadih (Lebanon)
  • Al Kitab Al Assassi (Tunisian program)

For INALCO or Science Po students, the following books will be adapted to there final exam:

  • Le Manuel d’arabe moderne (Luc‐Willy Deheuvels)
  • Lexique raisonné de l’arabe littéral (Nejmeddine Khalfallah)
  • Grammaire active de l’arabe (Michel Neyreneuf et Ghalib Al‐Hakkak)

We can also adapt to your preferred curriculum and use a textbook of your choice.

In an effort to ensure your educational credentials are recognised everywhere in the world, our MSA courses comply with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF).

MSA courses we offer:

A1.1 (Introductory): an entry-level course. You will master the Arabic script and pronunciation and learn to compose nominal sentences.

No prior background in Arabic required. 4 weeks, 60 hours.

A1.3 (Beginner): an entry-level course. You will learn the Arabic script, pronunciation, and basic grammar, in addition to improving your listening comprehension.

No prior background in Arabic required. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

A2.2 (Lower Intermediate – elementary): You will expand your grammar and vocabulary beyond the basics and further develop your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Lessons focus especially on reading comprehension and introducing more complex grammar structures.

Prerequisite: One of the A1 courses or Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

B1.1 (Lower Intermediate – threshold): You will expand your grammar and vocabulary and begin to read increasingly authentic texts, as well as write your first compositions. You will also improve your reading comprehension to facilitate interactive, non-formulaic conversations.

Prerequisite: A2.2 course or Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

B1.2 (Media Arabic): A specialised course focused on building a media-related vocabulary sufficient to grasp the gist of a newspaper article or a news broadcast with minimal dictionary intervention. You will use graded excerpts from newspapers and taped material from Moroccan radio and TV.

Prerequisite: Lower Intermediate level of Arabic with Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

B1.3 (Intermediate): You will focus on expanding and refining your vocabulary and increasing your communicative skills in preparation for independent study. You will begin to learn different stylistic devices and read from various authentic sources.

Prerequisites: B1.1 or B1.2 course or Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks; 120 hours.

B2.3 (Upper Intermediate): You will further develop your language fluency, learning to comprehend complex and technical sources such as university lectures, specialised articles etc.

Prerequisite: B1.3 course or Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

C1.1 (Advanced): Your learning will centre around authentic texts (both classical and modern) and will involve increasing your understanding of the stylistic differences between various literary genres, as well as substantial written assignments.

Prerequisite: B2.3 course or Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

C2.1 (Proficient): You will hone your linguistic abilities beyond the advanced level through work with textbooks and authentic material based on your needs and interests.

Prerequisite: C1.1 course or Language Coordinator’s approval. 8 weeks, 120 hours.

Moroccan Colloquial Arabic (Darija)

Moroccan Colloquial Arabic, or MCA/Darija, is the dialect of Arabic spoken across Morocco. While it is rooted in Modern Standard Arabic, it has been significantly influenced by French, Spanish, and Amazigh (Berber). Darija has a simpler grammar and less extensive vocabulary than MSA, making it easier to learn. Darija is the language spoken in the streets of Morocco and if your goal is to live or work here, Darija is the right choice for you. However, it will likely not be understood by Arabic speakers from other countries (though it shares some similarities with the dialects spoken in Algeria and Tunisia and may be mutually intelligible with those).

We separate our Darija tuition into three levels:

Beginner: approximately 80 hours to complete

Intermediate: approximately 80 hours to complete

Advanced: approximately 80 hours to complete.

Since Darija is not an academic language, we created our own teaching program. Here is the exhaustive list of our home-made books:

  • Darija Grammar Book
  • Darija Conversation & Vocabulary Book
  • Darija Verbs Book
  • Darija and Moroccan Culture Introduction (Half day course)

Our Darija courses run all year long, without a set schedule. The planning is customized. Please contact us for any further information.

You can learn Darija by itself or combine it with one of our MSA courses. However, it is important for students to approach the two courses as two separate languages, so as not to interfere with the correct understanding of either language.