Yoruba Live



Level: Basic/Silver (12 hours)

Tis level is for those who want to learn how to make simple conversations in Yoruba language.

Topic Content
1 Introduction to Yoruba language

1 hour

 A brief introduction to Yoruba language. Places where Yoruba language is spoken, e.g. Nigeria, Togo, etc. Dressing, e.g. Buba ati sooro, Agbada, Iro, pele, gele, etc. some Yoruba names, e.g. Ayo meaning Joy, Taiye ati Kehinde, Names given to a set of twins, etc.
2 Yoruba alphabets

2 hours

a; aja (dog), b: bata (shoe), d: dudu (black), etc.

Teachers should ensure the correct intonation of the alphabets and allow students repeat them till a level of accuracy is reached. Note the the Yoruba alphabets are similar to the phonetic sounds of English alphabet.

3 Differentiating letters with similar sounds

1 hour

b, p, gb

Teacher should allow students to reproduce these sounds with examples.

4 Greetings in Yoruba language

1 hour

Common greetings in yoruba language and how to respond
5 Names of food and food items in yoruba

1 hour

Like isu, asaro, iyan, etc.
6 General names to address people in yoruba

1 hour

For example, friend, brother, sister, father. Etc
7 Name of places

1 hour

Market, school, house, etc
8 Name of things

1 hour

Pen, pencil, shoe, clothes
9 Action words

1 hour

Go, come, look, etc
10 Simple conversations

2 hours

Listening and responding to simple sentences.

Level:  Intermediate/Platinum (12 hours)

This level is for those who want to take their Yoruba speaking skill to the next level. Those who have completed the basic course or those who have previously learnt how to make simple conversations in Yoruba language.

Topic Content
1 Yoruba alphabet

1 hour

Revision of the Yoruba alphabet
2 Vowels I

1 hour

Oral vowels: There are seven oral vowels

/a/, /e/, /ę/, /i/, /o/, /ǫ/, /u/

Teachers will ensure students repeat each vowel accurately with given examples

  3 Vowels II

1 hour

Nasal vowels: there are five nasal vowels

/an/, /in/, / ęn/, /un/, / ǫn/

Note that all words in Yoruba ends with a vowel sound and most Yoruba nouns begin with a vowel sound.

4 Consonants  are classified according to the place of articulation with examples.

Consonant I

1hr 30mins

Labial: b, m, f

Alveolar: t, d, s, n, l, r

Palatal: j, ş, y

5 Consonant II

1hr 30mins

Velar: k, g

Labio-velar: p, gb, w

Glottal: h

6 Intonation

1 hour

Yoruba is a tonal language with three level tones; high, low and mid. Every syllable must have at least one tone; a syllable containing a long vowel can have two tones. Tones are marked by use of the acute accent for high tone (mi:/), the grave accent for low tone (do:). Mid (re) is unmarked, except on syllabic nasals where it is indicated using a macron (-). Tones are marked on vowels and syllabic nasals.
7 High tone (mi:/)

1 hour

Teacher explains the position of the tonal sign and produces the sound and ensures students repeat it accurately with given examples, e.g. rí (see), wa (come), Bólá (name), etc.
8 Low tone (do:)

1 hour

Teacher explains the position of the tonal sign and produces the sound and ensures students repeat it accurately with given examples, e.g. mò(know), dòdò (fried plantain), etc.
9 Mid tone (re: -)

1 hour

Teacher explains to students that this tone is usually unmarked except on nasalized syllables. Examples: lo (go), je (eat), etc
10 Tone drills

2 hours

Teacher explains that there are words with the same orthographic and phonological combination but are pronounced differently and also has different meaning. Example

Igbá (Calabash) Igba (zoo) Ìgbà (period) Ìgbá (garden egg) Orí – (head) Òrí – (balm), etc.

Teacher and students practice some exercises on tonal placement.

Level: Advanced/ Gold (18hours)

This level is for those who want to master their Yoruba speaking skills. It is for those who have completed the Platinum course or those who have attained a level of proficiency in Yoruba speaking and reading.

Topic Content
1. Yoruba syllable I

1 hour 30 mins

The Yoruba syllable structure is made up of the major structures. They are; Consonant + vowel = CV e.g C + V = CV

l+o = lo (go)

J + o = jo (dance)

k + o = ko (write)

Vowel = V e.g.


e (you) (Basically to show respect)

a (we)

Syllabic nasal = n e.g. To show continuation –

mo n lo (I am going)

2 Yoruba syllable II

1 hour 30 mins

The Internal structure of Yoruba syllables: this consist of the ONSET and NUCLEUS.

The onset which is the initial sound in a syllable, can be formed by a consonant, for example: Name of persons

Tope = Two syllables: To – pe

T = Onset

O = Nucleus

P = Onset

E – Nucleus

Sola = Two syllables – SO – LÁ

S – Onset

O – Nucleus

Names of Objects

TABILI (Table) – three syllables Ta-bi-li

T – Onset

A – Nucleus

B – Onset

I – Nucleus

L – Onset

I – Nucleus

3 Syllabic drills

1 hour

Teacher gives students some exercises to drill students on syllables.
4 Vowel assimilation in Yoruba language (Iparoje faweli)

2 hours

Vowel assimilation in Yoruba is most commonly observed when two nouns are next to each other. Most nouns in Yoruba begin with vowels, and all Yoruba words end in vowels. Therefore, when two nouns occur side by side, a situation is created in which the last vowel of the last vowel of the first noun and first vowel of  the second noun stand next to each other. Given this structure, one of the vowels become completely like the other. E.g.

Iwe                   Ile                  Iweele

(book/paper)  (house)       (tax receipt)

Ara                   oko                    arooko

(person)          (farm/bush)       (bush man)


Vowel assimilation also occurs when two vowels are next to each other within a word as a result of the fact that the consonant separating the vowels has been deleted. If the second vowel of the sequence is a high vowel then the high vowel assimilates to the preceding vowel completely. E.g.

Egungun= eegun (masquerade)

Otito= ooto (truth)

Oruka= ooka (ring)

Orisa= oosa (god)

5 Vowel deletion

2 hours

By vowel deletion is meant that a vowel which will normally be pronounced in low speech or when a word is said in isolation (pronounced alone) is not pronounced in fluent speech. Again the most common situation in which this happens is when two words occur next to each other, one of which ends in a vowel and the other of which begins with a vowel. There are several constructions in which this situation may arise, however the two prominent constructions are when two nouns are placed side by side or when a noun occurs after a verb.


Noun + Noun

oju                   ode         ojude

(eye/face) (outside) (verandah)

aya                oba           ayaba

(wife)          (king)        (queen)

Verb + Verb

wa                 eko               weko

(look for)   (education) (look for education)

wa               owo               wowo

(look for) (money)        (look for money)

6. Consonant deletion

2 hours

Just as vowels may be deleted, Yoruba consonants may also be deleted in fluent speech. There are three major contexts in which consonants may be deleted. In the first context, the consonant is deleted and the vowel is assimilated. For example,

Egungun         eegun  (masquerade)

Otito               ooto     (truth)

Esinsin            eesin     (fly)

The second context involves the glides /y/ and /w/. /w/ and /y/ may be deleted between two vowels ‘when followed by vowels that share their respective point of articulation’. This means that the glide /w/ is deleted before back vowels /u, ǫ, e/ and the glide /w/ is deleted before the front vowels /i, e, ę/


awujo        aujo (assembly of people)

perewu     pereu

jǫwǫ         jǫǫ


iwoyi   iwoi (at this time)

laye     lai (forever)

adiye    adie (fowl)

7 Consonant deletion II

2 hours

The third context of consonant deletion is the deletion of /r/. /r/ deletion may take place under two conditions:

(a)    when /r/ occurs between two identical vowels,

(b)    when /r/ is preceded or followed by a high vowel.

Occurrence between identical vowels

gbegiri       gbegii (bean soup)

werepe       weepe (nettle)

ereke eeke  (cheek)


Occurence before or after high vowels

ikire        ikie (name of a Yoruba town)

orisa        oosa (god)

Yoruba    yooba

oruka       ooka (ring)

8 Yoruba proverbs (Owe)

2 hours

Yorùbá Proverbs are wise sayings passed through generations to teach historical lessons, highlight good morals, and instil social values. The use of a Yorùbá Proverb by a younger person is prohibited in the presence of an older person, without prior permission to do so.

Teacher gives examples ofyoruba provers, literal translation and meaning.

9 Yoruba Idiomatic Expressions (Akanlo ede)

2 hours

Teach gives examples of yoruba idiomatic expressions and their meaning.
10 Fun Drill

2 hours

Teacher drills students on the new yoruba skills they have acquired in this level.

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