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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Swahili 1A (AFRI11001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummarySwahili 1A provides a contemporary, interactive, stimulating and effective introduction to the Swahili language, which is the most international and widely-spoken of all the indigenous languages on the African continent. This course is based on a newly-designed curriculum and an innovative approach to learning that seeks to link the language to 21st century East African themes, such as music, literature, social media and the environment.

By the end of the course, students will be comfortable interacting in Swahili in everyday situations and will have a solid understanding of around 400 items of vocabulary, the key tenses and majority of the noun class system. Completion of the Swahili 1A will qualify students to continue onto Swahili 1B if they wish to do so, where they will have the opportunity to obtain an intermediate level.

Learning Swahili could be considered a crucial step for anyone seeking to travel to East Africa for research, work or travel, as even a rudimentary knowledge of the language will enable you to engage positively with those from the region, better understand your environment and acquire a more grassroots perspective on local and global issues. What¿s more, Swahili can provide a more general insight into the links between language, culture and history and a linguistic basis from which to explore other Bantu languages, such as Kinyarwanda (Rwanda), Zulu (South Africa), Xhosa (South Africa), Lingala (DRC), Kirundi (Burundi), Shona (Zimbabwe) and Bemba (Zambia), all of which share similar grammatical and lexical features.
Course description GRAMMAR

WEEK 1 Personal and possesive pronouns
Introduction to the Swahili verb

WEEK 2 Swahili verb formation: present, past and future
To have & to be
Basic question words

WEEK 3 Negating Swahili verbs in the present, past and future
Locative and temporal question words

Week 4 Verb review
Question forming

Week 5 Introduction to Swahili noun classes and Adjectives & object markers (basics)
Nouns of class 1 & 2

Week 6 Agreement system (classes 1-11)
The perfect tense
Nouns of class 3 & 4

Week 7 More complex agreements in classes 1-11
The -ka- tense
Nouns of class 5 & 6

Week 8 Possessives
The habitual tense
Nouns of class 7 & 8

Week 9 Demonstratives and Locatives
The reciprocal tense

Week 10 The passive tense
Nouns of class 9 & 10

Week 11 Noun class and tense review


Week 1 The importance of Swahili greetings
Family members

Week 2 Food and drinks
Shopping & markets

Week 3 Where are you going and when?
Likes and dislikes
Time phrases

Week 4 Places, dates, directions
East African transport
Buying a sim card in East Africa

Week 5 Your family
Describe what you see
People & professions

Week 6 Mount Kilimanjaro Tree Planting Project
Swahili students from around the world (sharing experiences)

Swahili Poetry
Meet Haji Gora Haji

Week 8 Going to the barbers (kinyozi)
Forms of media in East Africa
Meet Ally Salleh
Vitendawili (Swahili riddles)

Week 9 Arranging meetings & Swahili time
Phone conversations
Using maps

Week 10 East African festivals
Traditional and modern East African music
Bi Kidude

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNo previous knowledge of Swahili language is required for entry to the course. There are no co-requisites or prohibited combinations.

Auditing is not permitted under any circumstances
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 161 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Auditing students will not be accepted on this course
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show an understanding of up to five hundred items of Swahili vocabulary, including frequently used verbs, adjectives and nouns in both their singular and plural forms
  2. demonstrate the ability to confidently utilise and understand the four key tenses in both their affirmative and negative forms and the first ten Swahili noun classes
  3. show an awareness of some key figures in East African history and society, including Wangari Maathai, Bi Kidude and Julius Nyerere
  4. show a working knowledge of some contemporary cultural norms in the East Africa regiondge of some traditional and co
  5. demonstrate confidence to communicate and interact in a range of situations and on a variety of themes relevant to every day life in Swahili-speaking areas
Reading List
Wilson, Peter. 1985. Simplified Swahili. London: Longman.

TUKI. English-Swahili Dictionary / Kamusi ya Kiingereza-Kiswahili. Dar es Salaam: Institute of Kiswahili Research / Taasisi ya Uchunguzi wa Kiswahili
TUKI is now known as 'TATAKI'. The latest reprint is 2013, but earlier editions are fine. The main library has a number of these.

TUKI. Kamusi ya Kiswahili-Kiingereza / Swahili-English Dictionary. Dar es Salaam: Institute of Kiswahili Research / Taasisi ya Uchunguzi wa Kiswahili. The main library also has a number of these.

An alternative dictionary that is adequate for the course (and easier to get hold of than the TUKI editions) is the two-way (i.e., Swahili-English English-Swahili) Hippocrene Swahili Practical Dictionary. New York: Hippocrene. ISBN 0781804809.

While the main library holds Simplified Swahili and the TUKI publications, students may find it practical to purchase their own copies.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The course will be delivered through a series of lectures and tutorials, which will ensure that all students are familiar with the vocabulary and grammar introduced weekly. These sessions will contain a variety of exercises, reading materials and recordings, as well as ample opportunities for practice and discussion.

Students are also provided with a weekly conversation class, which will allow students to interact with native speakers of the language in an informal setting. These sessions will be held over tea, coffee and maandazi and will focus on a theme set at the start of the week. Edinburgh boasts only a small East African community, meaning that these lessons should be considered crucial in gaining speaking and listening practice and understanding socio-linguistic norms.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Thomas Molony
Tel: (0131 6)50 6976
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
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