Arabic (St Katharine’s Study)

The one-year Arabic course gives you an introduction to the Arabic language and broader culture of the countries it is spoken in. The course is split between language acquisition and cultural exploration within the Arabic-speaking world with scope for independent research. There will be four periods of teaching time per week with up to two hours set aside for homework.

Why choose Arabic?

This is a wonderful opportunity to gain an additional language that is becoming more and more important in our current economic and political climate. Learning Arabic will not only make you stand out (as it is not generally offered at school level in the UK) but will allow you to connect to people from more than 23 countries and to understand the background of the 1.5 billion Muslims, as well as forming an understanding about the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Topics studied

The emphasis throughout the course will be on Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) but some dialect will feature as there are huge variations in the spoken Arabic used across the region. All language skills will feature and the students should be able to hold a conversation/write about themselves or known subjects in Arabic by the end of the course. The cultural aspect will cover the geographical area where Arabic is spoken, and the emergence of Arabic and Islam from the Middle Ages right through to the 21st century. Over the past few years we have looked at the regional foods through restaurant visits and a cooking project, music and art. The latter was part of independent research allowing students the freedom to explore areas they found particularly interesting and then sharing them with the rest of the class.


We do not currently offer an external accreditation but all students will be continuously assessed through internal tests and presentations. The emphasis is very much on learning for the sake of learning, not to pass an examination or gain an extra qualification.

“I find Arabic really interesting and although it can be challenging it is worth it!”

Taking it further

You can continue to study Arabic after leaving school. Arabic is currently offered as a degree course at many universities as an Honours or Joint Honours degree. There is also the option to continue Arabic at language centres in many universities.

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