Colloquial Moroccan Arabic Language in Context: Novice Abroad

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Course Information
Arabic Language/Studies
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

No Arabic courses are required for this course.

Additional student cost: 



This course will be about Moroccan Arabic or Moroccan Darija.  when we talk about Arabic, we have to mention the fact that there are two types of Arabic (if we may put it this way) FusHa; and that’s the classical Arabic, that’s taught in schools and universities all over the world, It’s the language of Quran and it’s also the language of news channels like Aljazeera and alaarabia. Darija on the other hand is spoken mainly by a specific region or country, and it differs from one region to another. And of course, there are many similarities and differences between FusHa and Darija. (We’ll see the differences and similarities in details in our classes.)

Attendance policy: 

Class attendance is compulsory. Each student will be allowed only two unexcused absences throughout the course. For each unexcused absence beyond this there will be a reduction in the final grade. Students who are late to class on a regular basis will also receive a reduction in their final grade and/or disciplinary action.

Students should not exceed 2 absences in each (45 hours) content course.
Students should not exceed 4 absences in the (90 hours) Arabic language course.

Any additional absence would lower the grades as follows:
1 more absence = will lower the final grade by 5 %
2 more absences= will lower the final grade by 10 %
3 more absences = will lower the grade by 15 %
4 more absences = will lower the grade by 20 %

Any additional absences will continue to lower the final grade by 5% increments. 

Learning outcomes: 
  1. Speaking and Listening
    1. You will be using Darija to talk about your daily activities and to express your personal interests.
    2. You will also be able to talk about different social, and cultural subjects.
  2. Reading
    1. You will be able to read new Darija texts and develop your understanding skills using means of description, comparison, and discussion, and getting better knowledge of Moroccan culture.
  3. Writing
    1. You will develop your writing skills from writing short sentences to writing paragraphs using correct Moroccan Darija.
  4. Culture
    1. You will be exposed to cultural, social and historical aspects of Morocco through traditional stories.

Classes will be done with an interactive approach, using skits and conversations.

Method of presentation: 

The course contents will be delivered by applying a communicative student-centered methodology. The first approximation to the contents will be through texts (written and oral). Students will work individually, in pairs and in groups in order to acquire and to practice (in writing and orally) the new structures, functions and vocabulary. Also, homework will be assigned so that the students can practice, and clarify doubts.

There will be special assignments related to field study trips. The city of Rabat and its people are the perfect scenario for practicing the target language and learning about the ways people live. Therefore, we will draw on this setting to collect pieces of information for our class discussions and to develop a firsthand appreciation of the Arabic language. Information and communication technology will be very present in the classroom. Some assignments will involve internet research; others will involve blog posts, a podcast or twitter. The e-learning module Moodle will provide instructions, assignments, and ancillary materials and activities.

Field study: 

There will be two field studies; one before the midterm and the other after. They are going to be connected to the classes; Ex: We may go to the café to practice ordering/ we may also go to the supermarket and talk about food and prices.

Required work and form of assessment: 

Course Requirements                    

  • Attending classes on a regular basis and participating actively in classes.
  • Preparing well for the classes.
  • Organizing homework and presenting them on time.
  • Using new vocabulary and grammar rules both for homework assignments and classroom discussions.
  • Allowing more time and effort to the class.
  • Doing extra activities in developing the language and communicating with it.
  • There will be one midterm exam and a final exam at the end.


