Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) Courses

What is Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)?

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)  is the modern counterpart of Classical Arabic, the language of the Quran. Modern Standard Arabic is learned as a primary language at all levels of education in Arabic speaking countries and listened in TV and radio broadcast. It is also widely used in print media, official documents, correspondence. It is the official language of 22 Arab countries where it is used in its oral and written form and especially on formal occasions.

The geographical span of Modern Standard Arabic encompasses the northernmost part of Africa from Mauritania to Egypt, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Iraq. It is estimated that some 165,000,000 people throughout the Muslim world have some knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic.

The main difference between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic lies in the vocabulary. MSA reflects the needs of those who use contemporary expressions while Classical Arabic reflects the needs of those who use Arabic for traditional scholarship and religious ceremony.

With the growth of western knowledge in the Middle East and North Africa and the rise of the printing press and the media and the film industry and modern social development, classical linguistics were expanded to fit the modern situation.

Modern Standard Arabic as a standard of acceptable Arabic became the link between modern society and classical Arabic for the majority of people in the Arab world. The changes made in spoken and written Arabic by the educated elite of the Arab world has resulted in the development of what we today call Modern Standard Arabic.

Modern Standard Arabic as mentioned above has evolved from Classical Arabic, and therefore both are pretty similar. However, first-time Arabic learners would probably be better off starting with classical Arabic so that when they begin learning Modern Standard Arabic the transition will be an easier one even from a comparative point of view.


Our Arabic courses have been structured for the students to gain mastery of both classical and modern texts and for them to develop strong communication skills.

The courses of the Arabic Program have been specifically developed and designed for English-speakers. The Arabic Program offers a transitional learning approach. This means that our students start their program by learning at the beginning and intermediate levels in Arabic and English, and are gradually transitioned to learning the advanced levels of Arabic in the Arabic language only.

This instructional approach allows for a seamless and smooth transition from English and Arabic as the first mediums of instruction to complete Arabic as the main medium of instruction. It also ensures that the students clearly understand the rules and structures of Arabic in their own language so that no learning gaps occur. At the advanced level, the students will be able to apply their already acquired skills in the Arabic language solely.

From our past experiences, we have seen that full immersion programs have the tendency to leave learning gaps with students because they are not allowed to use their native language in the immersion setting to ask vital questions about the target language. On the other hand, our transitional learning approach allows the students to ask questions in their native language which helps to clarify vital points regarding grammar and vocabulary. if these questions are left unaddressed, this may cause learning gaps that ultimately undermine the full understanding of the Arabic language and its subtleties.


The EFAL Arabic Courses are suitable for students of all Arabic language levels and abilities

The Curriculum – The Seven Skills Development

Our Arabic Courses focus on intensive language learning and specialized area studies and training. This course aims at building the student’s Seven Language Skills: Reading, Composition and Style, Grammar, Listening and Interpreting, Speaking, Pronunciation and Diction (Tajwīd), and Translation.

 Arabic Courses – Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):

  • Increase the student’s ability to read and handle classical and modern Arabic texts with a high level of comprehension and proficiency
  • Increase the student’s ability to speak Arabic with a well-developed vocabulary
  • Increase the student’s ability to translate accurately by showing them how to avoid translations which are either too literal (representing the exact words of the original text) or too figurative (that is to say: free from exaggeration or distortion).


READING: Introduction to Reading, Beginner Level Reading, Intermediate Level Reading, Advance Level Reading

COMPOSITION AND STYLE: Beginner Level Composition and Style, Intermediate Level Composition and Style, Advance Level Composition and Style

GRAMMAR: Beginner Level Grammar, Intermediate Level Grammar, Advanced Level Grammar 

LISTEN AND SPEAKING: Beginner Level Listening and Speaking Intermediate Level Listening and Speaking, Advance Level Listening and Speaking

PRONUNCIATION AND DICTION (TAJWID): Beginner Level Pronunciation and Dictation (TajwīdIntermediate Pronunciation and Diction (Tajwīd), Advance Pronunciation and Diction (Tajwīd)

TRANSLATION: Beginner Level Translation, Intermediate Level Translation, Advance Level Translation

The medium of Instruction EFAL Arabic Courses



Primary Medium of Instruction

Usage of Student’s Native Language

Level 1


English / Arabic

Maximum Usage

Level 2


English / Arabic

50 / 50 Usage

Level 3


Arabic Only

Minimum to Zero Usage