Language Centre

Yorùbá 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

The aim of the course is to provide a thorough introduction to contemporary Yorùbá.

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 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. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


The course is taught in English and Yorùbá with coverage of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, and a balance between communicative activities, structure practice and grammar.

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. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.


Course materials will be provided by the teacher

Entry requirements and progression route

For the first stage of Yoruba 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). The progression route from Yoruba Beginners 1 is to Yoruba Beginners 2; from Beginners 2 to Beginners 3.

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

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Yoruba Beginners 1

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

  • know the Alphabets
  • gain basic knowledge of Yoruba syllables, tonal mark and verbs
  • greet and introduce yourself and others
  • ask and give personal information (name, marital status)
  • talk about where one lives
  • talk about jobs
  • talk about your family
  • understand the Yoruba family system and members
  • use days of the week and months of the year
  • use numbers (0-100)
  • tell the time
  • order food
  • bargain in the market when shopping

Yoruba Beginners 2

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

  • advance your knowledge of Yoruba syllables, tonal marks and verbs
  • use more vocabularies for daily conversations
  • read and write answers to comprehension passages, including Yoruba folktales
  • explain how to pay for a fare
  • use high amounts to deal with transactions
  • make phone conversations
  • read Yoruba BBC News
  • know Yoruba music and fashion
  • describe traffic rules for road crossing

Yoruba Beginners 3

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

  • advance your knowledge of syllables, tonal marks and verbs
  • use more complex vocabulary for daily conversations in domestic and class settings
  • read and write answers to comprehension passages, including folktales
  • understand riddles, puns and games
  • use proverbs
  • exchange emails
  • follow a recipe of Nigerian local dishes
  • recount memorable events/occurrences
  • talk about types of professions 
  • describe rites of traditional christenings and wedding ceremonies

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.

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Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

Related information

See more information on Yorùbá on the Language Centre Yorùbá page