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Swahili is today spoken by over 5 million people around the world. It is an official language in Tanzania and Kenya and is also spoken by many people in other countries in Africa.

Course Descriptions

AP/SWAH1000 6.0 Introduction to Swahili


PREREQUISITE: None. This course is an introduction to Swahili designed for students with no previous knowledge of the language, no formal training in the language and with little family background, if any. Department Course Entry Authorization slip required PRIOR TO ENROLMENT.

DESCRIPTION: The course will provide an introduction to Swahili language and culture. Learners will be guided through the basic grammatical and phonological aspects of the language, as well as being introduced to the sociolinguistic status of Swahili as it is spoken in East and Central Africa. Emphasis will be placed on developing basic speaking and listening skills and also on reading basic texts. At the end of the course students should have a foundation in the language and be able to carry on simple conversations. Students will also be aware of the cultural contexts in which Swahili is spoken in different countries of East Africa. Authentic materials will be used to bring the Swahili language and culture into the classroom. No prior knowledge of Swahili is assumed.

FORMAT: Four class hours per week.


Class participation 20%
assignments and quizzes 30%
tests (three each term) 30%
final examination 20%

TEXTS: Hinnebusch and Mirza, Kiswahili: Msingi wa Kusema, Jusoma na Kuandika (Second Edition)., University Press of America, 1998, (paperback). Swahili-English Dictionary, D.V. Perrott, NTC Publishing Group, 1994, (paperback).

AS/SWAH2000 6.0 Intermediate Swahili


PREREQUISITE: AS/SWAH1000 6.0 or permission of the department.

DESCRIPTION: Students improve their speaking, reading and writing skills. Exposure to cultural and traditional aspects of Swahili speakers through reading basic texts, listening to recordings, and viewing videos.

FORMAT: Four class hours per week.


Tests (two each term, 10% each) 40%
final examination 20%
assignments and quizzes 20%
attendance and participation 20%.

TEXTS: Hassam, Adam Kiswahili Intermediate Course. First Edition. Omimee Intercultural Publishers, 1993, Awde, Nicholas. Swahili-English/English-Swahili Dictionary. First Edition. New York: Hippocrine, Brenn, Edwin W. Ed. Elfu Lela Ulela au Siku Elfu na Moja. First Edition. Longman Kenya, 1974.


Oswald Almasi
B.A. (University of East Africa)
M.A. (University of Dar es Salaam)
Ph.D. (University of Toronto)

Tel: x30448