Beginning Arabic I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ARB 101

       Course Name: Beginning Arabic I

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course develops basic language skills within the context of cultures of Arabic-speaking countries. Content include pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, and oral and written communication. No prior study of language presumed. Recommended that experienced students discuss proper placement with instructor.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To actively communicate in Arabic, making spontaneous use of structures and vocabulary studied.
  2. To demonstrate an appreciation of contemporary Arabic culture through written and aural class work.
  3. To demonstrate spoken Arabic in everyday contexts through responding to simple basic questions.
  4. To illustrate reading comprehension through answering relevant questions on uncomplicated selections.
  5. To use elements of beginning grammar through short listening, spoken, and written exercises.
  6. To write simple sentences within the context of what has been studied.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

1,2 1 Introduction to course objectives and policies
Introduction to the Arabic language, its importance
Unit One الوحدة الأولى
  1. Common Greetings
  2. Introducing Oneself
  3. Leave-Taking
  4. 4.The Arabic Alphabet: One-Way Connectors ا، و، د، ذ، ر، ز
    1. The Letter alif (ا)
    2. The Letter wāw (و)
    3. The Letter rā’(ر)
    4. The Letters dāl (د) and dāl (ذ)
    5. Combining Sounds/Letters into Syllables and Words
    6. Distinguishing among Similar Letters
  5. A Quick Look at Numbers
Vocabulary المُفْرَدات
3,4 2 Unit Two الوَحدة الثانِية
  1. Identifying Yourself and Others Inquiring about Someone's Name
  2. Separate Personal Pronouns
  3. Arabic Alphabet: Two-Way Connectors ب، ت، ث، ن، ي
    1. The Letters bā’ (ب),tā’ (ت ), tā’(ث ) and Their Sounds
    2. The Letters nūn (ن) and yā’ (ي)
    3. The Letter yā’ (ي) as a Vowel and a Semivowel
    4. Different Handwriting Styles
  4. Long and Short Vowels
    1. Vowel Length
    2. The Short Vowel fatha
    3. The Short Vowel damma
    4. The Short Vowel kasra
Vocabulary المُفْرَدات
5,6 3 Unit Three الوحدة الثالثة
  1. The Morning Greeting
  2. Asking about Well-Being
  3. Arabic Alphabet: Two-Way Connectors س، ش، ج، ح، خ، ف، ق، ة
    1. The Letters sīn (س ) and šīn (ش ) and Their Sounds
      The س and ش in Handwriting
    2. The Letters jīm (ج ), hā’ (ح ), kā’ (خ ) and Their Sounds
      1. A Brief Phonetic Background
      2. The Sound of the Letter jīm (ج )
      3. The Sound of the Letter hā’ (ح )
      4. The Sound of the Letter kā’ (خ )
    3. The Letters fā’ (ف ) and qāf (ق ) and Their Sounds
      1. Phonetic Description of the fā’ (ف )
      2. Phonetic Description of the qāf (ق )
    4. The Letter tā’ marbūta (ة ) and Its Sound
      Attaching a Suffix to a Word Ending in ة
7, 8 Review Units 1-5 Midterm
9, 10 4 Unit Four الوحدة الرّابعة
  1. Inquiring about and Identifying Place of Origin
  2. Subject and Predicate
  3. Separate Pronouns
  4. Colloquial Arabic
  5. Arabic Alphabet: Two-Way Connectors ص، ض، ط، ظ، ع، غ
    1. The Letters sād (ص ) and dād (ض) and Their Sounds
      1. The Sound of the Letter sād (ص)
      2. The Sound of the Letter dād (ض )
    2. The Letters tā’ (ط ) and zā’ (ظ ) and Their Sounds
      Pronunciation of ط and ظ
    3. The Letters `ayn (ع) and gayn (غ) and Their Sounds
      1. The Sound of the Letter ‘ayn (ع )
      2. The Sound of the Letter gayn (غ )
  6. Inquiring about and Identifying Arab Countries
  7. Arab States, Political Systems, and Capitals
11, 12 5 Unit Five الوحدة الخامِسة
  1. Arabic Alphabet: Two-Way Connectors ل، ك، م، ه
    1. The Letter lām (ل ) and Its Sound
    2. The Letter kāf (ك ) and Its Sound
    3. The Letter mīm ( م) and Its Sound
    4. The Letter hā’ (ه ) and Its Sound
  2. Objects from the Immediate Environment
  3. Expressing Possession
  4. Attached Pronouns
    Feminine Words and the Attached Pronoun
  5. Describing National and Regional Affiliation
  6. The Relative Noun nisba إسمُ النِسبة
  7. Gender in Arabic Nouns
13, 14 6 Unit Six الوحدة السادسة
  1. Familiar Objects in the Classroom
  2. The Letters alif maqsūra ى (ā) and hamza ء
    1. The Letter alif maqsūra ى (ā) and Its Sound
    2. The Letter hamza ء and Its Sound
  3. Diacritical Marks
    1. The šadda
    2. The madda
    3. The tanwīn
    4. The sukūn
  4. The Short alif
  5. Representation of Foreign Sounds
  6. Colloquial Arabic: Phonological Variation
15, 16 Review Units 6-10 Final Exam

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Class time will be devoted to both explaining and illustrating the grammatical and functional aspects of the Arabic language and practicing the use of Arabic in a communicative setting.  The students will practice using the Arabic language in small and large groups, incorporating the correct pronunciation, structure, and vocabulary in a culturally appropriate context. Students are expected to have studied segments of the textbook assigned in the syllabus prior to class, in order to be able to best benefit from the instructor’s presentation and inquire about points that need further clarifications.  Students are required to complete the exercises and assignments to be able to participate as fully as possible in class activities and practices.  The use of the CDs to complete the required assignments will provide the students with the needed practice for developing and improving their Arabic listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

  1. Attend and participate in all classes.
  2. Review assigned preparations in time for class: the students will read the text’s explanations in order to be prepared to understand and ask for clarifications if needed after the language, and grammatical rules are explained during each lesson.
  3. Complete written exercises specified for each unit in the textbook or additional exercises assigned by the instructor. Submitted the completed exercises to the instructor on the dates specified by the instructor.
  4. Listen to CDs at least two hours per week and submit listening and written exercises to the instructor on the dates specified by the instructor.
  5. Take quizzes and exams. Quizzes and exams will include a mix of speaking, listening, reading and writing elements.
  6. The instructor will include additional information regarding course practices depending on what the instructor may require of his or her students.
  7. The Oakton Community College catalog states: Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status in admission to and participation in its educational programs, college activities and services, or employment practices. In keeping with this policy of tolerance and non-discrimination, in this class all of us (myself included) should strive to:
    • Listen and give careful consideration to all ideas expressed in class, especially those that are different from our own, without attacking or demeaning the people who have those views, and
    • Avoid using insulting terms or telling offensive jokes when talking to or about individuals or groups.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton’s Schedule of Classes.


Author: Mahdi Alosh; Revised with Allen Clark
Title: Ahlan wa Sahlan
Publisher: Yale University Press
Latest Edition.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

1. Lab Assignments: 25%
2. Quizzes / Attendance / Participation: 10%
3. Exams: 65%

Grading Scale:

  1. A = 90 – 100 pts
  2. B = 80 – 89 pts
  3. C = 70 – 79 pts
  4. D = 60 – 69 pts
  5. F = 59 & below pts

Workbook or electronic assignments must be done by students outside of the classroom in order to practice the course content. These assignments will count as 25% of the course final grade. Students need to have at least a D (60%) in this section in order to pass this course.

In this course at least one speaking exam is required.

XI.   Other Course Information

In this section, each instructor should specify policies on attendance, make-up exams, and late assignments.

Heritage speakers may not take this class.

Oakton has two Language Labs to support your language study. The Language Labs offer the perfect atmosphere for doing your lab homework, meeting with a language tutor, attending a conversation group, or working on a computer. You can find a variety of language specific resources and equipment: language reference books and other supplementary language materials, headphones with microphones, keyboard covers for typing in another language, and more. Language Lab personnel are always available to help students working individually. Visit one of the Language Labs today:

Des Plaines, Room 2446, 847.635.1612
Ray Hartstein (Skokie) Campus, Room C132, 847.635.1493

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.