Kiswahili is the most widely spoken African language in the world.

It is used as a lingua franca or trade language by many people in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Somalia and northern coastal Mozambique.

A version of Kiswahili is spoken as a first language by several million people in the eastern part of D.R. Congo. Most people in Kenya today speak at least some Kiswahili, and throughout Tanzania it is fast replacing local tongues as the first language of the new generation of children. If you plan to live, work, or travel in any of these areas, some knowledge of Kiswahili will help you communicate the way you want to.

Our Language and Orientation School maintains a reputation for its quality language and orientation program, and has helped to prepare hundreds of ministers, missionaries, aid workers, and students for life and work throughout Tanzania and East Africa.



Our curriculum is designed to enable learners to begin speaking Swahili with the people they encounter from the first day. First an adaptable greeting formula is taught, then introductions, and so on. Each lesson aims to equip students for conversations they are likely to encounter. In each day’s class sessions students are asked to listen first as the lesson is introduced (to listen without looking at any written words.) This is extremely important. It is also very difficult for adults who have become accustomed to learning more readily through reading than through hearing. But language is speech, and it is important to first train the ears and and tongue.

Each lesson is divided into two sessions. In these two sessions students are introduced to new vocabulary and grammar by illustrations and simple explanations in Swahili or English. At the end of each lesson a vocabulary list containing new words found in sample dialogues is provided. Following these instruction sessions, students disperse into practice groups of 3-5 students with a native-speaking tutor assigned to each group. Various grammar patterns are drilled until responses become automatic in order to help learners to speak the language naturally and correctly without first having to think of grammar rules and how to put the different parts of a sentence together. These drilling sessions also provide an opportunity for students to ask further questions and clear up misunderstandings.


The Language School faculty consists of two head teachers and about fifteen assistant teachers. The current head teachers each have over ten years of experience teaching Kiswahili at our school. The assistant teachers are recent graduates of the LJS Secondary School and are selected from among the very top students. They are trained following graduation and usually teach for a few years before going on to the university.


The long course is designed for beginning students who wish to speak and write Kiswahili properly within a short amount of time. These courses are offered twice each year and last approximately four months each. The textbooks have sixty lessons that have been arranged so that they may be completed in this time.The lessons are designed to equip each student with all the grammar and vocabulary needed for speaking and writing correct Kiswahili. There are also weekly orientation sessions where the students listen to a guest speaker, visit a nearby project, or have a group discussion.

In a typical day class periods are from 7:45 am to 12:00 noon with a tea break from 10:00 to 10:30 am. The afternoon learning period is from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. In the morning session grammar and new vocabulary are taught in the classroom by the head teachers. The following sessions are spent practicing the new material in small groups with well trained Tanzanian teaching assistants. This is also the time when students can ask questions and clear up misunderstandings of grammar and syntax.

All courses are taught in English.

Course Dates

Spring Long course (four months) start – 4th of February -7th of June
Fall long course (four months) start – 8th of July – 8th of November

Tuition – 2,106,000 Tsh
Day Tuition (non-boarders)- 2,808,000 Tsh
Boarding – 5,616,000 Tsh
Books – 202,317 Tsh per set


The short course is a concentrated language program, designed for beginners or people with some knowledge of Swahili. The short course uses the same text as the long course, and students can work at their own pace through the lessons. For those people who have a limited amount of time, or who have some basic Kiswahili training already, this course is for you. It is possible to arrange special short courses of four weeks to three months when the prospective student is unable to match his/her schedule with the normal course schedule.

All courses are taught in English.

Spring Short course (four weeks) start – 7th January – 1st of February
Fall Short course ( four weeks) start – 10th of June – 5th of July

Tuition – 842,000 Tsh (per month)
Day Tuition (non-boarders) – 1,121,000 Tsh (per month)
Boarding – 1,438,000 Tsh (per month)
Books – 202,317 per set


The kindergarten department caters to children from the LJS campus, as well as providing day care for the children of language school students. Children from infancy to age six may be enrolled in the kindergarten, where they will be safely cared for while parents attend the language classes. The staff consists of Tanzanian teachers and a volunteer from Europe who work to help the children adjust to their new environment and integrate with the other students. While they will be encouraged to learn Kiswahili words through songs and games, English will be spoken as the primary language to non-Tanzanian children. The number of students in the kindergarten ranges from 30 – 40 children and there are currently six teachers.


Long Course: 702,000 Tsh (per child)
Short Course: 281,000 Tsh (per child)


Students must have valid residence permits to attend a long course (short courses are exceptions). Students with residence in Kenya who intend to return to Kenya have been able to secure student permits for the duration of their course. Class C Student Permits may be obtained upon arrival if the student is not eligible for class A or B permits.

If you will be staying under the Class C Student Permit please come prepared with the following documentation:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of passport pages showing nationality, validity, and evidence of present immigrations status
  • Joining instruction/admission letter
  • Five passport size photographs


USD25000for four months


USD20000for three months