TENTH ANNIVERSARY
Rutgers University
March 23-25, 2006
 

 

 

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ABSTRACTS
 
SPEAKERS:
 
PAUL STOLLER (keynote)
MOHA ENNAJI (plenary)
SINFREE MAKONI (plenary)
FATIMA SADIQI (plenary)
 
PARTICIPANTS:
 
LAWRENCE OYEWOLE AROHUNMOLASE with KIKELOMO OLUYEMI OLUREMI-OYARINDE
URSULA ATKINSON with MOHAMED ALSIADI
RANDALL BECKLOFF with ADELIN SEMALI and ROSE UPOR
AUDREY N. MBEJE with ESAU J. MAVINDIDZE and ELAINE MSHOMBA
PETER OTIATO with PETER GITHINJI
LEONCE RUSHUBIRWA with JANE IRUNGU
ANTONIA F. SCHLEICHER with A. OMAR, A. MBEJE, L. MUAKA, B. AYALEW, S. OFORI
R.WILDSMITH-CROMARTY with M.GORDON
_______________________________________________________________________
PAUL STOLLER (keynote speaker)
West Chester University and Temple University
E-mail: PSTOLLER@wcupa.edu

Strangers are like the Mist: Language in the Push and Pull of the African Diaspora

The Songhay people of Niger and Mali like to say: Strangers are like the mist, if they haven’t disappeared by the morning, they will surely be gone by afternoon. For any immigrant, the notion of “home” continuously pulls on his or her sensibilities. Immigrants, in fact, are in a continuous state of what the late Victor Turner called liminality. They are betwixt and between the poles of home and host country—caught in a vortex of conflicting desire and obligation. No matter how settled immigrants might be, most of them miss the smells, tastes, and sounds of home. Many of them pine for long conversations with friends and family in their ancestral homes. Are immigrants ever at “home” in the host country? In the end, immigrants may well be like mist; in time, they might dissipate into the air.

For almost 15 years, I have followed a group of West African immigrants, mostly Songhay-Zarma and Hausa men from Niger, as they migrated, settled and worked in New York City as taxi drivers, security guards, grocery delivery men, and street vendors. Like most immigrants, these men are liminal figures. Each one has struggled to adjust to life in New York City. Although many of them call themselves, “Les New Yorkais,” they remain, for the most part, alienated. They say that they miss the quality of life in Niger, the smells, tastes and sounds of their homeland. They say that “next year” they will return home. And yet they remain in New York City. Some have returned definitively to Niger only to return one year after their “permanent” departure. Many are now raising families in America. Their children, who know little about the cultural life of West Africa, speak English rather than Songhay or Hausa. Some want their children to visit Niger so they might be introduced to their ancestral language and culture, so they might be exposed to social codes of “respect” for their elders. Given the pervasive power of American culture, they realize that these visits are no solution to the problem of language loss and cultural erosion. In the end, they all say that they want to return home. Given their economic and social entanglements in America, can they simply return to Africa? Can they, like the mist, melt into air?

It is clear that African immigrants are becoming more and more woven into the social and economic fabric of life of the United States. There are vibrant communities of Nigeriens in New York City and elsewhere. These rooted communities are now firmly established; they will not dissipate tomorrow morning or afternoon. It is equally clear that the push and pull of immigrant life constructs a degree of socio-cultural and linguistic alienation—especially so when diasporic communities deepen their roots in North American localities. In this paper, I will discuss the linguistic, social and cultural ramifications of this alienation and then suggest ways that academic institutions might reach out to African immigrants to ease the burden of continuous liminality and enrich the cultural life in their increasingly multi-generational communities.
_______________________________________________________________________
MOHA ENNAJI (plenary speaker)
Professor of English and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts
University of Fes, Morocco
E-mail: mennaji2002@yahoo.fr

Berber Language Teaching and Literacy in North Africa: Challenges and Prospects

Given the recent official recognition of the language in Morocco and Algeria, Berber language teaching is expected to play a great role in literacy and basic education in North Africa (see Ennaji 1997, Sadiqi 1997). In this case, Berber is an interesting tool for preserving and disseminating popular culture in the region. To attain this goal, the oldest script, Tifinagh, which is over 2000 years old, has been officially adopted as the alphabet of Berber. Tifinagh has been sporadically employed in some parts of North Africa; however, the most commonly utilised alphabet is the Latin one. As a case in point, the writings of the well-known Kabyle writer, the late Mouloud Mammeri, and those of contemporary Kabyle writers are in Latin script supported by diacritics and phonetic symbols.

In Morocco, some writers use the Latin alphabet, while others use the Arabic script. The autumn of 2002 saw a hot media debate over the alphabet issue. Proponents of the Latin alphabet justify their attitude by claiming that it is practical and close to the phonetic system which itself derives from the Roman alphabet. Many Berber NGOs argue that the Latin script is better because it can be used on the internet, and in word processing on the computer. They also prefer the Latin alphabet to the Arabic one, which lacks vocalization. Those who prefer the Arabic alphabet, like Islamists, claim that it is the closest to the Berber language roots, and historically both Arabic and Berber belong to the Chamito-semitic family. Proponents of the Arabic script also argue that, since most Berbers are Muslims who read Arabic, they will accept to write/read Berber in Arabic script more readily than in Latin script (see the Islamist newspaper At-tajdid of October 25, 2002).

To avoid the conflict between the Islamist fundamentalists and the Berber activists, Tifinagh has been chosen as a medium solution, discussed above (see Attajdid of Februrary 3rd, 2003). This royal decision has been welcome by the majority of Berberophones and Arabophones as a good political solution to the dilemma of which script to use for Berber (see Ennaji 2003c). In general, for Berber native-speakers, Tifinagh is a good choice because it strengthens Berber identity, consolidates the language autonomy, and shows that Berber culture is one of the oldest in the region, as it goes back over two thousand years. For others, although Tifinagh is politically a good solution in the present context, as it has prevented a confrontation between the Islamists and the Berber activists, it is pedagogically impractical because it has the huge drawback of being an obscure system and a third script for Moroccans to learn. They argue that it is useless to codify Berber in a script that people do not know and may find hard to grasp, and in which literature and written materials are lacking (see Bentolila 2003). To avoid the considerable difficulty that might be encountered in reading and comprehending materials written in Berber (with Tifinagh alphabet) an adequate orthography must be developed to gain the support of the people and of the elite, on the one hand, and to ensure the smooth introduction of Berber in the school system.

Little research has been undertaken to examine the learning achievement of Berber children in school and to see the impact of second language instruction on the literacy skills and on the basic school subjects. Penchoen (1968), who studied the difference in learning achievement between Arabic-speaking and Berber-speaking children in Tunisia, found out that there was no real discrepancy between the two groups. This result is due to the high motivation of Berberophone children to learn Arabic. Similarly, in Wagner (1993:175) Berber children had globally the same ability to read Arabic as their Arabic-speaking classmates. Wagner (1993:176) states, "There appears to be some advantage to speaking dialectal Arabic as a mother tongue when first beginning to read, but any advantage diminishes substantially over subsequent years of schooling."

As far as reading achievements are concerned, Wagner (1993:178) observes that Berber and Arabic-speaking children's performance is the same. Berberophone and Arabophone children who attended Qur’anic (Islamic) preschools did better in reading achievement than those who did not go to preschool. However, urban children who were sent to private preschools outperformed their non-preschooled or Qur’anic preschooled counterparts in literacy.

Children whose mother tongue is Moroccan Arabic slightly outperform Berber-speaking children who had no preschooling experience, especially in the first years of school. This is due to the linguistic similarity between Moroccan and Standard Arabic and the possibility of positive transfer from the former to the latter. But after a few years of learning, both groups have similar competence in Arabic reading and writing achievements. Berberophone children catch up with their Arabic-speaking counterparts after four to five years of progress toward Berber-Moroccan Arabic bilingualism. The more the Berberophone children's competence in Moroccan Arabic increases, the more their Standard Arabic learning achievements progress.

The National Charter of Education, adopted in 2000, has been criticized by Berber activists, who claim that only two of its hundred articles deal with the question of Berber in education. The first article states that Berber can be used in primary school only “to facilitate the learning of the official language”, Standard Arabic. The second article mentions that in the near future some universities can teach Berber language and culture. For Berber activists, the charter’s provisions are insufficient because, for them, the teaching of Berber must be obligatory and generalized in the educational system.
_______________________________________________________________________
SINFREE MAKONI (plenary speaker) (ABSTRACT FORTHCOMING)
_______________________________________________________________________
NTOMBENHLE R. NKOSI (plenary speaker)
Deputy Chief Education Specialist
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, South Africa
E-mail: NtombenhleN@kznedu.kzntl.gov.za

The Decline in the Teaching and Learning of African Studies and African Languages at South African Institutions: A New Challenge to the South African Transformation Agenda

Since the introduction of teaching African Studies and African Languages at South African Universities, a great interest was shown by both the academics and students. Outstanding articles appeared in numerous publications year after year. Students studied and wrote dissertations on African languages, in the medium of English. This was done with flair and pomp. It was only in the latter part of the 20th century that some dissertations and other academic materials were written in indigenous languages. In the wake of the transformation agenda, (post 1994), at South African institutions, a decline in the teaching and learning of African languages is observed.(refer to 2005 report on African Languages at Higher Education Institutions, presented to Mrs Naledi Pandor (Minister of Education,). This decline is disturbing when one considers the fact that the marginalized African Languages during the apartheid regime were robbed of their natural processes to develop to similar heights as English and Afrikaans. With the ushering in of the democratic regime, it was hoped that African Languages would take the center stage, be recognized and be studied more vigorously than ever before at South African institutions.

This paper seeks to investigate whether or not, the decline in the teaching and learning of African Studies and African languages fulfills the South African constitutional mandate as stipulated in section 6(2) of Act 108 of 1996,cited as follows: “ Recognizing the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous languages of our people, the state must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages”. To respond to this constitutional directive, the then Minister of Education, Prof Kader Asmal had suggested some tentative steps to raise the status of the African Languages at South African universities. The question is how many HEIs have responded to this invitation? If there has been no response what could be the reason that can be attributed to this noncommittal stance taken by the South African institutions.

Furthermore I explore arguments and assumptions that seem to perpetuate the decline of African Languages’ use. I will do this by revisiting the issue of packaging the content and methodology in the teaching and learning of African Studies and African Languages to meet the new challenges in the post apartheid South Africa. One of the challenges that will be interesting to explore is around the current debate as to whether there should be different content for rural and urban needs or not.
_______________________________________________________________________
FATIMA SADIQI (plenary speaker)
Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies
University of Fes, Morocco
E-mail: estry@menara.ma

The Shifting Status of Moroccan Languages in the Educational System: The Dynamics of Education and Globalization

The story of language status and language shift in the Moroccan educational system is an interesting one. With the advent of globalization, the languages that were marginalized under the French Protectorate and during the decades of state-building are finding space in key domains of power, among which is education. The new changes are not only affecting pedagogy and curricula but they are creating unprecedented complex dynamics within and between Moroccan languages.

Morocco is a Muslim, developing and multilingual country where language use carries significant social meaning. Four major languages are used in this country: Standard (written) Arabic, Berber, Moroccan (oral/ Arabic), and French. Each of these languages has specific functions: Standard Arabic is the official language, the language of the government, the mosque, education and the media. French has the status of “second” language in public education and predominates in the private one, it is also the language of business, administration, and a large body of literature. Berber is the language of home and intimate settings. Being the oldest language, Berber is perceived as the symbol of specificity that distinguishes the Maghreb from the rest of the Arab-Muslim world. With democratization and “opening” Berber has been heavily politicized, and as a result, has been codified (endowed with its own alphabet) and started to be taught in some schools since September 2005. Moroccan Arabic shares its “oral” aspect with Berber; it is the lingua franca of all Moroccans, a strong medium of popular culture, itself undergoing deep transformations under the impact of the media and globalization.

With the advent of literacy, media and globalization, “linguistic authority, just like religious authority, is no longer placed in one single language. Interesting dynamics within and across Moroccan languages are being attested: the initial rivalry over symbolic power between Standard Arabic and French, on the one hand, and Standard Arabic and Berber, on the other hand, is giving way to a drastic reduction of the space of Arabic in education, the emergence of Berber in schools as a sign “opening” and "democratization”, the adoption of French by conservatives as a sign of “pragmatism” (French, more than any other language leads to jobs), the emergence of once “foreign” languages, namely English, and to a lesser extent Spanish, as strong languages of education, especially the private one.

The presence of French and now Berber in the Moroccan educational system strips teaching from the religious database that is associated with Standard Arabic. Further, not being supported by a holy book, Berber is further secularizing the Moroccan educational system. In parallel, the new status of Berber as a written language raises the thorny issue of training instructors, pedagogical materials, etc. As for Moroccan Arabic, the historical ties that link it with Standard Arabic foster its overall status, but “legitimize” its exclusion from education. However, the media is opening new spaces for this language, allowing it, thus, to gain more independence from Standard Arabic.

Overall, the shifting status of Moroccan languages in the educational system is certainly prompting various reforms, but the implementation of these is often complicated by the inevitable clash between various ideological trends and pressing ground realities.
_______________________________________________________________________
ABDULLAHI ABDINOOR
Ph.D. candidate
Ohio University
E-mail: aa140801@OHIO.EDU

Maay Dialect of Somali: A Reference Grammar and Pedagogical Manual

The Somali language is an eastern Cushitic language of Afro-Asiatic language family group. It is spoken in most of the region commonly known as the Horn of Africa, in the northeast Africa. Specifically, it is spoken in the whole of Somalia, most of the Republic of Djibouti, parts of northern Kenya, and eastern Ethiopia. The language has two distinct regional variants or dialects, Af Maay and Af Maxaa. Virtually all Somalis speak at least one of these languages. Af Maay, also know as Maay Maay, serves as the lingua franca in the interriverrine agro-pastoralist region in southern Somalia, while Af Maxaa is spoken throughout the rest of Somalia and in neighboring countries, including Kenya, where the refugee camps are located. Approximately one third of the Somali speaking people speak Af Maay dialect.

Although they share some similarities, these two language variants are often unintelligible to each other to the extent that some call them two different languages and not only dialects of the same language. Both languages served as official languages until 1972 when the government determined that Af Maxaa would be the official written language in Somalia. This decision further isolated and hindered southerners, including the Somali Bantu, a particularly marginalized social group, from participating in mainstream Somali politics, government services, and education.

Due to the civil war in Somalia, there has been an influx of Somali immigrants to the Western countries, especially North America and Western Europe since late 1980s and early 1990s. Af Maay has attained importance not only due to the presence of large Somali communities, many of whom speak the language, but also because a large number of Somali Bantu, most whose language is Af Maay have settled in the United States since late 1990s.

The writing of Af Maxaa dialect of Somali in 1972 was a great step in the literary history of Somali but the same official effort has not been made so far for Af Maay dialect. However, there have been individual and group efforts by some Somalis from the region to devise a writing system for Af Maay. The writing system that resulted from these efforts is already in use in some publications and website.

Af Maay uses the Roman alphabet with minor modifications to accommodate unique pronunciations. Since it has only recently been adopted, the written language is very much a work in progress, with variations quite common. Unlike the Af Maxaa, the Af Maay grammar is not well documented although the use of proper grammar is very important in both.

In short, the following are the most important factors:

1. Af Maay is the lingua franca for most of farming communities in southern Somalia.

2. These communities have traditionally been marginalized by the Somali state and by the rest of the society.

3. Af Maay is the first language for most of the Somali Bantu ethnic group who are one of the most marginalized and discriminated against in the country.

4. A large number of Somali Bantu have settled in the United States since the year 2000. Many of them need Af Maay language assistance which many Somalis who have been here before cannot provide.

5. Af Maay had been officially neglected by the Somali state in literature, education and media. Therefore, writing in this dialect will help alleviate some of the injustices doe to it.

This paper is an attempt at writing a grammatical overview of the dialect as well as a pedagogical manual that is hoped to help the learners of the dialect teach themselves by themselves or with the help of a native speaker. The outcome of this study will be a reference grammar, as well as a pedagogical manual for the dialect that can be used by educational institutions and individuals alike. The study is also hoped to contribute to the significant body of research in the Somali language and dialects that had already been done by Somali and non-Somali scholars. The paper uses the existing writing system for the dialect with some possible modifications with the aim of simplifying it.
_______________________________________________________________________
HARRISON ADENIYI
Department of African Languages, Literature and Communication Arts
Lagos State University, Lagos-Nigeria.
E-mail: nigeriaenet@yahoo.com

Non-verbal Communication and the Teaching of African Languages to Foreign Learners

Scholars in the field of African Language teaching to foreign learners have identified various reasons why foreign learners are attracted to learning of African Languages (Moshi 2000; Bokamba 2002; Ojo 2000 and Adeniyi 2005).To make learning of these languages learner-friendly and goal-oriented, teachers must employ various strategies that will make the learners more interested. One of such strategies is the use of appropriate non-verbal communication. In an attempt to avoid the use of common language between the teacher and the learner during the learning process, i.e. English, instructors must employ appropriate non-verbal cues that will make his teaching more effective. The essence of this paper is, therefore, to explore various ways teachers and instructors of African languages can utilize various non-verbal communication that will have. We will explore various categories of non-verbal communication within kinesics, haptics, and personal appearance that can be used to reinforce, complement or replace verbal messages and how they can effectively assist the teaching of these languages.
_______________________________________________________________________
OLÚSEYE ADÉSOLÁ
34 Hillhouse Avenue
Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520
E-mail: oluseye.adesola@yale.edu

