The oxidation of clean crystalline silicon surfaces is self-limiting at moderate oxygen pressures (10-5Pa) and temperatures (500°C), forming 0.7-0.8nm thick oxide layers. This study looks at the oxidation of a surface of a thin amorphous silicon film to establish if a similar mechanism is active in this case. We have devised a special experimental procedure to check the oxidation mechanism of thin amorphous silicon films. For the spectroscopic investigations we used photoemission with synchrotron radiation with the highest possible surface sensitivity and resolution. This permits a detailed decomposition of the Si 2p spectral details, using a mathematical decomposition procedure. The results clearly show that the oxidation mechanism of the surface of an amorphous silicon film under similar conditions is severely hindered compared to cases of crystalline substrates, indicating less reactivity at the surface and less transport of oxygen into the amorphous material.