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Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic

Ahlan wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Intermediate Learners by Mahdi Alosh

Primary Use: Textbook for moving from intermediate level Arabic to advanced
Format:18 lessons, each beginning with the lesson objectives, text and grammatical lessons as well as exercises interspersed throughout, cultural components, and a vocabulary list at the end of each chapter
Key:Back of the book
Meant For:Intermediate to advanced


This book continues where it left off in Ahlan wa Sahlan for beginners. It includes an excellent grammar review in the very beginning of the book. It is written in clear English and includes various exercises throughout the review illustrating the grammatical points.

The audio CDs in this book come with the set; however, there is no video component. Aside from that aspect, the rest of the book is conducted in much of the same way as Ahlan wa Sahlan for beginners is conducted.

Each chapter, including the grammar review, states the learning objectives at the beginning, including the grammar involved. Nevertheless, the book approaches grammar from a communicative standpoint, only bringing it into play when definitive examples of how it affects the language can be used.

The grammatical terms employed in the book are in simple English, and where more complex terms are utilized, an explanation is frequently provided. The grammatical topics move from simple to complex throughout, and are occasionally revisited in the text as a sort of review and in order to include more information on a topic.

This book is not intended as a reference guide for grammar, as grammar acquisition is not the goal of this book. Rather, grammar acquisition is a byproduct of developing the ability to use the Arabic language, which is the main goal of the Ahlan wa Sahlan series.

How to Use It

In order to use this book to the fullest extent, one must already know the following:

  1. Arabic script
  2. Arabic numerals
  3. solid Arabic background at the intermediate level, preferably having gone through Ahlan wa Sahlan for beginners

As in Ahlan wa Sahlan for beginners, the chapters in this book are meant to be gone through in order, as each chapter builds on the previous chapters, making it difficult to skip around. The grammatical components are taught in a very orderly fashion and can be learned as the student moves through the book without feeling confused. The key to the exercises is located in appendix B in the back of the book.

Although there is an index that is meant for the entire book and not just for grammar, all grammatical terminology used can be found in the index. There is one in English and one in Arabic, both in alphabetical order. This can be good for those students wishing to review or learn a particular grammatical point. The highly detailed table of contents also includes the grammatical lessons as they appear in the text and can be browsed through in order to find a particular topic. Additionally, there is an appendix in the back that is composed of tables of various verb conjugations.

It is important to note that grammatical terms in Arabic are not found in the Arabic-English dictionary located in the back of Ahlan wa Sahlan, although they can be found in the Arabic index.


Alosh, Mahdi. Ahlan wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Intermediate Learners. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.