SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Swahili Beginners 1 - Online Intensive Aug-Sept 2022

An online intensive Swahili course for complete beginners

  • Overview
  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Swahili Beginners 1 online intensive introduces basic grammatical forms, essential frequent vocabulary and key aspects of pronunciation. You will have opportunities to practise communicating in Swahili on daily topics (see course content), listen for the gist of a short conversation, write about basic information (email, text message, postcard) and read short texts.

Duration: 15hrs of classes, 5 weeks

Swahili Beginners 1 Online Intensive (42879)
August-September 2022 Timetable:

Day Date Time
Tuesday 2nd August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 4th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 9th August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 11th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 16th August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 18th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 23rd August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 25th August 19:00-20:30
Tuesday 30th August 19:00-20:30
Thursday 1st September 19:00-20:30

The course is taught in Swahili and English with emphasis on speaking and listening using the taught language. There will also be some reading (translation) and writing (composing) with guided practice in language usage and use of authentic communicative activities. You are expected to attend regularly, participate in class and complete homework regularly to ensure learning progress. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the course.


This course will be based on the textbook:

Colloquial Swahili (2nd Edition) by Donovan McGrath and Lutz Marten (2012/2015), Routledge, London/New York.

The textbook is not included in the fee but can be purchased from the tutor (Donovan Lee Mcgrath, author) with a 30% discount (only applicable for on campus courses, not online)

You can order the book and download the audio free directly at the Routledge website:

We strongly recommend waiting until your course is confirmed before purchasing the textbook.

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page.


£299. Please see our Fees Page for full information and discounts available.

Terms and Conditions

Before enrolling, please be sure that you have read the SOAS Language Centre Terms and Conditions.

How to Apply

This Swahili Beginners 1 course is aimed at complete beginners, no prior language knowledge is required. Click here to enrol for Swahili Beginners 1 (42879) online intensive. ​Please note that places are first come first served. Enrolments are taken until the course is fully booked, or up to midnight 17th July, whichever is soonest.

Continuing Your Study

This Swahili Beginners 1 course is equivalent to the 10 week Swahili Beginners 1 level. Students who complete this may be able to join a Beginners 2 for our next term starting October 2022, or a future term at SOAS Language Centre.


Swahili Beginners 1 

By the end of the course you should be able to

  • Spell out words
  • Greet people
  • Initiate a conversation
  • Use numbers
  • Say your nationality
  • Talk about jobs
  • Talk about your family
  • Ask and give personal information

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class.