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Swahili I


Admission requirements

This course is available for all students who would like to learn Swahili.


Swahili is a lingua franca spoken by over 200 million people. By learning Swahili you will understand the grammatical structure of otherBantu languages of Africa. Swahili is spoken in Tanzania, Kenya, the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi and parts of Somalia and Mozambique and is widely recognised outside the continent. It is the official language of the East African Union. The global presence of Swahili in radio broadcasting and on internet has no equal among sub-Saharan African languages.

After the first lesson you will be able to greet someone in Swahili and introduce yourself. All grammar is explained through mini tutorials which you will watch at home. During the lectures we will practice Swahili through conversation, exercises, stories, games and music. Since language and culture are so intertwined you will learn a lot about the culture.

Course objectives

After completing this course you are able to have a conversation in Swahili about everyday life. Topics include things you like to do, travelling in Africa, safari’s, animals, food, the weather, the environment, bargaining at the market, customs and giving someone advice. You will read, write and listen to texts related to these topics and discuss these during the lectures. This course uses an integrated communicative language learning approach. Everything you can say in Swahili will be practiced during the lectures.

This course is the first course in a series of three language acquisition courses. The final objective of the whole course series is to obtain an intermediate level of proficiency in Swahili, aimed at communication with people in the region in everyday social situations and enabling students to follow current affairs in the region via various media.

It is possible to only follow the first course. After completing the first course you will have reached the following level:

Skill CEFR-level:

  • Reading: A2

  • Writing: A1

  • Listening: A1+

  • Speaking: A1


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Three lectures per week (total 6 hours)

Assessment method


  • Participation 20%

  • Written exam 40%

  • Listening Exam 20%

  • Oral Exam 20%

If the End Grade is insufficient there is a possibility of retaking the full 80% of the exams. No resit for the tutorial (participation and homework) is possible.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Course material: ‘Tuongee Kiswahili. A practical Swahili course’ by Lowani Afrika Talencentrum. Please contact your teacher to obtain this course book.


Enrolment through [My Studymap] ( is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.

Registration Contractonderwijs.

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats


This course uses an integrated communicative language learning approach. Therefore, active participation in the classroom activities is essential for successful learning outcomes.