SOAS University of London

Africa Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Hausa 1 (PG)

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

PLEASE NOTE: This module will be divided into two 15-credit modules next academic year (i.e Language A and Language B). The overall objectives and outcomes for the year will not change. There may be some slight changes to the formal assessment. Students will be required to take a written test in the last week of Term 1 and should therefore not plan to be absent from SOAS at this time.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  1. A knowledge and understanding of the basic grammatical structures of the Hausa language
  2. A knowledge and understanding of essential Hausa vocabulary
  3. The ability to understand basic expressions in spoken Hausa dealing with everyday topics
  4. The ability to engage in short spoken discourse in Hausa on everyday topics
  5. The ability to produce short passages in written Hausa
  6. The knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Hausa in particular, in language-based research.


A total of 22 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

This module provides an introduction to Hausa with an emphasis on the practical use of the language. The web-based Hausar Baka course provides audio-visual data, in dramatised situations and conversations, set and recorded in Kano, Nigeria. Topics covered include a range of everyday situations. This data is studied and analysed formally. The phonetics and phonology of this tone language are the starting points and remain core. The varieties of predication, and in particular the patterned verbal system, are studied in detail.

Students will learn to use the Hausa language in both its spoken and written forms. This will allow  students to interact with Hausa speakers in a variety of basic everyday situations, providing students with a basis to approach research topics relating to the society and culture of Hausa-speaking communities and communities for whom Hausa is a well-known lingua franca. The grammatical element of the module is a basis for further research into a variety of linguistic topics.

A series of special PG lectures with associated seminars structured around 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 their studies.  

Method of assessment

One three-hour written paper taken in May/June (50%); portfolio of language homework exercises (30%); one 15 minute oral examination (20%).

Suggested reading

1) The module will be based on :
  • Randell, Richard, Abdullahi Bature, and Russell G. Schuh. 1998. Hausar Baka (‘Gani Ya Kori Ji’): Elementary and Intermediate Lessons in Hausa Language and Culture. Windsor, CA : World of Languages.

and additional materials which will be made available throughout the course

2) Additional Hausa References
Hausa learning materials
  • Awde, N.  1996.  Hausa-English English-Hausa Dictionary.  New York : Hippocrene. 
  • Cowan, J.R  and R.G. Schuh : 1976. Spoken Hausa, Ithaca NY : Spoken Language Services.
  • Kraft, C, and A.H.M. Kirk-Greene. 1973.  Teach Yourself Hausa.  London : English Universities Press
  • Newman, P. A Hausa-English Dictionary.  New Haven CT & London : Yale UP
  • Newman, Roxana M.  1990.  An English-Hausa Dictionary. Yale Language Series. New Haven CT & London : Yale UP
Linguistic Studies
  • Jaggar, P. J.  2001.  Hausa.  London Oriental and African Language Library.  Amstedam & Philadelphia : John Benjamins
  • Newman, P.  2000.  The Hausa Language. An encyclopedic reference grammar.  New Haven & London : Yale UP  
Further reading
  • Furniss, G.L. 1996.  Poetry, Prose and Popular Culture in Hausa. Edinburgh :EUP
  • Larkin, B.  2008.  Signal and Noise. Media, infrastructure, and urban culture In Nigeria.  2008.  Durham NC : Duke UP


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules