African Languages

The African Languages Program is a unit in the Department of Comparative Literature. For the time being, 3 languages, Swahili, Yoruba and Amharic are being taught at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Swahili has a longer history at the University of Georgia, having been initiated in 1988. The instruction of Yoruba started in 1996. The instruction of Amharic began in 2007. The languages program is very popular with over 100 students a year.

Swahili has three sections at the elementary and two at the intermediate levels. Yoruba has two sections.

The program emphasizes the incorporation of culture in language instruction and learning. Each semester, the students participate in a cultural awareness program which includes ethnic foods, skits from the language classes, and a guest speaker. This is usually the highlight of the program, one that both students and their friends (sometimes family members) look forward to.

The program is the backbone of the African Studies Institute. Many of the students in the Language Program take other courses in African Studies to qualify for a certificate in African Studies.

The growth of the African Languages Program is encouraging. The goal is to increase the number of African languages taught at UGA by introducing additional languages from South Africa (preferably Shona) and one from West Africa (preferably Hausa).