  • Attendance and participation - 20%
  • Homework - 20%
  • Homework correction - 10%
  • Oral presentation - 20%
  • Outside/Group activities(field trip) - 10%
  • Exam - 20%
Week Content Assignments
  1. Functional: Introductions and meeting: Where do I/you live, study?
  2. Grammatical: - Pronouns, Masculine and feminine nouns, Interrogatives
  3. Vocabulary: Getting acquainted.
  4. Culture: Terms of address سيدي، للا، الحاج، الحاجة
  • Interviewing classmates in order to know each other.
  • Students introduce themselves to their host families
  • Quiz 1
  1. Functional: Identifying self and others by nationality, location and occupation.  Asking for and giving addresses and phone numbers
  2. Grammatical: Nominal sentences. Using adjectives (Countries and nationalities)
  3. Vocabulary: Countries and nationalities. Occupations. Numerals (0-10)
  4. Cultural: How to get acquainted
  • Introducing oneself to others
  • Search the Internet to find a US map. Describe the location, the state, the university where they study.
  • Quiz 2
  1. Functional: Talking about immediate family. Converting currencies to the Moroccan Dirham.
  2. Grammatical: Possessive pronouns. Adjectives (genre and number). Demonstrative pronouns.
  3. Vocabulary: Family members. Numerals (11 – 100). Moroccan currency: coins and banknotes.
  4. Culture: The family and the importance of neighbors. Moroccan currency.
  • Presenting student’s family to the class.
  • Students present their monthly budget in the Moroccan currency.
  • Quiz 3
  1. Functional: - Talking about extended family and friends. Making a phone call from inside and outside Morocco.
  2. Grammatical: Verb overview. Present tense. Future tense.
  3. Vocabulary: Family members (cont.). Times and parts of the day. Daily activities.
  4. Cultural: Moroccan tea. Moroccan schedules.
  • Interviewing a classmate peer about his schedules.
  • Make a phone call to inquire about the extended family (members)
  • Quiz 4
  1. Functional: Telling the time and setting appointments for meetings with friends. Getting information about others (address, phone number, news, etc.). Inquiring about office hours, tutoring,
  2. Grammatical: Plural forms. Interrogatives. 
  3. Vocabulary: Time
  4. Cultural: Languages in Morocco (origin of words in Darija).
  • Role play: Students call the students’ affairs office to inquire about office hours, give and get information  (address, phone number, time, etc)
  • Quiz 5
  1. Functional: Narrating in the present and the past. 
  2. Grammatical: Negating verbs. Negating words other than verbs. 
  3. Vocabulary: Daily activities.
  4. Cultural: The public bath. Folk traditions. 
  • Interviewing a person outside the classroom about his/her daily activities.
  • Presentations: The daily life of an American student in Rabat.
  • Quiz 6
  1. Functional: Giving orders politely at a café. Describing & ordering meals. Expressing wishes & desires. 
  2. Grammatical: The imperative. 
  3. Vocabulary: Food and drinks. Meals and ingredients. Daily meals. Food habits.
  4. Cultural: Moroccan food. Menus and meals in Morocco.
  • Role play: A dialog in a restaurant or at a café.
  • Internet research and Oral presentation about a typical Moroccan dish.
  • Deciding if the student follows a healthy diet.
  • Midterm Exam 
  1. Functional: Shopping at different places (souks, markets, hypermarkets).
  2. Grammatical: Relative clauses. Irregular verbs.
  3. Vocabulary: Shopping items. Shopping places.
  4. Cultural: Shopping in traditional weekly souks (traditional markets). 
  • Role play: Students buy items from a corner shop.
  • Presentation: Students compare Moroccan traditional souks with modern hypermarkets.
  • Quiz 8
  1. Functional: Ordering a meal at a restaurant. Describing & ordering meals. Expressing wishes & desires
  2. Grammatical: Active & passive participles. Auxiliary (to be)
  3. Vocabulary: Dishes. Food items.
  4. Cultural: Traditional Moroccan dishes.
  • Role play: Ordering meals at traditional restaurant and at a modern restaurant
  • Presentations: Food students eat in the States and in Morocco.
  • Quiz 9
  1. Functional: - Making a hotel reservation. Asking for and giving instructions. Describing rooms, houses, and places.
  2. Grammatical: Prepositions. Using pronouns with verbs and prepositions.
  3. Vocabulary: Rooms in a house. Places in the city.
  4. Cultural: Names of places. The concept of Medina.
  • Making a hotel reservation
  • Asking for directions. Giving directions.
  • Quiz 10
  1. Functional: Hobbies & pastimes. Asking about and reporting the weather.
  2. Grammatical: Superlatives. Verbal nouns.
  3. Vocabulary: Hobbies. Weather.
  4. Cultural: Regions in Morocco.
  • Presentations: Talking about hobbies.
  • Interpreting weather maps
  • Quiz 11
  1. Functional: Inquiring about bus and train schedules. Making future plans.
  2. Grammatical: Future tense. Conditional.
  3. Vocabulary: Means of transport. Travel.
  4. Cultural: Traditional means of transport inside and outside the city.
  • Looking for travel deals on the internet, choosing one and presenting it to the rest of the class
  • Quiz 12
13 Review and Final Exam  


Required readings: 

Materials are prepared by the IES Abroad language faculty. The teaching materials include texts, conversations, pictures, listening, and cultural Moroccan stories.

Previous Course Name: 
(Formerly AB 100B Colloquial Moroccan Arabic)