This course of Intensive First Year Arabic is designed for students with no previous knowledge, or very limited knowledge, of the Arabic language. Through the communicative approach and audio/visual materials, students learn the sounds, writing system, and basic grammar of Modern Standard Arabic, the form of literary Arabic shared by all Arab countries. Emphasis is placed on the simultaneous development of all the four skills necessary for acquiring any language (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Various aspects of modern Arabic culture and society will provide contexts for the language learning process.

There are no prerequisites for First Year Arabic, and the course assumes no prior knowledge of Arabic. Students who are native or heritage speakers of Arabic or have studied Arabic prior to enrolling in the course have to take the placement exam to assess if they can test out of this course, and into a higher level.