Tone Acquisition and Second Language Proficiency

Many of the more than 6000 (identified) living languages use tones that are as distinctive as consonants and vowels in word formation. Whereas, every language uses some forms of intonation, the acquisition of tones and (lexical) tone discrimination have been particularly challenging for second language learners of tone languages. This paper focuses on how to make (African) tone languages less challenging to second language learners. It considers various methods of teaching and acquiring tones with specific reference to Yoruba. It also proposes various things that can be done to aid second language proficiency in tone languages.
_______________________________________________________________________
MUSTAPHA AHMAD, PH.D.
Department of English and European Languages
Bayero University
Kano, Nigeria
E-Mail: ahmedmustap@yahoo.com

Cell Phone Communication in Hausa: Challenges and Opportunities

Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is a relatively new technology that both poses a challenge to African languages and provides an opportunity for their growth. The challenge is largely in the introduction into these languages of foreign concepts, ideas, and terms that have to do with the services offered by the GSM. The opportunity, on the other hand, is in the potential for these languages to expand and develop, so that they catch up with the fast pace of globalisation. This paper studies the impact of the GSM technology on Hausa, one of the largest and fast developing African languages south of the Sahara. It examines how the GSM challenge is handled by Hausa, including its attempt to accomodate, appropriate, and make reference to the plethora of communication services provided by this global technology. These services include voice-dependent, graphic, digital, and text-based operations, including the Short Messaging Servive (SMS). The study also examines the expansion strategies employed by Hausa in its attempt to accomodate this new technology. Specific attention is given to lexical creation/expansion and discourse strategies. The findings of this study would reveal that Hausa can effectively compete with any modern world language by turning modern challenges into opportunities for expansion and advancement.
_______________________________________________________________________
OUSSEINA ALIDOU
Department of Africana Studies and Comparative Literature
Rutgers University
E-mail: ousseina@hotmail.com

The Authenticity of African Linguistic Communities for African Language Learning
in the USA

One of the main characteristics of contemporary globalization is the formation of large African immigrant communities in major US cosmopolitan cities. While in the past the “Anglophone” speaking communities were predominant, since the mid-1980s, non-Anglophone Africans from countries like Senegal, Cape Verde, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast and the Congos have become a significant factor in contemporary Africanization of cities in the East Coast Many of these communities are forming ethnolinguistic associations in which the retention of “old homeland” African languages and cultures is fundamental. This paper explores the possibilities of drawing on the opportunities offered by these African ethnolinguistic communities in the production of “authentic” instructional materials and the establishment of African language practicum.

Teaching Grammatical Content through the Study of Culture

Some fundamentals of the communicative approach include: a) the presentation of the target language material in an integrated manner (i.e combining both structural and cultural contents); b) presentation of grammatical structures in context without resorting to a (heavy) metalinguistic discourse; c) choice of themes that are topical and relevant to language learner; and d) use of genres that are stimulating and engaging to the learner. This paper will seek to demonstrate how the use of African language dance-songs can help in achieving the above objectives of a communicative approach with the goal of reinforcing listening-comprehension. My discussion will focus primarily on a selection of Hausa dance-songs which are suitable for the teaching of grammar and vocabulary from the second semester of Hausa language instruction onwards. The texts I will discuss also demonstrate further possibilities in language instruction across the curriculum.

_______________________________________________________________________

LAWRENCE OYEWOLE AROHUNMOLASE, PH. D.
and
KIKELOMO OLUYEMI OLUREMI-OYARINDE

Adeyemi College of Education
Ondo, Ondo State , Nigeria
E-mail: oyewole2010@yahoo.com

The Classification of Ukaan: A Language in Edo and Ondo States, Nigeria

Ukaan is the name used by scholars like Jungraithmayr (1973), Capo (1989) Williamson (1989), Agoyi (1999) and Abiodun (1999) among others to refer to the Dialects spoken at Auga (Iigau), Ikakumo (Ikakun), Ise (Iisieu) , Akoko North East Local Government Council , Ondo State, Ikakumo-Olayele (Ikakun), Ayanran (Iyinno),Akoko Edo Local Government Council, Edo State. Scholars, (Ak7nkuve, 1978:265, Voeglin and Voeglin 1977:13 – 14, Hoffmann 1976: 169 – 190) are of the view that, Ukaan is a language in the Northern Akoko Cluster language group in the Benue – Congo family of languages. In the opinion of Williamson (1989:267) and Capo (1987), Ukaan is a langue classified as a separate language in the Benue – Congo. Agoyi (1997, 1999) is of the view that Ukaan is an Edoid language. There are also views that Ukaan language belongs to the group of Bantoid languages in Nigeria.

The name Ukaan is not accepted by Auga, Ise, and Ayanran, because, this word is used in the singular form to refer to Ikakumo town and their dialect. The plural form of this word is Akakun. This study examined all the above stated views and posits the view that Ukaan is not related to Edo language as stated by Agoyi (1997, 1999), because Ayanran speakers of Iyinno, a dialect of Ukaan, and Ikiran -Oke speakers of a dialect of Edo language are neighbors and their settlements are not more than 500 meters apart, yet there is no mutual intelligibility in their dialects. When natives of Ikiran-Oke and Ayanran meet, they communicate in Yoruba or English languages. We thank UNESCO for making fund available for Research and Documentation of Iigau and Iyinno, two dialects of Ukaan language.

_______________________________________________________________________
URSULA ATKINSON, PH. D.
Rutgers University, Language Institute
E-mail: atkinson@langlab.rutgers.edu

and

MOHAMED ALSIADI
Rutgers University, Language Institute
E-mail: alsiadi@rci.rutgers.edu


Digiclass – Information Technology and Classroom Materials: A Perfect Match

Digiclass is a universally accessible, online learning environment, which has become an important part of instructional technology at Rutgers. It seeks to create active, self-directed language learners and to improve students’ mastery of world languages by exposing them to customized linguistic practice so skills are acquired effectively and progressively. Digiclass provides access to valuable out-of-class communication and serves as a significant source of native cultural information essential for the development of functional language proficiency. This computer-aided interactive platform offers students many more opportunities to use a language actively and to receive an immediate and individually appropriate response than are possible in class or through traditional forms of homework. Additionally, Digiclass assists instructors with course management and enables them to teach in ways that were previously unavailable.
_______________________________________________________________________
STEPHEN BACKMAN
African Studies Center
Michigan State University
E-mail address: backmans@msu.edu

Prioritization of the Teaching of LCTLs in the U.S.

This paper will give a brief summary of the e-LCTL Initiative (http://elctl.msu.edu/) and discuss its contributions to the field of teaching African languages in U.S. universities. The e-LCTL Initiative is seeking to work nationally to build a consensus about the criteria that should be used for setting priorities among the less commonly taught languages for instruction in the U.S. This consensus is being created by consulting the key stakeholders in the Title VI community – National Resource Centers, Language Resource Centers, Centers for International Business Education and Research, and the American Overseas Research Centers, as well as college and university language professionals, and administrators in funding agencies and the federal government. Early work on the prioritization of the teaching of African languages in U.S. universities has helped to guide similar efforts in other world regions. This paper will discuss those efforts and raise the question of whether and how the current priorities for African LCTLs are sufficient or should be re-examined and addressed under new conditions in the U.S.
_______________________________________________________________________

DR. DÉSIRÉ BALOUBI
Department of Humanities
Shaw University
E-mail: DBaloubi@SHAWU.EDU

African Languages in the Age of Globalization: Prospects and Challenges

Re-engineering African Studies Programs in the US: The Role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Teaching and Learning of African Languages and Cultures The need to train and educate American citizens to become life-long learners with advanced proficiency in foreign languages and cultures has increased dramatically over the years. And the September 11, 2001 attacks on America have emboldened us to believe that spreading democracy across the globe is a viable project to implement. But democracy serves only as a means to building freedom, peace, and justice loving nations and societies in a multifaceted and culturally diverse world. The ultimate goal, one would argue, is to develop and promote tolerance and understanding of these societies across the board. One way we can reach this goal is expanding our school and college curricula so they may include the teaching and learning of more non-western languages and cultures. In fact, a better understanding of the outside world, including the Middle East, South Eastern Asia, and Africa, through more diversified study programs of foreign languages and cultures, will certainly help bring about that new order in a world that is shrinking so rapidly.

This paper focuses on African languages and cultures, and claims that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a vital role to play in the endeavor to better connect America to Africa. The existing literature suggests that quite a few American HBCUs are already moving in that direction. But we need to do more, especially by engaging in sustainable cooperation with Africa and in the learning of the least commonly taught African languages and cultures. In this respect, the history of African studies in itself should serve as a useful guide while we are searching for the direction we believe will be most beneficial to all.

