SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

Amharic 1

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year



Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Amharic grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Amharic vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Amharic structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Amharic on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Amharic on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Amharic and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics


This course will be taught 2 evenings a week during term-time, with a further intensive week in the 3rd term before the exams. Students will have a total of 4 hours classroom contact per week. Classes will involve both speaking and listening skill development, and regular practice in writing the language.

Scope and syllabus

The course aims to provide students with a basic practical knowledge of the Amharic language to an introductory level, including functional ability in the script, the fundamental grammatical structures of the language, and a target vocabulary of around 1000 items.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (60%); one oral examination taken in May/June (30%); course assessment (10%).

Suggested reading

The course makes sole use of the textbook Colloquial Amharic (Appleyard, 2000 reprint) and no additional bibliographic material is required.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules