Language Centre

Tamil Beginners Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Course aim

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. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


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 10-week course.

Online course requirements

Please ensure you have checked the learner support page


Course material is provided by the tutor.

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).

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

Tamil Beginners 3 online is scheduled for our term commencing 24 April 2023

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


    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 Language
    • 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.


    Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

    See more information on the Language Centre short courses in Tamil on the Tamil homepage

    Related information

    Back to the Language Centre