Arabic Beginners (Preliminary Course)
The Arabic Beginners Course is a course written and produced by the Open High School. Students study Modern Standard Arabic and gain a wide exposure to the Arabic language, as well as the diverse cultures and way of life of Arabic-speaking communities. The Preliminary Course consists of 12 units of work. An Audio CD produced by the Open High School will accompany the work, as well as various links to online tasks to consolidate student learning. The work is based on the textbook Ahlan wa Sahlan, 1st Edition. The HSC course consists of 18 units of work, plus additional materials to help students prepare for the upcoming HSC examination.
Weekly phone contact with their teacher allows students to practice the speaking skills component of the course interactively, in addition to providing instant feedback, support and an opportunity for students to discuss their study of Arabic with their teacher. Students are also encouraged to communicate with their teacher via email.
Ahlan wa Sahlan, 1st Edition - must be purchased by the home school or student.
All students should have a comprehensive language dictionary. Please consult the Arabic faculty for advice re dictionaries.
Stage 6 Syllabuses (From Board of Studies)
Click here to go to our Syllabus Downloads page - choose your language and then download the relevant syllabus.
Official Arabic-Speaking Countries
Official Language Of
Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, and Yemen as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations. In addition, it is widely spoken in countries such as Somalia and is the language of the holy writings of Muslims throughout the world.
Total Number of Speakers
More than 280 million
Arabic alphabet, Syriac alphabet
Arabic is a Central Semitic language, thus related to and classified alongside other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and the Neo-Aramaic languages. In terms of speakers, Arabic is the largest member of the Semitic language family. It is spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language, most of whom live in the Middle East and North Africa, and by 250 million more as a second language. Arabic has many different, geographically-distributed spoken varieties, some of which are mutually unintelligible. Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools, universities, and used in workplaces, government and the media.
Modern Standard Arabic derives from Classical Arabic, the only surviving member of the Old North Arabian dialect group, attested in Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions dating back to the 4th century. Classical Arabic has also been a literary language and the liturgical language of Islam since its inception in the 7th century.
Arabic has lent many words to other languages of the Islamic world. During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence is seen in Mediterranean languages, particularly Spanish, Portuguese, and Sicilian, due to both the proximity of European and Arab civilization and 700 years of Arab rule in the Iberian peninsula.
Arabic has also borrowed words from many languages, including Hebrew, Persian and Syriac in early centuries, and contemporary European languages in modern times.