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African Languages Studies

The Center, through the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, offers instruction in 30 African languages and taught the 13 languages asterisked below in the 2001-2004 years.

Regular classroom instruction is offered by faculty for Arabic, Hausa, and Swahili.

27 languages are offered in the learner-oriented, on-demand, and faculty-supervised program for the graduate student and research scholars, ensuring the availability of languages needed for all major regions of Africa. From the many African students in the MSU community, native speakers are recruited for training to serve as tutors in the program supervised weekly by a faculty linguist.

Classroom work is supplemented by an advanced language laboratory, as well as by computer-assisted instruction in some languages.

The languages currently available for study at MSU are as follows:


(Bold denotes languages offered in a class mode. All others are on a tutorial basis.)

Summer Intensive Language Study

In addition to the Title VI FLAS fellowships available for language studies at MSU during academic year fall and spring semesters, the Center also provides Title VI-funded fellowships for summer intensive language study programs: Swahili and Zulu.

For details on academic year fellowships and applications, see FLAS. For summer intensive language fellowships, see SCALI Fellowship. For special questions, write Dr. Galen Sibanda, African Languages Coordinator, Linguistics and Languages, sibanda1@msu.edu, or phone (517) 353-0746.

African Language Materials

As a National Resource Center in African language and area studies, the Center and its faculty for African linguistics have developed:


  1. A number of language texts, grammars, and dictionaries through its publications program;
  2. A Resource Handbook for African Languages (by Professor David J. Dwyer)
  3. The Webbook of the African Languages (http://www.isp.msu.edu/AfrLang/hiermenu.html)
  4. The e-LCTL Project for priorities in teaching less commonly taught languages in the U.S. http://elctl.msu.edu
  5. Instructional Guide for African Languages in Small Classes (via CLEAR)
  6. Occasional conferences, seminars, and institutes on African languages for linguists and instructors.

Further details about African language study at MSU can be obtained from:

Dr. Galen Sibanda, African Languages Coordinator
Linguistics & Languages,
619 Red Cedar Rd, Rm B380
e-mail: sibanda1@msu.edu
Telephone: (517) 353-0746