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Centre of African Studies: Studying Africa

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Undergraduate Swahili Courses

There are two accredited Swahili option courses at undergraduate level - Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A and Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B. 

Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A - (AFRI08004)

Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A aims to provide students with a strong grounding in the key concepts of Swahili grammar, over 500 vocabulary items and an introductory insight into both traditional and contemporary elements of East African culture and society. The course also aims to be challenging, stimulating and interactive, providing students with ample opportunity for practice in speaking, reading, writing and listening. 

Lessons are based on a newly-designed curriculum and an innovative approach to learning that seeks to integrate an intensive and effective acquisition of the Swahili language with an understanding of the social and cultural conditions that continue to shape its development to this day. The knowledge developed through the course will not only benefit learners in everyday interactions, but also in integrating into East African culture and life and viewing their own relationship to the region from fresh perspectives. 

By the end of the course, students will be comfortable interacting in Swahili in everyday situations and will have a solid understanding of basic vocabulary, the key tenses and majority of the noun class system. They will also have been introduced to several elements of Swahili culture and will have discussed the lives of several important individuals in East African history. Completion of Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A will qualify students to continue onto Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B, if they wish to do so.

For more information click here. 

Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B - (AFRI08003)

Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B is designed to build on Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A and provides the opportunity to obtain an intermediate level of the language. The course has been designed to provide a contemporary, engaging and effective model of learning that will enable significant progress in a short space of time. Students will increase their knowledge of key grammatical concepts and useful vocabulary, while also looking at relevant topics, such as mobile banking, tourism and literature. There are also opportunities to cook and sample homemade East African dishes, watch a Kenyan film and contribute to the production of a Swahili language guidebook to Edinburgh that will be made available to East African visitors to the city. 

Completion of Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B will leave the most dedicated students at a lower-intermediate of the language, providing a solid basis for further study or travel to the region for leisure, employment or research.

While Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B does follow on directly from Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A, students who did not take this course will be considered, providing they are sufficiently comfortable with the grammar and vocabulary required. If you would like to enrol onto Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1B, but you have not completed Introductory Swahili Language and Culture 1A, please contact the course convenor.

For more information click here.

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