SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

Intermediate Swahili 2A (PG)

Module Code:
Unit value:
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. Intermediate level competence in Swahili, with focus on reading, writing and grammar
  2. the ability to understand and engage in spoken discourse of medium complexity on everyday topics and some specialised others
  3. the ability to read and write texts of general interest with the help of a dictionary
  4. a knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and specifically about the history and sociolinguistics of Swahili language


A total of 22 weeks teaching with 4 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 builds on the basic grammatical knowledge and oral skills acquired in Swahili I. Students will be introduced to texts on an intermediate level, such as short stories, essays, newspaper articles, and other authentic language materials. At the end of the course students should manage to interact with Swahili speakers in Swahili, and to use original Swahili language sources for research purposes.

Additionally, they will receive a series of special lectures structured around six themes: Structure, Texts, Identity, Society, Translation and Transformation provided for PG students studying different languages to introduce them to language-based scholarship and research. The aim is to provide them with the critical and methodological skills necessary to relate their acquired Swahili to thematic aspects of their studies.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written paper taken in May/June (40%); a 3,000 word (or equivalent) translation to be submitted on day 1, term 3 (30%); one 15 minute oral examination (10%); coursework (2 quizzes) (10%); 1 hour aural examination (audio/video) (10%).


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