_______________________________________________________________________
RANDALL BECKLOFF
E-mail: beckloff@uga.edu

ADELIN SEMALI
E-mail: semali@uga.edu

ROSE UPOR
E-mail: upor@uga.edu

University of Georgia

This session would describe the use of the online instructional program for Swahili, Kiswahili Kwa Komputer (KIKO) as a media for classroom instruction. The presentation would include a description of KIKO and a demonstration of it, assuming the presentation venue allows for internet access. The presenters will also share their practical experiences with the program as well as student feedback. The session will conclude with a Q & A period and an opportunity for audience members to discuss their experiences with similar programs.
_______________________________________________________________________
CHARLES BWENGE
University of Florida
E-mail: cbwenge@africa.ufl.edu

Code-switching in an African Language Class: A Learning Aid or Impediment?
The Case of Swanglish

Multilingualism in Africa is not only a well known fact, but also an extensively studied phenomenon. Also, undeniable is the fact that codeswitching, the alternate use of two or more languages in the same utterance or conversation, is one of the main forms of language behavior among bilingual/multilingual speakers. African multilingualism includes both African and European languages. Wherever European languages, notably English and French, exist in Africa, they are mostly used as official languages, solely or alongside another local language. As a result, a great majority of people in any given country have various levels of exposure to the official language and, consequently, codeswitching between an African language and English or French language is widespread in most African speech communities. Speakers codeswitch for various reasons. The major question in this preliminary inquiry is whether or not codeswitching as a communicative phenomenon would make a positive contribution to the learners in a communicative-oriented African language classroom. It attempts to answer specific questions such as do African language instructors codeswitch while teaching? If so, what are the effects of this language behavior? Do African language instructors encourage their students to codeswitch? What? When? Where? and Why?

Codeswitching is a well-established sociolinguistic object of study. Two main trends in the study of codeswitching have emerged, that is, the structural-linguistic and sociological-psychological trends. The former concentrates on describing and explaining the linguistic characteristics of participating codes and the latter emphasizes the social and symbolic functions of codeswitching. Nonetheless, very little attention of researchers has been directed to codeswitching in language pedagogy. This study explores how such a communicative phenomenon can be integrated in a communicative-oriented classroom as a strategy of optimizing communicative competency. In this regard, using some examples from Swahili-English codeswitching some important linguistic and social functions of codeswitching are observed and discussed in relation to the features of accuracy (i.e. fluency, grammar, pragmatic competence, pronunciation, sociolinguistic competence, and vocabulary) as delineated in ACTFL guidelines.

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JOSE ARTURO SAAVEDRA CASCO
El Colegio de México
E-mail: jsaave@COLMEX.MX

Internet, Pop Music and the Study of the Swahili Language

In this world with a constant expansion of internet resources Swahili language has been benefited in many aspects. Since the establishment of websites hosted by several American Universities offering diverse learning resources for the study of Swahili, such as dictionaries, grammar guidelines and cultural information, the possibility of finding materials in Swahili, suitable for students of all levels has been significantly increased. Several newspapers in the web (Majira, Nipashe, Alasiri) and the BBC section in Swahili also have contributed with many kind of texts useful for knowing the Swahili currently written in East African media, and whose vocabulary is distinctively different from that normally found in grammar courses and anthologies.

Nevertheless, in the last ten years a new kind of websites concerned with Tanzanian pop music emerged. One example is the Africanhiphop.com site which promotes hip hop artists from the entire continent. It has a rich section of Tanzanian hip hop and provides some lyrics’ transcriptions in Swahili. In Tanzania, the Darhotwire.com site offers a lot of texts in Swahili, interviews, stories and lyrics. There are also discussion sites where young people talk about several social and politic topics in Swahili. (e.g. jikomboe.blogspot.com)

The main scope of this paper is to analyze the characteristics of the materials contained in these sites and their potential usefulness for students of Swahili all over the world. The vocabulary contained in these sites also helps to show the changing adaptability of Swahili and gives a great opportunity to be familiar with new expressions and meanings for those who are not able to travel for long terms to East Africa.

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IBRO CHEKARAOU, PH.D.
Michigan State University
E-mail: ichek@msu.edu

Innovation in Language Instruction: The Hausa Module Online Project

This innovative approach to the teaching and learning of foreign language consists of 15 modules that Hausa teachers can utilize in teaching the language. The modules can be used separately for any level that the teacher wants. This online course combines technology-enhanced language teaching features with elements of authentic materials for development of all four language skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing). All passages used to build the modules are derived from authentic published materials from Hausa speaking areas.

These online Hausa teaching materials are specifically designed to meet the needs of today's more career oriented students, in that they are not organized around the structure of the language, but are composed of tasks based on disciplinary content, while students learn the language skills needed to perform the tasks. The content of these Hausa modules is based in socio-cultural approaches to cultural learning, so that students learn about culture in general and progress toward becoming cultural learners based on exposure to the products, behaviors, and values associated with Hausa culture. In order to provide students with instruction and practice in all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), the project website provides a section on each module dedicated to "classroom applications" where instructors will find discussion/essay questions that can be used in class as well as a list of relevant grammar points that can be reviewed in class in support of the online work.
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LEWIS K.E. CHONGWONY
Ohio University
E-mail: lc291202@OHIO.EDU

The Teaching and/or Learning of African Languages in the Information Age: A Critical Pedagogy

In the recent past, the educational landscape has continued to witness tremendous proliferation and use of information communication technologies (ICT). Thus, teaching and learning strategies are constantly being transformed. Moreover, more opportunities and flexibility in teaching and learning is being created by ICT, which a couple of years ago would be inconceivable.

The teaching and learning of African languages and/or the least taught languages is a major beneficiary that has received great boost from the advancement of ICT through the utilization of distance learning and other interactive technologies. Tons of teaching and learning materials have been created in the last few years and placed online, while more and more are being produced day and night to be wired online. However, when dissected through a critical lens, most of the teaching and learning materials so far produced seem to be serving the system, rather than encouraging critical discourse and what Jurgen Habermas calls lifeworld (Sumner, 2000).

This paper will employ Jurgen Habermas Theory of Communicative Action as a great learning paradigm to identify limitations and problems in the current teaching and learning materials of African languages and propose cures. The issues will be addressed in light of advancements in ICT being utilized in teaching African languages and/or least taught languages. Advances in technology carry huge potential for interactivity that facilitates communicative action, but does not guarantee it as noted by Sumner, 2000 in this era corporate globalization and neocolonialism. A lot more needs to be put in place that just planting teaching and learning materials online.

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JONATHAN NYABUTO CHOTI
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, & African Languages
Michigan State University
Wells Hall A629 East lansing, MI 48824
Tel: 517-432-0194 (off)/517-355-2769(Res)
E-mail: chotijon@MSU.EDU

The Teaching of African Languages in the USA: Some Pedagogical Considerations

The teaching of African languages in the USA is a perfect example of second language acquisition in practice. Therefore, most of the acquisition of African languages in this context takes place in the classroom, or through instruction. In this paper, I assume that a greater percentage of the L2 material is acquired in the classroom. Implied in this assumption is the pivotal role the following factors play in the teaching of African languages in American universities: a) student’s motives, b) teacher credentials, c) instructional materials, and d) nature of the syllabus. I argue in this paper that a student with a stronger motive to learn a given African language will attain a higher proficiency than one with a weak motive. On teacher credentials, I hold the view that teachers of African languages ought to be native speakers in those languages, or speakers with native/near native proficiency in those languages. Furthermore, I argue that teachers with a strong background in linguistics will make better instructors. I also contend that instructional materials in African languages be prepared by experts who are native speakers in those languages. Syllabuses in the taught African languages need to be a good balance between the four language skills, i.e., speaking, listening, writing, and reading. It is my considered opinion that instructor’s use of PowerPoint presentations and overhead projections should be minimized because these discourage student note taking. This article details how the above four factors affect the teaching of African languages in the USA universities.

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BOUBACAR DIAKITE
Indiana University
E-mail: bdiakite@indiana.edu

Sociolinguistics of Certain Arabic and French Borrowed Words in Bambara

This paper will examine borrowed words which entered the Bambara language as a result of contact between Bambara, French, and Arabic. To what extent do Bambara Language instructors can use these borrowings in their teachings of the Bambara language. When a language is in contact with other languages, it sometimes borrows lexical items to express and define new objects and concepts (i.e. for a need) or to express an old concept or define an old object with a new lexical item (i.e. for prestige). Almost all well-known languages of the world have resorted to borrowing in some stages of their development. The amount of borrowing may differ depending on the degree and duration of contact between the languages involved. This borrowing causes problems to teaching an African Languages in general, and Bambara in particular. This paper will make suggestions with dealing with these instructional difficulties.
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LAURA DIX
St. Lawrence University
E-mail: lcdix02@STLAWU.EDU

The focus of my Independent Study was the motivations behind students taking all levels of Swahili at St. Lawrence University. I conducted a historical analysis of the Swahili course at St. Lawrence University, with regard to how professors are chosen to teach the course, and the interdependence between the Swahili course and the St. Lawrence Kenya Semester Program. The purpose of this study was to provide a better concentration on the needs of the students when planning the curriculum by learning their reasons for taking the course. This may help to improve the motivations of Swahili students to learn the language in future semesters. Research involved interviewing students taking Swahili during the fall semester of 2005, and interviewing St. Lawrence professors about the history of the Kenya Semester Program and the Swahili course at St. Lawrence. The result of the study was that the majority of students took Swahili in preparation for the Kenya Semester Program. Nearly all students indicated that they planned on using Swahili after the course had ended, and that their motivations to learn the language were high because of this.

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JAMES ESSEGBEY
Assistant Professor Dept. of African and Asian Languages and Literatures
University of Florida
458 Grinter Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-5565
E-mail: essegbey@AALL.UFL.EDU

Distinguishing the Grammatical Stative from the Lexical-state Verb in Akan

In this paper, I argue that Akan has a grammatical aspectual stative which should be distinguished from the inherent lexical aspect of verbs known as states (Van Valin and La Polla 1997). Commenting on the Tense-Aspect-Mood system of Akan, Osam (1994:51) writes: “this is an area of the grammar of the language which has received considerable attention. Nevertherless, anybody familiar with the tense-aspect system of the language as well as with the literature on the subject knows that there are complexities in the system of the language which no single analysis has been able to adequately deal with”. The stative aspect which is realised as a low tone is one of the categories that has not been properly dealt with. This category has been widely discussed in the literature where it is known among others as the stative (Kalchofner 2000), the continuative (Osam 1994), and the present perfect (Dolphyne 1971). I show that the discussions often blur the distinction between syntactic aspectual stative verbs and a lexical state class of verbs. For instance a verb like "da" can take the grammatical aspectual low tone in which case it means ‘to be in a lying position’. However, it can also take the high tone in which case it means ‘habitually enters a lying posture’. By contrast, there are verbs like "de" ‘to be called’ which can only take the low tone. Next are verbs like "tu" in tu mirika ‘run’ which do not take the low tone. I show that if Akan verbs are classified according to their lexical aspect (i.e., states, activities, achievement and accomplishments), and this classification set apart from the grammatical aspectual category of stativity, the behavior of state verbs like "de," ‘to be called’ which only takes the stative low tone, and activity verbs like tu mirika ‘run’ which never do is easily explained. So is the behaviour of accomplishment verbs like "da," ‘get in lying posture’ which can take the stative low tone but need not.

References

Dolphyne, F (1971): A classification of Akan verb stems. In Société Linguistique de l’Afrique Occidentale. Actes du Huitième Congrès International de Linguistique Africaine. Abidjan: Université d’Abidjan. 191-201

Kalchofner, P. (2000): Stative verbs in Twi. In Wolff, H.E. and Gensler, O. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics Leipzig 1997. Cologne:Rudiger Koeppe. 593-602

Osam, K (1994): Aspects of Akan grammar: a functional perspective. PhD dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene.

Van Valin, R.D & LaPolla R.J (1997): Syntax: Structure, Meaning & Function. Cambridge University Press
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MWERU GATIMU
Department of African American and African Studies
Ohio State University
E-mail: gatimu.1@OSU.EDU

African Immigrants and the Spread of Kiswahili in the United States

Interest in and influences of Kiswahili have gained significant momentum in the last decade, both in formal in informal sectors of academic, private and public programs and cultural activities. This momentum is very obvious, both in terms of its diffusion and adoption in several geographical locations in Africa and as seen in educational and cultural programs worldwide. Quick examples of the influence and spread of Kiswahili are seen in, for instance, the Kwanzaa celebrations which feature Kiswahili vocabulary; restaurants in neighborhoods in the United States will advertise nyama choma on their menu. There are African Churches in the U.S. where the sermon and bulletin announcements are presented in Kiswahili.

A major premise of this paper links the growing worldwide popularity of Kiswahili with the global dispersal of Kiswahili speakers. The purpose of this paper therefore is to examine the specific contributions that the increasing numbers of African immigrants who speak Kiswahili have made to the use and spread of this language. Suggestions will be made that would facilitate the expansion of Kiswahili especially in the United States where English is the medium of communication and the use of Spanish is rapidly increasing.

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PETER GITHINJI
Ohio University
E-mail: githinji@ohio.edu

Homecoming: Drawing from the Source in the Teaching of African Languages

Teaching of African languages abroad is a rapidly growing and challenging field. This calls for the need to utilize all the available resources at the instructors’ disposal. While it is generally accepted that the use of chalk and board, and other multimedia resources can aid the instructor in imparting linguistic skills to the students in the classroom situation, these in themselves are not enough in equipping the learner with all the intricacies involved in the acquisition of language. This paper explores an area that has not been significantly addressed in the past; yet, it is a vital tool in enhancing the teaching and learning of African languages in a non-native environment. The argument for incorporating the immigrant communities in the USA in the teaching and learning of African Languages is examined. In addition, the challenges that may arise from this important contribution are also discussed. Broadly, the paper looks at how this out-of-class learning can be synchronized with the instructor’s classroom instructional model to create an effective learning process. The contention is that while utilization of immigrant communities in the USA as a resource for African language study might a challenging undertaking, it is a key complementary resource that can help in improving the learners’ communicative abilities. I advocate for a systematic approach that involves constant monitoring order to ensure that the classroom instructions do not conflict with what the learners acquire from the immigrant communities.
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RHASHIDA HILLIARD
Ph.D. student in International Education/African Studies Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
New York University
1072 Teller Avenue, Apt. #4A Bronx, New York 10456
Tel: (347) 204-6747
E-mail: rxh200@nyu.edu

At the dawn of a new century, educators must respond to an exciting opportunity and challenge: to prepare young people for life in a global age. As economies and cultures become more interconnected, and technology creates instantaneous links across the globe, success in the twenty-first century will increasingly require knowledge and understanding of the world beyond our borders. 1

This presentation seeks to offer ways in which African languages in particular and African studies in general can contribute to our understanding of the world. To this extent, the main focus of this presentation is to develop the idea of creating schools where Africa is not at the periphery but at the center. Such schools do not presuppose that knowledge of cultures outside of Africa is insignificant. In fact, the premise for this presentation is to explore the idea of an international curriculum which includes knowledge of African civilizations, past and present, in addition to civilizations from around the world. Moreover, it would be expected that students have proficiency in at least one [African] language upon graduating, depending on their time of entry. In short, this looks at options for creating charter schools, dual-language schools and/ or international school designs where African area studies is one of the main foci.

1 “Asia Society’s Network of International Studies Schools.” Asiasociety.org. 13 December 2005 http://www.internationaled.org/schools.htm
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SOLOMON OLANREWAJU MAKINDE, PH. D.
Lagos State University

Globalization and the Survival of Nigerian Languages

This paper takes a critical look at the current revolution going on in information technology and the challenges or threat of globalization on the national life of Nigeria especially in the area of culture. Larger or more developed languages dominate small languages. The possibility of many Nigerian indigenous languages going into extinction cannot be ruled out unless practical steps are taken to arrest the imbalance. Access to information is done through the imperial languages; hence Nigerian languages like most African languages are relegated to the background. The paper therefore suggests what could be done to make Nigerian languages fit in for the challenges of a globalizing world.

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ZOLISWA O. MALI
University of Iowa
Second Language Acquisition Program
International Programs (FLARE)
Iowa City, IA 52242
E-mail: zoliswa-mali@uiowa.edu

Communication Strategy Use by Learners of IsiZulu in a Computer Mediated Communication Environment: Exploring Chatroom Interaction as a Second Language Acquisition Tool

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) has played a major role in transforming the world into a global village and represents a viable medium for enhancing foreign language learning. In this presentation, the speaker will report on a research project that focuses on the use of computer chats as a tool for L2 acquisition.

Specifically, the study examines the use of communication strategies. Bou-Franch (1994, p. 2) states that the efficient use of language to achieve successful communication in situations where there is communicative deficiency highlights one of the key issues in second language acquisition research: the use of communication strategies (CSs). Mitchell and Myles (1998) point out, however, that the study of CSs is a relative newcomer in the field of SLA research. But even more recent is the field of CMC, a phenomenon that did not surface until the mid-1990s with the widespread use of computers. And less researched and more recent still are synchronous computer-mediated communication (S-CMC) and a related process known as asynchronous computer-mediated communication (AS-CMC), as Biesenbach-Lucas (2005) further points out in a comparative study of AS-CMC and face-to-face (F2F) communication. The study investigates the CSs that learners of a second language, in this case isiZulu, use to understand and make themselves understood when they communicate in computer chatrooms. In addition, the study explores differences in the strategies that intermediate learners of isiZulu use when the person they are chatting with is another isiZulu learner, compared to when their interlocutor is a native speaker of isiZulu. The speaker will report on the design and implementation of the study as well as the preliminary findings from the data analysis.
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MALLAM GARBA MAMAN, PH.D.
Chercheur en Sciences du Langage en Education Bilingue
Niamey NIGER
Tél (227) 28 48 23

Bilan de Production des Oeuvres Pedagogique en Langues Africaines au Niger

C'est une opportunité pour nous d'échanger et diffuser les résultats de nos productions en langues africaines de ces dernières années. Aussi, à cette occasion je dresserai le bilan des oeuvres produites au Niger en langues africaines de 1960 à ce jour avant d'en dégager les tendances et les perspectives de l'utilisation de cet immense trésor au profit de l'école nigérienne, et au delà à celui des écoles africaines, puisque les frontières entre les langues transcendent celles des Etats.

