The Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies (Middle East & Central Asia) forms part of the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences at The Australian National University. CAIS is Australia’s premier location for studies in this field, with a high international standing and links with major counterparts in the Arab & Muslim world, as well as in North America and Europe.

What is auditing?

Auditing or "listening in" offers access to some ANU courses (lectures only).

The Centre for Continuing Education offers access to approved ANU courses for people who want to listen in to lectures without actually enrolling as a degree student. Auditors (listeners) do not generally require any special qualifications except for those courses where prerequisites are necessary - this can be ascertained by consulting the ANU website.

Audit students may not sit formal examinations. An Audit enrolment guarantees admission only to lectures. Attendance at lectures will under no circumstances be accepted as credit towards a degree program. Auditors may seek permission from the faculty to attend tutorials (subject to space being available), additional fees may apply.

No dates are currently scheduled.

* This course is available in Semester 1 2020

In the first year, students undertaking Introductory Arabic "A" and Introductory Arabic "B" develop basic competences in both written and oral grammatical patterns, both orally and in writing, using Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and learn to interact in limited aspects of everyday life situations. Emphasis at this stage is on mastering the Arabic sound system and pronunciation.

This course assumes no previous knowledge of the language. It covers the Arabic script, sound system and basic grammar rules. The teaching uses a new method of audio-visual and audio-lingual approach and is designed to develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing by the use of dialogues, class interaction and oral and written drills. Language laboratory work may be incorporated into the course. On completion of the course, students will have acquired the ability to speak at a basic level in Modern Standard Arabic, the ability to read and understand a range of simple Arabic texts within a vocabulary range of 300-400 most commonly used words, basic grammatical structures of the Arabic language and familiarity with some Arabic cultural practices and traditions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Recognise all of the characters of the Modern Standard Arabic alphabet;
  2. Read very simple text with high frequency structural patterns and vocabulary related to basic topics;
  3. Use Modern Standard Arabic alphabet (hand-written and typed) to write short and simple sentences and paragraphs with correct present and future tense and limited past tense about basic topics;
  4. Use a dictionary or online resources to assist own oral, aural, reading and written communication strategies;
  5. Communicate in simple conversations including greetings, courtesy requirements, personal and accommodation needs and provide simple biographical information; and
  6. Listen and respond to simple questions about basic topics.

More information

No dates are currently scheduled.

The Arabic Language major sequence enables students to acquire valuable skills pertaining to the use of Arabic in a communicative way, as well as an understanding of the Arabic culture. It trains students to achieve communicative competence in four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It also prepares students to function at different levels within the Arabic speaking societies and to interact with people.
In the first year, students undertaking Introductory Arabic A and Introductory Arabic B develop basic competences in both written and oral grammatical patterns, both orally and in writing, using Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), and learn to interact in limited aspects of everyday life situations. Emphasis is on mastering the Arabic sound system and pronunciation.

This course extends from Introductory Arabic A. Students will develop their skills in reading, writing and conversation and undertake translation from and into Arabic at an advanced introductory level.

Learning Outcomes

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Read simple handwritten or printed material containing frequently used structural forms, patterns and vocabulary
  2. Read and understand known language elements that have been recombined in new ways to achieve different meanings at similar levels of grammatical complexity
  3. Demonstrate sufficient control of Modern Standard Arabic vocabulary and syntactic patterns to meet social demands and write passages related to social and cultural activities, while expressing main tenses with accuracy
  4. Use a dictionary or online resources to assist own oral, aural, reading and written communication strategies and engage in independent reading and writing
  5. Articulate developed courtesy requirements and maintain simple face-to-face conversations on familiar topics
  6. Respond to and formulate questions in order to engage in a conversation about simple personal and social matters, or to present a chosen topic to an audience.

What is auditing?

Auditing or "listening in" offers access to some ANU undergraduate courses (lectures only).

The Centre for Continuing Education offers access to approved ANU undergraduate courses for people who want to listen in to lectures without actually enrolling as a degree student. Auditors (listeners) do not generally require any special qualifications except for those courses where prerequisites are necessary - this can be ascertained by consulting the current ANU Undergraduate Handbook.

Audit students may not sit formal examinations. An Audit enrolment guarantees admission only to lectures. Attendance at lectures will under no circumstances be accepted as credit towards a degree program. Auditors may seek permission from the faculty to attend tutorials (subject to space being available), additional fees may apply.  


No dates are currently scheduled.

Requiring no previous knowledge of the language, Introductory Persian A instructs students in the fundamentals of the Persian Language which is the mother tongue of more than 150 million people in the Middle East and is spoken today primarily in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Students will quickly master the Persian script and on completion of the course be able to speak, listen, read, write, and comprehend Modern Standard Persian at a basic level across various everyday communicative subjects in both semi-formal and formal social and literary contexts. Students will acquire a basic vocabulary of the 300-400 most commonly used words as well as understand and reproduce the most important grammatical structures in Persian. Historically, Persian was widely understood from the Mediterranean to India, and Introductory Persian A students will acquire a familiarity with the rich Persian historical, literary, and cultural legacy across the great Middle East and Central Asia with a particular focus on Iran.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Read all characters of the Persian alphabet and simple cursive writing equivalent to usual printing or typescript containing high-frequency structural patterns and vocabulary
  2. Speak with understandable pronunciation and maintain simple, predictable face-to-face conversations, and responding to simple questions on familiar topics
  3. Write independently with sufficient control of the Persian script and basic vocabulary  with some grammatical and syntactical error (including in the present and past tense) in handwriting and/or typing
  4. Comprehend short conversations and questions beyond basic survival needs and limited social demands in areas of immediate need or on familiar topics in both the present and past tenses

More information


No dates are currently scheduled.

This course extends from Introductory Persian A. Students will develop their skills in reading, writing and conversation and undertake translation from and into Persian at a higher introductory level. Students will develop a larger vocabulary relating to a wider range of topics, building on their studies in Introductory Persian A.


Course Instruction Method and Enrolment (Mode of Delivery) Introductory Persian B may be taken either on-campus or online. Both Modes of Delivery provide an equivalent introductory foundation in the Persian language for all four fundamental language skills and have an equivalent workload. ANU students will normally enrol in the on-campus mode of delivery but may also enrol online (subject to visa requirements);  students from other institutions around Australia or internationally may elect to enrol cross-institutionally in the online course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 

  1. Read Persian texts in simple and calligraphic styles containing frequent structural forms and patterns with confidence
  2. Speak with understandable pronunciation and initiate and maintain predictable face-to-face conversations on personal, everyday and cultural topics with a demonstrated knowledge of social courtesy demands
  3. Write independently with full control of the Persian script with minimal grammatical and syntactical error (including in the present, past and future tenses) in handwriting and/or typing on social and cultural topics
  4. Comprehend medium-length conversations and questions beyond survival needs and meet social requirements in the present, past, and future tenses as well as the imperative.

More information

No dates are currently scheduled.

This course extends on the foundation built in Introductory Persian A and B. It involves a more detailed presentation of functions of the language, oral and aural practice, and reading of texts and the writing of compositions that incorporate features of the language already presented through some important cultural issues. On completion of this subject students will have acquired upper-intermediate proficiency in Persian conversational forms, a reasonable proficiency in written structures and an ability to formulate such structures, an understanding of some of the commonly used grammatical structures of Persian and the ability to apply them in speech and writing, the ability to interpret messages of an average complexity occurring in some audio-visual media and in individual and group spoken forms, and familiarity with some of the dominant cultural ideas and forms in the Persian culture.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate sufficient reading comprehension to understand factual material in nontechnical prose as well as some discussions on concrete topics related to personal interests, social, cultural and historical matters using relevant knowledge of linguistic and cultural context.
  2. Speak with understandable pronunciation and initiate and maintain predictable face-to-face conversations to satisfy regular social demands with fundamentally accurate grammar, common forms of verbs and tenses, and suitable vocabulary, including both formal and colloquial Persian.
  3. Write routine social correspondence, about daily situations, current events and describe surroundings and causation with good control of morphology, punctuation and grammatical conventions.
  4. Comprehend short conversations and questions about social, cultural, and historical issues with flexibility in understanding a range of circumstances beyond basic survival needs in present, future and past tenses.

More Information

No dates are currently scheduled.

This course extends on the skill set developed in Intermediate Persian A, itself a foundation on Introductory Persian A and B. It involves a more detailed presentation of functions of the language, oral and aural practice, and reading of texts and the writing of compositions that incorporate features of the language already presented through some important cultural issues. On completion of this subject students will have acquired upper-intermediate proficiency in Persian conversational forms, a versatile proficiency in understanding written structures and an ability to formulate such structures, an understanding of some of the commonly used grammatical structures of Persian and the ability to apply them in speech and writing, the ability to interpret messages of an average complexity occurring in audio-visual media and in individual and group spoken forms, and familiarity with some of the dominant cultural ideas and forms of Persian culture and history.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1.  Demonstrate sufficient reading comprehension to understand factual material in nontechnical prose as well as most discussion on concrete and abstract topics using relevant knowledge of linguistic and cultural context, including with unfamiliar material.
  2. Speak with understandable pronunciation and initiate and maintain predictable face-to-face conversations to satisfy both regular and uncommon social demands with fundamentally correct grammar, accurate and suitable use of verbs and tenses, and suitable vocabulary, including both in formal, standard, and colloquial Persian.
  3. Write correspondence and compositions on academic topics as well as about daily situations, current events and describe surroundings and causation with good control of morphology, punctuation and grammatical conventions at an upper-intermediate level.
  4. Comprehend and engage in medium-length conversations and trade questions about personal, social, cultural, and historical issues with flexibility in understanding a range of circumstances beyond basic survival needs in all tenses.

More information


No dates are currently scheduled.

This course builds on the Introductory and Intermediate levels of Persian language. This subject will develop the full range of linguistic skills in Persian such as the capacity to use idiomatic and conversational forms and to use them freely in speech; proficiency in written structures of moderate to advanced complexity and the capacity to use such structures clearly and accurately; interpreting messages of a medium level of complexity occurring in a variety of audio-visual media and individual and group spoken forms. Students should become conversant in some aspects of advanced Persian syntax and morphology, the historical development of Persian language and literature up to the modern period including examples of literary writing in the modern period, and translation of texts of moderate difficulty from Persian to English and English to Persian.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate competency in understanding factual material on concrete and abstract topics, while using knowledge of linguistic and cultural context to understand current social and political situations.
  2. Demonstrate command of grammar, pronunciation, and intonation accurately in all social contexts with minimal difficulty to satisfy social and informational demands.
  3. Demonstrate ability to write and translate texts of moderate difficulty between Persian and English (bi-directional) with good control of correct morphology, syntactical structures, punctuation, and in a legible and stylistically correct handwriting.
  4. Comprehend and participate in conversations on personal, social, and some limited abstract and academic topics at upper-intermediate and advanced levels.

More information

No dates are currently scheduled.

This course builds on Advanced Persian A. It will develop various skills such as the capacity to use some idiomatic and conversational forms and ability to use them freely in speech; proficiency in written structures of advanced complexity and the capacity to use such structures clearly and accurately; interpreting messages of an advanced level of complexity occurring in a variety of audio-visual media and individual and group spoken forms. Students should become conversant in some aspects of advanced Persian syntax and morphology, the historical development of Persian language and literature up to the modern period including some examples of literary writing and translation of sophisticated classical and modern poetry and prose.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Comprehend concrete and abstract topics presented in different mediums using knowledge of linguistic and cultural content to an advanced level.
  2. Apply grammar, pronunciation and intonation accurately in a written and spoken medium for different contexts.
  3. Write and translate texts of high difficulty between Persian and English with control of correct morphology, syntactical structures and punctuation in a legible and stylistically correct grammar.
  4. Comprehend and engage in extended-length conversations using Persian at an advanced level.

More information