ULUR10010 - Beginners' Urdu

  • Credits: 20
  • Level: 1
  • Pre-requisite: None
  • Co-requisite: None
  • Taught during: Both semesters.
  • Timetable: Timetable for the course.


Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and it is also used in many parts of India. The spoken form is almost identical to Hindi, the principal difference between the two languages being the choice of alphabet. This course is for absolute beginners. It aims to give students a basic functional knowledge of the language and to develop their reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. The teaching approach is dynamic and communicative, utilising individual, pair and group work and exploiting adapted and authentic written and spoken texts. Language and culture is also explored through film, song and poetry. The standard Urdu script is taught during the course.

Students will be expected to use the range of resources available to them in the University Language Centre. They will also be expected to communicate with native speakers in the local Urdu-speaking community wherever possible in order to develop linguistic skills and cultural competence. 

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand short, simple messages and announcements;
  2. Read short simple texts and find specific information;
  3. Communicate in simple, routine situations;
  4. Write simple notes and messages.

In addition, students will gain:

  1. Insights and skills appropriate to working and communicating with people of South Asian backgrounds and cultures;
  2. An introductory knowledge of South Asian culture through film, song and poetry.

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1/A2 of the Common European Framework.

Transferable skills

At the end of the course students will have developed their:

  • Active listening skills;
  • Skimming and scanning skills;
  • Presentation skills;
  • Ability to extract and process information textual information;
  • Intercultural competence.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hour class per week. In order to develop their communicative skills, students will engage in pair work and group work activities, and will have the opportunity to listen to and read a range of adapted and authentic texts. Traditional exercises and written work will be used for grammar practice and consolidation. The course will also incorporate visits to the local Urdu speaking community in Manchester. The course will also have a facility for participants to engage and participate in the class remotely using ‘Go to Meeting’
Language of teaching: English and Urdu


Five pieces of assessed work as follows:

  • Semester one: Speaking 10%; Written (Reading, Grammar, Writing) 25%; assessment will normally take place during weeks 11 and 12;
  • Semester two: Speaking 20%; Listening 20%; Written (Reading, Grammar, Writing) 25%, listening assessment will take place in the week before the Easter break (normally week 7 or 8); Oral and Written assessments will normally be scheduled during weeks 10, 11 and 12.

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of:

  • Informal ongoing oral and written feedback resulting from homework and class based learning activities;
  • Formal written feedback will be given following every assessment.


Justyna Drobnik-Rogers

Taught by

Sheraz Ali

Maximum entry


Set texts*

  • Teach Yourself Complete Urdu, Mohamed Kasim Dalvi (Hodder Education Teach Yourself Books, 2010), ISBN (book): 9781444106053.
  • Book and CD pack (recommended), ISBN: 9781444106879.
  • Urdu Reading and Writing, Sheraz Ali, Mega Publishers, ISBN: 978-0957653429

* Approved for 2017/18

Recommended text

  • Urdu, an essential Grammar, Ruth Laila Schmidt, Routledge Grammars, ISBN: 0415163811.




Successful completion of this course unit will enhance your curriculum vitae and your employability by showing that you have a capacity to learn other languages and the desire to engage with other cultures.