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AUDREY N. MBEJE, PH.D.
Language Coordinator, African Studies Center
University of Pennsylvania
648 Williams Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Tel: (215) 898-4299
Fax. (215) 573-7379
E-mail: mbeje@sas.upenn.edu

Integrating Task-based Language Learning and Teaching in an African Language Curriculum

Task-based Language Learning (TBLL) has become an important approach in the field of foreign language learning and teaching as a form of teaching that promotes communication and social interaction. This presentation will emphasize the need to design TBLL activities that enhance receptive and productive skills to improve language learning. Carefully designed pre-task activities can help provide learners with the necessary input and context valid for carrying out assigned tasks to achieve the desired output.

Examples of tasks for intermediate level (second year) students of Zulu will be demonstrated. The tasks, however, can be useful for any foreign language teaching.

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Audrey N. Mbeje
University of Pennsylvania
E-mail: mbeje@sas.upenn.edu

Esau J. Mavindidze
University of Pennsylvania
E-mail: ejmavind@sas.upenn.edu

Elaine Mshomba
University of Pennsylvania
E-mail: mshomba@sas.upenn.edu

Maximizing Foreign Language Curriculum Outcomes through Technology:
A Case of African Languages


University of Pennsylvania Innovative teaching strategies involving technology are frequently cited as effective in increasing student access to information and improving foreign language teaching and learning. To the extent that technology enables learning outside the classroom, the use of technology in foreign language teaching has a potential to expand the time and motivation for language learning which can substantially improve the outcomes of a language curriculum. Thus, it seems obvious to conclude that students will greatly benefit from language programs that integrate technology into their curriculum.

This presentation will discuss specific online materials targeting various levels in African languages and how these can be used to enrich the language learning experiences of students. The focus will be on how these online materials can be incorporated into carefully designed teaching and learning activities across African languages to support receptive skills learning. The African languages project will only be used as an example; however, the model can be used to maintain instructional standards across languages in any foreign language curriculum.
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SANGAI MOHOCHI
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
St. Lawrence University
Canton, NY 13617-1475
Tel: 315 229 5888
E-mail: emohochi@stlawu.edu

Misinterpretation or Compromising Meaning for Convenience:
Students’ Use of English Knowledge to Negotiate Swahili Meaning


While first language acquisition is almost invariably effortless, the same is hardly the case in the case of the second language. Although people are increasingly involved in learning additional languages all over the world, the exercise of learning a second, more so a foreign language, presents several challenges. One challenge that has often been mentioned has to do with the fact that in learning a second language; one is not only learning a different set of linguistic structures and rules, but also the culture that is an integral part of the language. One can, therefore, assume that the bigger the linguistic and cultural difference between the two languages, the more daunting the task of learning the second language becomes. However, there are a number of strategies that learners employ to meet second language learning challenges. One such strategy is the ever present and almost obvious urge to transfer their first language knowledge to the second language. While helpful, the practice often presents a different set of challenges. The present study attempts to analyze the way English speaking students of Swahili apply their knowledge of English in negotiating meaning with their instructors in Swahili language classes. Drawing from data from a small liberal arts college in America, it examines the effects of using the cultural background underpinning the use of English in America to the teaching and learning of Swahili. Is meaning misrepresented or even compromised for our convenience as we attempt to force Swahili to fit into English language and American culture? What common language errors result from the practice, and what strategies are can be drawn upon to deal with them?
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ALI MOUTAKI, PH. D.
Arabic language faculty
University Alquaraouiine
Marrakech,Morocco
E-mail: moutaki1@HOTMAIL.COM

Some Aspects of Moroccan Popular Culture Crisis

During the last decades, tourism, a lucrative business in Morocco has wrecked havoc on Moroccan popular culture. Its strategy in exploiting this human heritage has been exclusively commercial. In 1951, the UNESCO has tried to draw the world's attention to the necessity of safeguarding this popular heritage. This talk will shed lights on the degree of textual loss that is generated by the violent eradication of the 'popular songs' from their natural context during the performance act.

When a popular song text is enacted within a tourist context, the outcome is a series of ambivalent juxtaposed and dislocated sounds. This is intrinsically what endangers the established unity of these popular songs' form and content and diverts audience's interest. Indeed, as the performance goes on, the watchers are taken away by the artists' movements and gestures at the expense of other constituents that are part and parcel of the structural make up of these songs. Thus, in order to do justice to this performance, it needs to be perceived as a corporate whole symbiotically combining time, space, dancers, singers and finally audience.
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MAHIRI MWITA
Princeton University
E-mail: mmwita@PU.EDU

Newspapers in English, Lessons in Kiswahili: Teaching in L2 through Materials in L1

Some of the advantages of newspapers as a media of instructing foreign language are because they are authentic, representative of the contemporary culture, and, thanks to the internet, are available and easily accessible in most language classrooms in the US. However, this important resource is still problematic in African language pedagogy in the West, largely because very few newspapers published in African languages are available electronically through the internet. In those available cases like Swahili, the type of articles published in their electronic issues use a complex grammar and deal with “topical” content meant to attract the taste of Africans living in the diasporas. Stories of daily activities of the local culture hardly make it to the internet versions of say Majira, Dar Leo, or BBC Swahili; three examples of Kiswahili newspapers available in the internet. The less commonly language teacher who want to use newspapers for culture-based lessons in L2 is therefore limited in the availability of newspapers articles written in a simple comprehensible L2 grammar, unlike in the commonly taught languages where most media is available through the internet. This paper discusses how to draw from African newspapers published in English to prepare and conduct lessons in L2. Using examples of instructing Swahili in Kiswahili through newspapers in both Swahili and English, the author illustrates how to use newspapers in English to teach reading, writing and speaking skills based on the approach of language learning as a “process of working from the known to the unknown.”

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AKINLOYE OJO
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30605
E-mail: akinloye@uga.edu

Successful and Effective African Language Teaching: Learners’ Perspectives

There has been an increased emphasis within the field of African language instruction on the methods for achieving and the various measurements of successful language teaching. Beyond African languages, a significant component of foreign language instruction, as a discipline, is the development and testing of guidelines for measuring successful language instruction and learning. This presentation will provide a report of the survey of students’ opinions on the teaching of African languages such as Yoruba, Swahili, Zulu, Manding, Hausa, Twi, and Igbo. The opinion survey amongst recent and current students in the different African language programs was conducted through the administration of a short questionnaire. This exercise is a preliminary attempt to identify what these students, based on their expectations before entering the language programs and their experiences within the classrooms, would consider as successful and effective African language teaching. The report will provide both the students’ language learning background as well as their perspectives on what it means for instruction in an African language to be successful and effective. Additionally, some of the students’ opinions expressed in the survey will be compared with some of the discussions in the literature on successful teaching of African languages (Brecht and Walton, 1994; Arasanyin, Folarin- Schleicher and Sekoni, 1996; Dwyer, Schleicher and Moshi, 1997; Moshi, Nanji, Hauner and Inniss, 1999; Bokamba, 2002; Folarin- Schleicher and Moshi, 2000; Moshi and Ojo, 2000; Moshi, 2001; Ojo, 2002 and 2003).
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ALWIYA S. OMAR
Department of Linguistics
Indiana University
Memorial Hall 322
Bloomington IN 47405
E-mail: aomar@indiana.edu

Apologizing in Kiswahili: Performance of Native Speakers and Learners

This paper is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on Kiswahili apologies by native speakers from Tanzania. Native speaker data were obtained from television programs, observation and personal experience. This study adds interactive data to written questionnaire data collected in 1994 at the University of Dar Es Salaam. The written questionnaires were adapted from Blum-Kulka, House and Kasper (1989). Following the work of Obeng (2003) and Olshtain (1989), we will list formulaic expressions used in Kiswahili apologies and discuss strategies that speakers employ to intensify or downgrade their apologies. The second part of the paper provides a cross-sectional survey of the performance of American learners of Kiswahili from a mid-west university in their 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th semester of language study. Learner data were obtained from role-plays. Results from the two parts of the study are compared and implications for second language teaching and learning are discussed.

Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & and Kasper, G. (1989) Cross cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies. Norwood: NJ: Ablex Publishing

Obeng, S. (2003). Language in African social interaction: Indirectness in Akan communication. New York: Nova Science.

