Indiana University Bloomington
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African Languages

The African Languages Program offers regularly scheduled courses in Akan/Twi, Bamana, Kiswahili, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu during the academic year. Kiswahili is also taught as an intensive course during the summer sessions. Other languages may be available. Arabic is taught through the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department.

Our instructors are native speakers who are trained in communicative language teaching and instruct courses at all levels.

Our students frequently participate in domestic or overseas programs to improve their language skills, especially during the summer. These include the language Group Projects Abroad (GPA), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Two intensive summer GPA programs are currently being offered at the intermediate/advanced level: Kiswahili in Tanzania, organized by Michigan State University, and Yoruba in Nigeria, organized by the University of Florida.

At the undergraduate level, African languages can be used to fulfill IUB’s language requirement and to complete an undergraduate African Languages Minor, an African Studies Certificate, or a Minor in African Studies. African Studies Master’s and Ph.D. Minor students complement their topical and Africa-focused course work with the study of an African language.  Students preparing to work, study abroad, or conduct research in Africa are strongly encouraged to study an African language.

Our Mission

  • Provide language instruction at different levels
  • Develop resources and use appropriate technology, including web-based language materials, to facilitate language learning
  • Enable students to achieve desired proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills using standards developed specifically for African languages, as well as general standards developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • Promote cultural knowledge both in and outside the classroom at African language and cultural festivals, as well as through other relevant events
  • Provide services related to African languages, such as translation and language proficiency certification
  • Collaborate with other African language programs, institutes, and resource centers nationally and internationally on language related projects