Dr Rasha Soliman

Dr Rasha Soliman


Teaching Arabic as a Second Language has been my career since 1995. I started teaching Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic in Cairo before I decided in 2001 to pursue an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. In 2004, I moved to the UK and took an Arabic teaching post at the University of Manchester where I contributed to the teaching of Arabic at all UG and PG levels. I designed a module for final year students on the language of Arabic Media and Business. In January 2015, I completed my PhD study in Arabic Applied Linguistics. My research focused on the mutual intelligibility between speakers of different Arabic dialects. It also focused on how to incorporate Arabic language variation in the classroom.  In September, 2015, I joined the University of Leeds. Since then I have been involved in various School roles acting as the UG Admissions Lead for Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Lead for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Director of Leeds Centre for Excellence in Language Teaching and currently holding the role of a Deputy Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

My scholarship expertise: I have an interest in several areas that relate to Arabic Applied Linguistics. My most recent research focused on Investigating and responding to teachers’ beliefs of the integration of variation in Arabic school teaching. The research was sponsored by Qatar Foundation International and led to the publication of Guidelines on the Integration of Dialectal Variation in Arabic Teaching.

External Examiner experience: Undergraduate and Postgraduate coursework and research at: The University of Edinburgh, Goldsmiths – University of London, Nottingham Trent University, Coventry University, University of Cambridge, Manchester Metropolitan University, UNILANG  for the Association of University Language Communities.

Conferences: I have been involved in the organisation of a number of international conferences on Arabic teaching in the UK and abroad. I have also contributed as a keynote in distinguished academic events including the First Conference for The Spanish Association for Arabic Teachers, The International Conference on Arabic Language and Linguistics at the American University of Cairo and at the UNESCO Arabic Language Day 2022.


  • Deputy Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Research interests

Arabic Applied Linguistics with a focus on:

  • Diglossia
  • Arabic Language Variation and Dialectal Mutual Intelligibility
  • Teaching Arabic as a Second Language
  • Methods of Grammar Teaching
  • Arabic Language Learning Needs & Attitudes
  • Second Language Teacher Education
  • The application of the Common European Framework of Reference to the teaching of Arabic as a Second Language

Research Projects

I am currently working on a project that aims to create of a CEFR vocabulary profile for Arabic language incorporating dialectal variation.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Arabic Applied Linguistics - University of Leeds
  • MA in Applied Linguistics - University of Southern Queensland - Australia
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Second Language Teaching - University of Southern Queensland

Professional memberships

  • BAAL - British Association for Applied Linguistics
  • UCFL - University Council For Languages
  • AULC - Association of University Language Centres

Student education

I convene and teach Level 1 Arabic Language modules.

Research groups and institutes

  • Arabic
  • Dialectology
  • Language at Leeds
  • Language variation
  • Language pedagogy

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>