Olshtain, E. (1989), Apologies across languages. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. House and G. Kasper (Eds.) Cross cultural pragmatics: requests and apologies. (p.155 -173) Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
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NOSIRU OLAJIDE ONIBON
Lecturer, Foreign Languages Department
Lagos State University
E-mail: nosiruonibon@yahoo.com

Globalization, Language Contact and Change: A Preliminary Study of Semantic Shifts in Contemporary Arabic Economic Terms

Globalization has become a reality with its attendant effects. It has enhanced and strengthened contacts amongst distant cultures. Language, the tool of communication better mirrors such encounters. Arabs had had dramatic encounter with the West, and had undergone noticeable transformation. They are today exposed to different types of novelties in all aspects of human endeavors; most of which are aliens to their natural habitat, hence the need to produce Arabic representations of these novel thoughts and items, in order to enhance their localization into Arabic community. Since no language is academically prepared and organized for such encounter which creates linguistic phenomenon of "interference", efforts to create Arabic representations of the contemporary foreign economic terms resulted to semantic changes in most lexical items used to express those foreign concepts in the field of economic. This paper therefore wishes to examine the semantic changes that occur to these terms as a mirror of changing perceptions of Arabic speakers in economic activities. For this study, we have at the back of our mind the principles of semantic changes or development in words, such as Ta'mÊm (generalized sense), TakhÎÊÎ (specialized sense), Ruqyyu DalÉlah (advanced sense) and an-Naql DalÉliyy (transferred sense) in order to determine the kind of semantic shifts that befell these lexical items during their transitions between literal and specialized (scientific) meanings. The English-French-Arabic encyclopedia of GATT and WTO by Abdl FatÉi Mourad provides us with an impressive list of the contemporary economic terms in Arabic language. For the choice of the terms for this study, we have selected those words with observable semantic changes that convey new concepts or new economic transactions. The study finds out, among others, that the contemporary Arabic economic terms provide us a faithful idea of conceptual changes brought about by the modern sophisticated economic activities now encountered in Arabia and its reflections on Arabic language.
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PETER OTIATO
Ohio University
E-mail: otiatoh@yahoo.com

Cementing the Ground: Developing a Discourse-oriented Curriculum for Teaching Literature in an African Language Classroom

Use of discourse as opposed to the teaching of the structure is one of the preferred methods of teaching advanced level students. The argument is that linguistic competence can be cultivated by emphasizing more on context instead of grammar. The approach has various advantages: it incorporates learning and appreciation of African cultures and literatures, improves orality in the students, and enhances reading, writing, and comprehension. In addition, it promotes the acquisition of the grammatical elements that emanates from the used texts. The issues addressed in this paper include: the rationale, goals, the methodology, syllabus design, the choice of texts and learner evaluation. The paper contends that while the use of literature in an African language classroom is a vital method in assisting learners acquire language skills, it is imperative to adopt an incremental method of using it so that learners get used to it as they gradually progress through the three levels of study. For this to be effective, difficulty of the texts and the ability of the learners to understand must be taken into consideration. The paper advocates for literature to be used alongside other methods of teaching but not as an exclusive methodology in itself.
_______________________________________________________________________
PETER OTIATO
Ohio University
Peter Otiato E-mail: otiatoh@yahoo.com

and

PETER GITHINJI
Ohio University
E-mail: githinji@ohio.edu

Changing with Change: Making African Languages Relevant to Global Demands

The role of language in social, political, and economic affairs has been widely acknowledged, and African languages have not been exceptional in this regard. There exist a dialectical relationship between language and applicability. A language that is not applied in varied contexts is in danger of extinction. This is especially so in this age of globalization where international languages such as English, French and Spanish exert hegemonic influence over other minority languages. The future of African language depends on how they will effectively negotiate their relevance in this dialectical relationship that demands harmonious integration of language into all spheres of society. This has become even more prevalent in the current era of globalization where mastery of a language is a crucial empowering tool in the running of public affairs. This paper explores the rationale behind the use of African languages in a variety of contexts, the process of their application, and how the needs of these varied contexts can be accommodated into the normal classroom syllabus. This paper holds that with the ever-increasing global demands that require an integrated approach that satisfies the needs and concerns of all the stakeholders, there is a need to develop a more pragmatic approach that goes beyond the traditional emphasis on grammatical competence. The challenge here is to come up with a systematic model that will make African languages more amenable to the needs of society in both local and global contexts.
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CHARLES OWU-EWIE
Ohio University
E-mail: charowu12345@yahoo.com

The Language Policy of Education in Ghana: Constraints and the Way Forward

Language policies of education in African countries especially at the lower primary level are no small matter. It is a contentious issue at social and political levels. Ghana has not been spared of this phenomenon. In a country with between forty-two and sixty indigenous languages plus English as an official language, selecting a language as medium of instruction in school is a hard nut to crack. Notwithstanding, Ghana has run a mother tongue medium of instruction policy at the lower primary level for the past three decades which has been a beacon and envy of most Francophone and Anglophone African countries alike. But in recent times, this policy has been seen as unworkable and therefore has come under immense criticisms. Effective September, 2002 the government embarked on an English only language policy of education. Major among the reasons given for the change in policy is the multilingual nature of the country and most especially the urban classrooms. The never ending debate on language policy of education rages on in an intensified manner after the change of policy. The author focuses on the debate to identify the constraints of the old policy from the following perspectives: planning/implementation, resources, social, policy model, political factors, lack of knowledge, and external influence and what needs to be done to ameliorate the problems of the otherwise laudable policy.
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MAHRIANA ROFHEART
Program in Comparative Literature
Rutgers University
E-mail: mahriana@eden.rutgers.edu

Learning Wolof: A Graduate Student’s Perspective

The paper will discuss motivations that graduate students, particularly in the literary fields, may have for learning African languages. Students at the graduate level may choose to learn an African language so that they can read directly in that language or converse fluently to carry out field research. A language course that takes into account these unique motivations will be particularly beneficial to the student. With reference to the presenter’s own experience learning Wolof, the paper will examine strategies for incorporating graduate students’ research into African language learning. Finally, the incorporation of literary texts and other primary source materials not only serves to involve a particular student’s research but also insists upon the continued viability of African languages for literary study.
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LEONCE RUSHUBIRWA, PH. D.
Assistant Professor, Kiswahili and African Languages African & African American Studies
University of Kansas, Lawrence KS
1440 Jayhawk Blvd. #12A
Lawrence, KS. 66045
Tel: (785) 864-5044/3054
E-mail: leonce@ku.edu

Technology and African Language Learners: What Are Students Saying?
The case of KIKO Software


When the computer was introduced as a teaching tool and resource, it promised tremendous possibilities to enhance the process of language teaching and learning. In the case of African language instruction, one of the most significant contributions of the computer is its ability to bring into the language classroom individualized and user-controlled learning that facilitates language acquisition. This paper adopted the qualitative methods of study. Using an ethnographic approach, the presenter investigated the interests of Kiswahili language students at three universities regarding the use of KISWAHILI KWA KOMPYUTA (KIKO) software. This paper reports the students’ interest in the use of KISWAHILI KWA KOMPYUTA (KIKO) software, and their perceived view of its relevancy to the learning of Kiswahili language and culture. The paper concludes by highlighting some limitations and recommendations for improvement made by the students.
_______________________________________________________________________
LEONCE RUSHUBIRWA, PH. D.
Assistant Professor, Kiswahili and African Languages
African & African American Studies
University of Kansas
1440 Jayhawk Blvd. #12A
Lawrence, KS 66045
Tel: (785) 864-5044/3054
E-mail: leonce@kau.edu

and

JANE IRUNGU
African & African American Studies
1440 Jayhawk Blvd. #12A
Lawrence, KS 66045
Tel: (785) 864-3054/7265
E-mail: irungu@ku.edu

Pedagogical Approaches to African Languages and Marketing Strategies for
Sustaining Student Enrollments: The Case of Swahili Language in U.S. Universities
and Colleges


Improved teaching techniques and increases in student enrollment in African language courses are essential in developing African languages in U.S. universities and colleges. It is assumed that apart from other factors, appropriate pedagogical approaches enhance student’s interests in learning African languages and lead to sustained student enrollment. Inadequate pedagogy and poor marketing strategies result in decreased enrollments. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the pedagogical approaches that the African language instructors apply in enhancing their teaching. It also seeks to clarify the marketing strategies that are suitable in marketing African language in American universities and colleges. The paper also reports the pedagogical and marketing challenges confronting instructors of African languages. The conclusion of the paper will focus on suggestions that would enhance the pedagogical and marketing processes in order to improve student learning and increase enrollment.

