SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Elementary Written Turkish

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 course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Turkish grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Turkish vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Turkish structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Turkish on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce sentences and short passages in written Turkish on everyday topics
  6. knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Turkish in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)


A total of 22 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week.  In addition Masters students will receive an additional 6 hours of lectures and an additional 6 hours seminars/tutorials in total over the course.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides an introduction to Turkish language with special emphasis on practical written Turkish. The course covers phonetics and phonology (including vowel harmony),  and the fundamentals of grammar (pronouns and postpositions, verbal morphology and noun cases). Communicative practice is established through learning language around dialogues dealing with a range of everyday situations, including travelling, formal and informal introductions, asking for directions and accepting hospitality.

The course provides students with a basic knowledge of Turkish and practice of using Turkish in a number of everyday situations. It allows students to acquire enough basic vocabulary so that they can read, with the help of a dictionary, modern texts in reportive and academic Turkish. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Turkish and Turkey.  

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 paper taken in May/June (50%); one essay of 3,000 words to be submitted on Friday week 1, term 3 (30%); one in class written test taken in the last week of term 1 (10%); one in class written test taken in the last week of term 2 (10%).

Suggested reading

The course will be based on

  • Rona, Bengisu, 1998.  Turkish in three months. London: Hugo. and additional materials which will be made available throughout the course.

Additional Turkish References

  • Underhill, Robert, 1984.  A Turkish grammar.  MIT.
  • Tömer Dil Ö─čretimi Merkezi,  2008. Hitit: Yabancilar icin Turkce Dil Ogrenme Seti. Ankara  (Includes study and practice books and an audio CD).
  • Öztopçu, Kurtulu┼č, 2006.  Elementary Turkish: A complete course for beginners (includes 2 CDs). Istanbul


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules