STARTALK Swahili Student Program

Swahili (also known as Kiswahili) is the lingua franca of Eastern and Central Africa and is one of the working languages of the African Union. While Swahili has been taught at IU for over 25 years, it is not taught in Indiana high schools or lower grades. The main goal of the proposed STARTALK Swahili program is to introduce Swahili to Bloomington High schools, initially, as a nonresidential program. In the future we would like to offer it as a residential program and make it available to all Indiana high schools
The program will integrate the 5Cs of the National Foreign language Standards with a focus on the C of Communication and the C of Cultures. This will be a four week program with each week focusing on a particular cultural theme such as greetings, extended family, traditional clothes, food, and story-telling. The first week will focus on greetings, introductions and talking about family members. The second week, students will learn about different kinds of food, ingredients required, and how to shop and bargain for them at the market. Week three will introduce students to the art of story-telling using children’s stories and folktales. The last week of the four week program will concentrate on clothing with a focus on different uses of the traditional cloth, the kanga, and its sayings for indirect communication
STARTALK Swahili is an intensive, four-week course that meets daily from Monday through Friday with classroom instruction of 3.5 hours and an hour of conversation. On successful completion of the course, students will get 3 credits. In the afternoon, there will be one and a half hours of small group sessions which will focus on reinforcement of materials introduced in the morning sessions via interactive activities like role plays, vocabulary games, and songs. At the end of the program students will participate in a festival which will allow them to share their Swahili language and culture experiences to the local community. By the end of the program, we expect the students to reach ACTFL Novice Mid.
After the program, there will be on line sessions via IU Course Management Site (ONCOURSE) for students to continue with their Swahili language study during the academic year. And STARTALK Swahili instructors will arrange with high school teachers to meet at least once a month with the STARTALK Swahili students either at the IU campus or at their respective schools.