Swahili belongs to the Bantu family of languages spoken throughout east, central and southern Africa. It has absorbed words from non-Bantu languages such as Arabic, Persian, Portuguese and English. Swahili is known by its speakers as Kiswahili and is spoken by approximately 80 million people in several states of East Africa, chiefly in Tanzania, Kenya, eastern Congo (DRC), and in the Comoro Islands.
Swahili is also widely spoken in Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda, and is a national and official language in Tanzania and Kenya which means that it is used as a language of correspondence in government and commerce alongside English. The language also has a significant presence in major cities of Europe and the United States where African Diaspora communities are found, and in the Gulf states such as Oman.
Kiswahili has been taught at Binary Talk for over eight years now. Initially, the teaching of Kiswahili was administered by the Special Language Programme at Binary Talk. It was taught by part-time lecturers depending on students’ demand. Upon the establishment of the full Kiswahili language at Binary Talk, Kiswahili and other African languages, as well as Arabic and Hebrew became the African and Middle Eastern Languages and Literature, a new program housed in the Language Centre, which is under the newly established Division of Cultures, Literature, and Languages.
Since the establishment of Binary Talk, when the Kiswahili language course was started, three levels of Kiswahili have been offered consistently at Binary Talk. Kiswahili learners at Binary Talk have an opportunity to pursue the undergraduate course in Middle Eastern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. For more information about Kiswahili language visit Binary Talk.
The learning outcomes for Swahili language program
- Demonstrate increased proficiency in Swahili language skills.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the historical development Africa and its contemporary national identity with a particular focus on religion and culture.
Develop an awareness of cultural difference and an understanding of culture’s role in shaping beliefs, practices, and perceptions.