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NECO Yoruba Language Syllabus

Are you writing Yoruba Language in your NECO O’level exams? Download the recommended Yoruba Language syllabus to excel in your exams.

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About NECO Yoruba Language Syllabus

This NECO Yoruba exam syllabus is your guide to ace your exam. It follows the Yoruba curriculum developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) in 2007.

This syllabus is designed to help you do three key things:

Communicate in Yoruba: By the end of your studies, you should be able to speak, read, and write in Yoruba. The goal is for you to confidently engage with others who speak the language.

Understand the Basics: You’ll get to know the fundamental parts of the Yoruba language, including its sounds and grammar. This will give you a solid foundation for using the language effectively.

Explore Yoruba Culture: Learning a language is more than just words and sentences. This syllabus also introduces you to the rich traditions, customs, and literature of Yoruba culture. It’s an invitation to explore and appreciate the broader context in which the language exists.

So, as you work through this syllabus, remember that you’re not just preparing for an exam, you’re connecting with a vibrant language and culture.

Marking Guide & Sections

If you’re getting ready for the NECO Yoruba exam, it’s good to know how the marking works. The exam has two papers, Papers 1 and 2, and they’ll test you on different aspects of the Yoruba language, including comprehension, composition, sound system, grammar, and translation. You’ll also be tested on Yoruba literature, customs, and institutions. Let’s break down the marking guide so you know what to expect.

Paper 1

Paper 1 has 60 multiple-choice questions, and it’s divided into three sections: Language, Literature, and Culture. You’ll have 1 hour to answer all the questions, and they add up to 60 marks. Here’s how the sections are laid out:

Section A: Language (30 marks)

Comprehension: You’ll read two short passages and answer 10 questions about them.

Composition: Expect 4 questions that will test your writing skills.

Sound System: There will be 6 questions on Yoruba phonetics and sounds.

Grammar: This part has 6 questions on grammar rules.

Translation: You’ll need to translate between Yoruba and English in 4 questions.

Section B: Literature (22 marks)

This section covers both oral and written literature:

Basic Principles of Literary Appreciation: This part has 4 questions.

Oral Literature: You’ll get 3 questions on prose, 3 on poetry, and 3 on drama.

Written Literature: There are 3 questions each on prose, poetry, and drama.

Section C: Culture (8 marks)

In this section, questions that center on Yoruba customs and institutions will be set. 

Customs: There are 4 questions on various Yoruba customs.

Institutions: You should expect 4 questions on different Yoruba institutions.

When you add it all up, there are 60 questions for a total of 60 marks.

Paper 2

Paper 2 is an essay-based paper that is designed to test you on Yoruba language, literature, and culture. It has three sections, A, B, and C and you have 2 hours to answer a total of six questions. Paper 2 carries a total of 100 marks. You’ll need to manage your time well during the 2-hour duration to ensure you can answer all six questions thoroughly. Let’s explain how it’s structured and what each section covers:

Section A: Language

This section has three questions, focusing on the Yoruba language. Expect questions on:

Grammar: You might need to explain grammar rules or correct sentences.

Composition: This could be writing an essay or a letter.

Translation: You might have to translate from English to Yoruba or vice versa.

Since you need to answer three questions from this section, make sure you’re comfortable with all these topics. This section carries a significant portion of the total marks.

Section B: Literature

Section B has two questions, and this is where the set books come into play. You’ll answer questions related to:

Prose: This might include analyzing characters or discussing plot elements from the set books.

Poetry: You could be asked to interpret poems or discuss their themes.

Drama: Expect questions on dramatic techniques or character analysis.

Other than questions on Basic Principles of Literary Appreciation, which could involve general concepts, all the other questions will be based on the set books for the exam. Make sure you know which books are included and study them thoroughly.

Section C: Culture

This section has one question, focusing on Yoruba culture. Topics might include:

Customs: Questions could be about Yoruba traditions or societal practices.

Institutions: This might involve discussing Yoruba societal structures or roles.

To do well here, you’ll need to have a good uinstitutions of Yoruba customs and institutions.

The NECO Yoruba Language Syllabus

 Section A: LANGUAGE
Candidates are advised to write 300 words and spend not more than
45 minutes on this section. The essay will be any of the following types:
(i) Narrative
(iv) Expository
(v) Dialogue
(vi) Debate
(vii) Letter writing
2Sound SystemCandidates will be required to answer one question from the two to
be set. Areas to cover include:
(i) Vowels, Consonants and Syllabic nasal
(a) their production in terms of place and manner
(b) their basic phonetic and phonemic classification
(ii) Syllable structure
(iii) Sound processes, e.g. vowel harmony assimilation elision
(iv) Sound system aspect of the orthography
(v) Tones and tone notation
3GrammarCandidates will be required to answer one question from the two
questions to be made available.
Areas to cover are:
i. Word structure and word formation
ii. Numerals: basic and derived
iii. Word classes: nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc
iv. Grammatical categories: subject, object, complement, predicate,
number, person, tense, aspect, mood, etc.
v. Phrases and clauses
vi. The structure and type of sentences.
 SECTION B: Literature
1Oral Literature – Prose, Poetry, Drama
-In Oral Literature, there will be 3 set books covering the different
genres. 1 question will be set from each set book and candidates will be
required to answer any 1 of the 3 questions.
2Written Literature – Prose, Poetry, Drama-In Written Literature, there will be three set books covering the
different genres. One question will be set from each set book and
candidates will be required to answer any one of the three questions.
 SECTION C: Culture
1Customs(i) Make-up and adornments
(ii) In-door and out-door games
(iii) Pregnancy and its care
(iv) Naming
(v) Home training: greetings, respect for superiors, cleanliness,
tolerance, integrity, hard work, etc.
(vi) Yoruba foods
(vii) Non-verbal communication
(viii) Funerals: traditional and modern methods
(ix) Inheritance: traditional and modern methods.
2Institutions(i) Traditional occupations
(ii) Marriage
(iii) Politics: family structure, age grades, chieftaincy, Obaship, etc.
(iv) Child care
(v) Ancestors
(vi) Yoruba beliefs about Olodumare (God), deities/divinities, other
invisible forces, etc.
(vii) Modern religions: Islam, Christianity, etc.
(viii) Economy: adverts, money lending, cooperative efforts, etc.

Recommended NECO Yoruba Language Textbooks

Selected Literature Text for Yoruba 2021-2025


1. Abiodun: (1996), Aroko Ati Aayan Ogbufo, Majab Ilorin.

2. Owolabi, K (1989), Ijinle Itupale Ede Yoruba, Extension Publication, Yoruba.

3. Bamgbose A: (1991), Fonology ati Girama Yoruba, University Press, Ibadan.

4. Adewole, L. O: (2005), A Bilingualised Dictionary of Yoruba Monosyllabic Words, Montem Paperback, Akure.


i. Written Literature

5. Akinwunmi Isola (2014), Nitori Owo (Drama) Sumob Publishers, Oshogbo.

6. Debo Awe: (2016), Moremi Ajasoro ( Prose) Elyon Publishers, Ilesa.

7. Ayomide Akanji, Oro Enu Akewi (Poetry), Genius Books Publishers, Ibadan.

ii. Oral Literature

8. S.M Raji (2018), Ege Dida (Drama), Extension Publication Limited.

9. Adeboye Babalola (2005), Akojopo Alo Ijapa Apa Kinni, (Prose), University Press PLC, Ibadan.

10. Adeboye Babalola (2000), Awon Oriki Orile Metadinlogbon: pp. I-x & 117-314. (Poetry) Longman Nigeria. PLC, Lagos

Frequently Asked Questions About the NECO Yoruba Language Exams

How is Paper 1 different from Paper 2?

Paper 1 is all multiple-choice questions, with 60 questions split into three sections: Language, Literature, and Culture. It’s a 1-hour test worth 60 marks. Paper 2 is an essay-based test, also in three sections, but it’s longer (2 hours) and carries 100 marks. You need to answer six questions in total: three from Section A (Language), two from Section B (Literature), and one from Section C (Culture).

What kind of questions are in Paper 2?

In Paper 2, you’ll find essay-type questions covering language, literature, and culture. In Section A, you’ll focus on language-related topics like grammar, composition, or translation. Section B has questions about the set books for literature, including prose, poetry, and drama. Section C is all centered on culture, covering Yoruba customs and institutions.

Can I write my answers in English?

 No, you need to write all your answers in Yoruba using the official Yoruba orthography and metalanguage. This is a great opportunity to showcase your writing skills in Yoruba, so make sure you’re comfortable with the correct spelling and grammar.

How should I prepare for the Yoruba exam?

• Practice writing in Yoruba: Since Paper 2 is all essays, the more you write, the better.

• Read the set books: Understand the themes, characters, and plots in the books for Section B.

• Review grammar and composition: Get a good grasp on the rules of the Yoruba language.

• Explore Yoruba culture: Learn about customs and institutions for Section C.

• Practice multiple-choice questions: This will help you with Paper 1.

How much time do I have for Paper 2?

You’ll have 2 hours to complete Paper 2, and you’ll need to answer six questions in total. It’s a good idea to manage your time so that you can complete all the questions thoroughly.

How much time do I have for each paper?

Paper 1 lasts 1 hour, and Paper 2 is 2 hours long. It’s important to manage your time effectively, especially in Paper 2, where you need to write essay-type answers.

How many total marks does the NECO Yoruba exam carry?

The total marks for the NECO Yoruba exam is 160. Paper 1 has 60 marks, with multiple-choice questions, while Paper 2 has 100 marks, with essay-type questions.

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