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South Asia Department

Sinhala Language 2 (PG)

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate… 

  1. knowledge and understanding of intermediate Sinhala grammar
  2. familiarity with the Sinhala script including most conjuncts
  3. ability to use a Sinhala dictionary
  4. knowledge and understanding of a range of Sinhala vocabulary
  5. the ability to produce passages in written Sinhala of medium length on everyday and some specialised topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Sinhala and to engage in spoken dialogue of medium complexity on everyday and some specialised topics
  7. knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Sinhala in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week. 10 research seminars to be taken within SOAS.  Attendance to be proven by signature from chair and to be submitted to the Associate Dean for Masters by the last day of term 2.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides teaching and learning of intermediate level Sinhala language with emphasis on practical written and spoken Sinhala. The course covers word and sentence structure as well as idiomatic use and awareness of linguistic register in written and spoken Sinhala. Communicative practice and structural knowledge is established through reading and discussing a variety of Sinhala texts as well as listening to authentic language samples.
The course provides students with intermediate knowledge of Sinhala and practice of using Sinhala in a variety of everyday and more specialised situations, including the understanding and expression of opinions and different points of view. It allows students to interact with Sinhala speakers in Sinhala and to use original Sinhala language sources within the level covered in the course. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Sinhala language, literature and culture.
A series of special PG lectures with associated seminars structured around the six themes Structure, Texts, Identity, Society, Translation and Transformation (provided for PG students studying different languages) introduces students to general questions of the role of language in language-based scholarship and research and provides them with the critical and methodological skills to relate their language acquisition to the thematic aspects of the studies.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (50%); a language learning portfolio consisting of a set of marked homework, short in-class tests, translation projects (30%); one 15 minute oral examination (10%); regular course work in the form of weekly short tests and 2 mid term tests 1 hour each (10%).

Suggested reading

Course Books  
  • Fairbanks, G., De Silva, M.W.S and  Gair, J. -  Colloquial Sinhalese, Part II, Cornell University. Ithaca,  New York,  1993.
    Karunatillake, W.S. -  An Introduction to Spoken Sinhala, M.D. Gunasena & Co., 1992.

 Supplementary Reading
  • Amarasekera, G, - Jivana Suvanda, Sarasa Press, 1976
  • Amarasekera, G. - Rathurosamala, Sarasa Press, 1974
  • Dissanayake, J.B. - Nuthana Sinhala Vyakaranaya, Lake House, Colombo, 1990
  • Dissanayake, J.B. -  Let’s Learn Sinhala, 3, Sridevi Press, Colombo, 2002
  • Gair, J.and Karunatillake, W.S. - Literary Sinhala Inflected Forms, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1976
  • Godakumbure, C.E. - Sinhalese Literature, The Colombo Apothecaries, 1955
  • Gunasekera, A.M. - A Comprehensive Grammar of the Sinhalese. Colombo, 1891
  • Halpe, A. - Madol Doova (English Translation), Sarasa Limited, Colombo, 2001
  • Jayatillake, K. - Charitha Tunak,  Anula Press, Colombo, 1976
  • Kulasuriya, Ananda, - Sinhala Sahityaya, Saman Press, 1970
  • Reynolds, C.B. (ed.) – An Anthology of Sinhalese Literature, George Allen & Unwin, 1970
  • Reynolds, C.B. - Sinhalese: An Introductory Course, SOAS, 1990
  • Saratchandra, Ediriweera - Kalpana Lokaya, Saman Press, 1965
  • Saratchandra Ediriweera - Maname, Tisara Press, 1996
  • Wickremasinghe, Martin - Madol Duwa, Sarasa Press, Colombo, 2002
  • Wickremasinghe, Martin - Gamperaliya, Sarasa Press, 2004

Additional material from relevant current publications (both Sinhala and English) will be provided throughout the course.