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Swahili 1 Beginners


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This Swahili course will teach you Swahili in a practical and interactive way. After the first lesson you will be able to greet somone in Swahili as well as to introduce yourself. Understanding the structure of Swahili enables you to speak Swahili. During the lectures we will explain the grammar and practice Swahili through conversation, games and music. Since language and culture are so intertwined you will learn a lot about the culture. After completing this course you will be able to have an elementary conversation in Swahili.

Course objectives

Objectives of the Swahili course:

  • Speaking: A common conversation about familiar subjects like family, your work and where you live. You will be able to do your shopping.

  • Listening: To understand a standard speech about common subjects. You will be able to catch the main point in messages and announcements provided people talk slowly.

  • Reading: You will be able to read short, simple texts, menus, timetables, small personal letters as well as advertisements.

  • Writing: You will be able to write notes, short messages and letters.

  • Although the course will start off in English, students should bear in mind that as soon as they have acquired certain knowledge in Swahili they will have to apply this knowledge during the lectures.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

TutThree two hour tutorials every week.

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Assessment method

  • Written exam

  • Oral exam

  • Presentations


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Course material: Swahili course by Lowani Afrika Talencentrum (€40)


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.