28342 - Arabic Language and Literature I (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have acquired a basic knowledge of Arabic Language and will be able to understand and produce simple sentences in Arabic. Moreover, they will be able to expose (in Italian) the course contents, both in in oral and written form, also with reference to the relevant bibliography.

Course contents

The course will be divided into two parts, which will be strictly interconnected: Arabic Language, and History of Arabic Literature.


Students will be taught basics of Classical Arabic Language (CLA) and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in reading, writing, phonetics, morphology, syntax and vocabulary, so as to develop the necessary skills for an effective use of CLA/MSA in simple communication tasks, such as translating/producing short written texts and bunderstanding/producing” short oral texts. Basic grammar: main forms of nominal declension; first conjugation form of verbs (both in perfect and present tenses); so-called "deaf" and "weak" verbs. .

Some basic notions of history and sociolinguistic of the Arabic language, with special focus on the themes of diglossia and linguistic variation.

History of Literature
An introduction to the history of Arabic literature will be provided, from pre-Islamic times (VI-VII centuries) to the Mamulk period (XIII-XVI centuries). The following items will be paid special attention: pre-Islamic poetry, the Koran; The formation of the Adab genre; social representations on gender, religious diversity and ethnic diversity as reflected in literary works.


The 6 CTU Course "Arabic Language and Literature 1 (LM) - Code 28732" is held together with the present course. Students enrolled in Course 28732 are kindly invited to contact the Teacher to agree upon appropriate adaptations of the final exam program.



Arabic Language

1. CECERE, Giuseppe, Quaderni di Esercitazione di Lingua Araba, (PDF booklet uploaded in the Teacher's Website), p. 1-35.

2. VECCIA VAGLIERI, Laura, Grammatica teorica-pratica della Lingua Araba, vol. I, Roma, Istituto per l'Oriente. .

Old edition (WHITE Cover): p. 50-80; 109-112.

Or the same issues in other textbooks (e.g.: Veccia-Vaglieri new edition; Deheuvels; Durand; Darghmouni...), to be agreed upon with the Teacher.

3.MION, Giuliano, La lingua araba, Roma: Carocci, 2007, p. 15-27; 37-59.

4. Audiovisual materials from the Online Experimental Course "Sabily (Open Source), Lessons 1 to 24.


Arabic Literature:

1. AMALDI, Daniela, Storia della letteratura araba classica, Bologna: Zanichelli, 2004, p. 1-6; 9-30; 31-46.


Arabic Language

ANGHELESCU, Nadia, Linguaggio e cultura nella civilità araba, (traduz. it. Michele Vallaro), Torino: Silvio Zamorani editore, 1993.

N.B.: Non-attending Students are kindly invited to contact the Teacher in order to agree on times and ways for carrying out their individual "context analysis" (see below, Section "Teaching Methods") and, if needed, to define personalized bibliographical suggestions in the light of their own individual learning project.


Suggested Readings For "Beginners":

1. For those who have no prior knowledge of the history of the Arab world, reading of the following handbook is strongly recommended:

SILVERSTEIN, Adam J., Islamic history. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010 (Italian translation: Adam J. Silverstein, Breve storia dell'Islam, Rome: Carocci, 2013).

2. For the language part, no preliminary knowledge is required. However, anyone who wants to get an overview of the main issues related to the study of the Arabic language and the main features of this language is invited to fully read the text by Giuliano MION mentioned above.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods


An original teaching methodology is proposed. The grammatical approach which is "traditional" in academic teaching of Arabic language, mainly oriented to develop student's passive skills in written communication (translation from Arabic into Italian), is combined with the mostly inductive and mimetic approach proposed by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Learning / Teaching / Assessment).

The latter's guidelines have been of course reviewed according to the peculiar characteristics of the Arabic language and the special objectives of the course.


In compliace with the guidelines provided by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the operational methodology will be further developed on the basis of a thorough “context analysis”. This will be aimed at identifying each student's individual educational needs, as well as their previous linguistic skills (included in languages other than Arabic), their own favored learning style, in order to build didactic projects as individualized as possible.

Nota Bene:

Please Kindly Note:

In order to be more effective, the context analysis should be completed well in advance of the actual start of the courses.

For this reasons, Students interested in the Course are invited to fill in the individual presentation form available in "Virtuale" (teaching resources space), and to send it to the teacher's email address (giuseppe.cecere3@unibo. it) no later than 31 October 2021.

Assessment methods


Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.


Final Exam Structure


The final exam consists is an oral test, and is divided into two parts:  a test relating to the language and one relating to literature. Both parts are valued out of thirty. The grade of the literature part accounts for 25% of the final grade of the exam.

To access the oral exam relating to the language, the student must take a preliminary written test, which does not 'account' for  the grade but only serves to assess, as a preliminary step, any problems or gaps to be corrected in view of the oral exam.


The part of the exam relating to the language will be aimed at verifying the student's command of the Arabic language, at the level required by the Course, with particular reference to the following skills:

Reception and production of messages written in Arabic;
Translation of written messages from Arabic into Italian;
Autonomous production of messages written in Arabic.

Therefore, the student is offered exercises relating to these different skills (short translations; comprehension; sentences to complete, verbs to conjugate, etc.).


The literature test aims to verify the knowledge acquired during the course, through the comment of some texts among those analyzed in class during the lessons, and the ability to briefly and critically explain the topics covered in the course on the basis of the content of the bibliography. examination and teaching materials provided.

The assessment will therefore be based on:
- ability to comment on selected texts, ie the ability to identify and contextualize them historically;
- mastery of contents;
- ability to synthesize and analyze themes and concepts;
- ability to express oneself adequately and with the language appropriate to the subject matter.


Top marks will be awarded to a student displaying an ability to provide a full-fledged linguistic and historical commentary of the selected texts and an overall understanding of the topics discussed during the lectures, combined with a critical approach to the material and a confident and effective use of the appropriate terminology

Average marks will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary, while failing to display a complete command of the appropriate terminology.

A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he/she displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the subject, together with a poor command of the appropriate terminology.

Teaching tools

Teaching tools

Textbooks will be integrated with a wide range of other tools, mostly relying on Arabic sources (audiovisual, press, literary texts, as well as religious, legal, economic and political texts).

Office hours

See the website of Giuseppe Cecere