________________________________________________________________________
ANTONIA F. SCHLEICHER
(Panel Chair)
University of Wisconsin
E-mail: ayschlei@wisc.edu

ALWIYA S. OMAR
Indiana University,
E-mail: aomar@indiana.edu

AUDREY MBEJE
University of Pennsylvania
E-mail: mbeje@sas.upenn.edu

LEONARD MUAKA
University of Illinois
E-mail: muaka@uiuc.edu

BEZZA AYALEW
University of Wisconsin
E:mail: ayalew@wisc.edu

SETH OFORI
Indiana University
E:mail: sofori@indiana.edu

Material Development at the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC)

The National African Language Resource Center (NALRC) sponsors and directs development of materials for African languages. These materials include "Let’s speak" series, communicatively oriented textbooks in different languages and for learners at different levels of instruction. "Let’s speak" series are available at elementary level for Amharic, Kiswahili, Twi, Arabic, and Setswana. Series at intermediate and advanced levels are in progress. Grammar series for Kiswahili, Zulu, Pulaar, Bamana, Shona and Twi are also available. Another project with a focus on K-12 language learning is in progress. The K-12 materials that are being developed are for Yoruba and Kiswahili. The panelists will discuss the need for these materials and the methodologies used in developing them. They will also share strategies used for successful completion of the projects.
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MANTOA ROSE SMOUSE
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida
E-mail: rsmouse@aall.ufl.edu

Social Interaction and the Use of Literature in a Foreign Language Classroom

In an ideal foreign language classroom, the ultimate goal of learning would be to want to “know” that particular language. However, not all learners share this goal. A survey on students’ reasons for learning a foreign language indicated that learners have different reasons and different expectations in a language classroom (Bwenge 2004). The teacher in a foreign language classroom is faced with the challenge of addressing these needs and expectations. Various studies on second language acquisition have attempted to define what it means to “know” a language in order to inform the development of instructional materials. In the broadest sense, knowing a language means the ability to use the linguistic system and the sociolinguistic aspects of language or social interaction (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project,1999). Social interaction is defined in narrow terms as “interaction encounters in which at least two participants are co-present and engaged in a joint activity, or within a shared temporal frame only, in which case the spatial displacement is compensated through electronic devices such as the telephone or Internet facilities”(Kasper & Rose 2002:3). While this definition tends to exclude texts, a wider definition treats texts as some form of interaction. Working within this framework the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project (NSFLEP) identified modes of communication: Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational. These three modes combined form the backbone of communication. Given the variety of students and needs in a foreign language classroom, the immediate challenge is how to meet their individual expectation and appeal to their different learning strategies. The aim of this paper is to provide an outline of how literature can be used in a foreign language classroom to attend to both the teaching of the linguistic system and sociolinguistic aspects while meeting the requirements of various learners. In addition, I show how this approach addresses the five c’s of foreign language learning (communication, communities, cultures, comparisons, connections) identified by National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project.
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NIRMALA VIJAYAKUMAR
AssistantProfessor, Department of English
Velammal Engineering College
Chennai-66, India
E-mail: vijainir2000@YAHOO.CO.IN

Developing Productive Language Skills for Apprehensive Learners

The role of emotional variables in foreign language teaching and learning has been studied extensively for the last three decades by several authors. Among other affective variable is Apprehension which stands out as one of the main blocking factors for effective language learning. Its damaging effects have been found in all phases of this process, Input, Processing and Output and through the four skills, becoming a barrier for successful performance in all of them.

The relevance of students’ apprehension is an educational problem; the fact is the kind of Apprehension, which affects foreign language learners to learn foreign language.

We often find our Engineering students of Tamil Medium/Rural rather weak in productive language skills. Though they have learned English for ten or eleven years at the school, have a good foundation in English grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and have difficulty in comprehending authentic English through listening or reading, a considerable number of our students cannot speak or write fluently in the language because of Apprehension. This made us realize with regret that linguistic competence does not necessarily lead to communicative performance, and receptive language skills do not directly result in communicative competence.

This paper is going to describe the following activities that we have found helpful in getting our students to productively use the language without apprehension:

• Mini Speech(Oral activity)
• Editing Articles
• News Paper Reading
• Role Play • Picture Talk
• Writing Advertisement

These activities are effective in developing their senior-level students' productive language skills and overall ability as contributing adults-which is perhaps the most important objective of higher education. Teachers no longer need to search everywhere for "suitable materials" nor work late into the night preparing teaching plans or lecture notes. This article will bridge the gap between research findings and classroom practice by enabling teachers to identify the sources and manifestations of their students’ Foreign Language Apprehension. This article is also aimed to help teachers find suitable ways to handle this educational problem within the limits of their classrooms.
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ANNE WALIAULA
E-mail: awaliaula@yahoo.com

The Place of Songs in Teaching a Second Language: The Case of Kiswahili

The purpose of this paper is to examine the place and role of songs in teaching Kiswahili to second language learners. The use of songs has been proved successful in teaching children at all levels. However, songs play an integral part in the teaching of Kiswahili to adult learners as well and with even better results. This paper will focus on the place and values of using songs in teaching second language learners of Kiswahili in a classroom. I seek to describe the impact of songs on learning and retentions of Kiswahili on learners. The thrust of this paper therefore, is to illustrate the value and effectiveness of the utilization of songs as vehicles for the teaching and learning of Kiswahili. Drawing on my own classroom experience I will discuss practical examples and different ways of integrating songs in teaching Kiswahili.
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KEN WALIBORA WALIAULA
Department of African-American & African Studies
Ohio State University
E-mail: kwaliaula@yahoo.com

In the Service of Kiswahili, with Pen, Microphone, and TV Screen

African languages are compelled to fight for their survival even in Africa itself, largely due to debilitating Western influences and the lack of the political will to promote indigenous languages. As a result there is fear that some African languages are indeed threatened with extinction. This unfortunate scenario is also predicated on the self-hate and self-denigration that decades of colonization inflicted on the African psyche. As Ngugi wa Thiong’o, has cogently argued, the colonial project entailed teaching Africans the nefarious myth that anything African is synonymous with evil and darkness, including African names and languages. However, far from being engaged in a losing battle, certain African languages have exhibited a startling resilience as exemplified by the rise and rise of Kiswahili. In 2000 Kiswahili gained the enviable position of being the first official African language of the African Union. Kiswahili boasts a vibrant body of literature and continues to be studied in schools and universities in Europe, North America and the Far East. Kiswahili continues to wrestle gallantly with European and other African languages for space and time on TV and radio across the East and Central African region where it enjoys pride of place as the lingua franca. As a Kiswahili creative writer and broadcast journalist, I have had the satisfying privilege of straddling both the literary and media worlds in the service of Kiswahili. In this paper I intend to share with you my experiences in and reflections on advancing the cause of Kiswahili as an indigenous African language.
_______________________________________________________________________
KIARIE WA'NJOGU
Progarm in African Languages
Yale University
P.O. Box 208206
New Haven, CT 06520
E-mail: john.wanjogu@yale.edu

Emancipation versus Dependence: The case of African Languages in Kenya in the Era of Globalization

The role of language in any form of liberation cannot be underestimated. Historically, societies have relied on language to mobilize people to fight for their rights. However, if left unchecked, dominant languages have the potential of creating a culture of dependence among socio-economically and politically weaker societies. A culture of linguistic dependence is likely to arise especially where access to crucial information is limited to only a few people. In Kenya, liberalization of airwaves has seen an increase in radio stations broadcasting in local languages, leading to a more informed society. Politicians have also not been left behind in capturing the electorate in national or local languages. The use of national and local languages has led to increase in political participation of majority of the people, who were hitherto closed out due to language barrier. This paper proposes to examine how the power of language has been successfully utilized for political mobilization in Kenya. The paper will further examine the challenges of transferring the same "power" to better improve the socio-economic lives of the people. Poor language policies and the threat of globalization will be discussed. The paper will conclude with a language policy model suitable for Kenya.

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R.WILDSMITH-CROMARTY AND M.GORDON
University of KwaZulu-Natal
E-mail: wildsmithr@ukzn.ac.za

Concept Literacy in Maths and Science

This paper reports on collaborative research into concept literacy by four South African universities. The focus of the research is on the potentially facilitating effects of the use of the African (home) languages (viz. isiZulu and isiXhosa) on teachers’ and learners’ understanding and use of core concepts in mathematics and science at the senior phase, in contexts where the language of instruction is English. The first phase of this research was the identification and translation of core concepts in the curriculum, with explanatory aspects provided in the home languages, and which culminated in the development of a Resource book. The second phase involved the evaluation of the book with in-service teachers by means of questionnaires, workshops and focus-group interviews for purposes of triangulation. This data was the basis on which teachers for the tracer study were selected. This part of the study involved classroom observation of mathematics and science lessons at intervals over a two-month period. Findings from the KwaZulu-Natal regional data revealed various complexities surrounding the use of the indigenous languages for communicating scientific and mathematical knowledge. These included dialectal variation and lexical choice; the question of standardization and preference for the use of terminology in English with explanations in the home language. (215 words)
_______________________________________________________________________
ABDERRAHMANE ZOUHIR
College of Education
Department of C&I
University of IL

The Impact of Globalization on Moroccan Language Situation and Policy

The globalization of the English language has led to significant adaptations in education systems worldwide. English is the world’s leading language, the main vehicle of international communication and that role is indispensable tool for the international economy, diplomacy and science. Morocco, like other African countries, is characterized by language complexity and diversity. Its strategic location at the crossroads of Africa and Europe has meant that Morocco has been open to a variety of cultural and linguistic influences. This linguistic complexity has recently become more prominent as a consequence of globalization. The phenomenon of globalization coupled with the increasing hegemony of English, has made Arabic, Berber and French face cultural, linguistic and political demands. Globalization and the spread of English in Morocco have considerable consequences for the distribution of power and wealth. Globalization has shaped the configuration of social forces within the Moroccan society. It undermines the prosperity of people who speak only Arabic, Berber, or French. This presentation is an attempt to understand this intricate diversity and plurality in Morocco. It also looks at how globalization has a considerable impact on Moroccan language situation and policy.
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