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141174 SE Selected topics of Modern Standard Arabic (2021S)

Arabic in the city

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 24 participants
Language: Arabisch, English



Das Semester ist derzeit digital geplant.
Di 11:30-13:00
Beginn: 09.03.2021


Aims, contents and method of the course

The Arabic-speaking world covers a wide and heterogeneous geographical area and includes very different types of urban settings, national constructions, social organizations and language situations.

This seminar aims at shedding light on the different dimensions of the development of the Arabic language in cities, considered to be places of contact and heterogeneity and therefore, excellent environments for the study of language variation and change.
The topics of the course will focus on the link between social and linguistic processes within urban contexts.

First, the seminar is designed for students to get gradually exposed to relevant notions within general (socio)linguistic theory in order to be able to identify, discuss (in class) and think critically about relevant topics within the general field of Arabic Sociolinguistics.

Secondly, this course aims at walking students through the fundamentals of research and at guiding them in the elaboration of an academic research paper.

The seminar will be taught in English. However, an advanced knowledge of standard Arabic is necessary and having notions of some spoken variety is also a desired requirement.

The approach will be twofold: there will be both a practical and a theoretical part.

The practical part will consist of reading and watching selected material (both written and audiovisual) from different Arabic media. A selection of relevant topics will be studied with their respective vocabulary and real samples of language. The main aim is to provide the students with the necessary tools for them to be able to understand and work with Arabic written and spoken content for their future research.

The material of the practical part will be almost entirely in Arabic and debates in the class will take place also ideally in Arabic (so a previous intermediate - advance knowledge of the language is desirable).

The theoretical part will consist of reading and discussing academic articles (in English) that explore a variety of issues within the topic of Arabic in the city. Students will be encouraged to develop and analytical and critical view towards these topics.

Assessment and permitted materials

This course has a communicative approach. This means that students NEED to read and work on texts and assignments before class. The time in class will be used mainly for activities, group discussions and debates that will build on these readings.

1) Attendance is required. In case of absence, students will be required to review the contents of the class and to present the necessary assignments in the next session. The maximum number of absences allowed is 3. Students who miss more than 3 classes will not be evaluated.

2) Punctuality is expected and required from students. Delays superior to 10 minutes will be considered 1/2 absence.

3) Participation is essential. Every student is an essential component of the class. Students' participation is also the main indicator for the instructor to evaluate whether students have done their designated readings and/or assimilated the contents previously seen in class.

4) Weekly assignments. There will be weekly readings (at least two articles/chapters per week) that will normally amount to approx. 60-80 pages. Some weeks, additional (short) assignments might be also required from the students.

5) A respectful and positive attitude. In this course, we will be dealing with sensitive topics, such as politics, religion, gender, etc. It is of the utmost importance that students come to class with an open and scientific mind. The objective of the class is to explore the diversity of opinions and approaches towards specific sociolinguistic topics in order to broaden our knowledge and awareness on these topics, rather than to impose our personal views about them on others. Lacks of respect will not be tolerated UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Active participation & weekly assignments: 30%
Midterm assignment: 20%
Final research paper: 50%

60% of the aforementioned requirements must be met for the student to complete the course successfully.

Examination topics

The evaluation of this course is continuous. The students' positive attitude, interest and dedication towards this course are HIGHLY appreciated and valued in the final evaluation.

Reading list

A detailed bibliography for the course will be provided the first day of class. All the readings and videos that students might need (and some more) will be uploaded on Moodle on a weekly basis.

Association in the course directory

AS-2, WM-22

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26