SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Tamil Beginners Course

Duration: 3 terms, 10 weeks per term, 20 hours blended learning.

  • Overview
  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Online Learning

The aim of the course is to provide a thorough introduction to contemporary Tamil. The language is presented together with the cultural context in which it is used so that learners are able to appreciate such things as appropriateness and linguistic etiquette when interaction takes place in the target language. By the end of the course, students will have covered basic grammatical constructions and acquired an essential working vocabulary allowing them to communicate within a limited range of situations in which learners are likely to find themselves

The course is taught in English and Tamil and it covers the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Each module offers a balance between communicative activities, structure practice and grammar. Class size is normally limited to sixteen to allow intensive
practice. Transliteration is employed as a tool to facilitate access to Tamil, whilst familiarity with the Tamil alphabet is being developed. There is a mid-term revision and practice test to consolidate the language skills acquired.

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.


Course material is provided by the tutor.

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page

Entry Requirements and Progression Route

For the first stage of Tamil Beginners (that is, Tamil Beginners 1), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Beginners 2 or 3 you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (20 hours blended learning per each sub-level). If after looking at the Course Structure, you are still unsure about your level, please contact the LC to arrange an assessment with the tutor.

Please note that each term courses are subject to quorum requirements.

For course dates and information, please see our Enrolment Page

Related Information

See more information on the Tamil language and courses offered at SOAS Language Centre on the Tamil Language Homepage.

Back to the Language Centre Homepage


Tamil Beginners 1

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Use Tamil alphabets
  • Greet and introduce yourself and others
  • Ask and give personal information (name, where one lives, where you from, jobs and family)
  • Talk about likes and dislikes
  • Talk about know/ understand/ want
  • Say what you can and you cannot do
  • Talk about may and might
  • Describe objects with prepositions
  • Use colours and numbers (0-10)
  • Talk in present tense positive and negative
Tamil Beginners 2

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Use numbers (10-100)
  • Tell the time, days, moths
  • Talk about asking and giving directions
  • Say what you should and should not do
  • Talk about the language(s) you speak
  • Identify parts of the body with more prepositions
  • Express illness
  • Describe verbs with to infinitive
  • Explain things in future positive and future negative
  • Ask things in formal and informal ways
  • Talk about origin and celebrations of the World Language day/ festivals
  • Describe your daily routine and hobbies
Tamil Beginners 3

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Talk about what you and other people in the past
  • Make comparisons
  • Give commands formal and informal; positive and negative
  • Express a range of opinions with adjectives and adverbs
  • Use numbers in tens, hundreds and thousands
  • Use AVP (Adverbial Participle), unique usage in Tamil Langage
  • Debate on topics with current issues
  • Book a room in a hotel and ask for various facilities
  • Order food and drinks in a restaurant/ take aways, bargaining in a market
  • Buying things with measurements and money
  • Read Tamil poems and discuss (Sangam literature and modern)
  • Explore and understand contemporary Tamil culture through a film/ diaspora initiative.
  • Type/ write in Tamil using the Tamil script

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.