Swahili is the most popular language of Sub-Saharan Africa. It is spoken by approximately 50 million people in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Congo (DRC), the Comoros, and, marginally, in northern Mozambique, southern Somalia, northern Malawi and northern Zambia. Swahili is a national language in Tanzania, Kenya and Congo (DRC). It also has official status in Tanzania, Kenya and in Uganda (along with English).
Swahili is characterized by the typical complex Bantu structure. However, it is particularly easy to pronounce and fast learned.
Each year at the University of Chicago, we offer a three-quarter sequence of Swahili at the elementary level. In alternating years, we offer three-quarter sequences at either the intermediate or advanced level. Depending on student demand, an additional class focused on the grammar and other linguistic aspects of the language may also be available. The elementary course series focuses on communication in everyday life situations, on writing and presenting short descriptive notes about oneself or various situations in relation with East Africa. Elementary level students are also offered a weekly teaching assistant session aimed to improve their speaking practice and their grammar usage. The intermediate and advanced course series develop further the student fluency and include more discussion about East African cultures and societies as well as current events, basing on extensive textual and audiovisual materials.
Elementary level Swahili is offered every year, while other, more advanced, courses are offered in alternating years or as requested.
Elementary Swahili I, II, III
SWAH 25200-25300-25400/35200-35300-35400. Swahili is the most popular language of Sub-Saharan Africa, spoken in most countries of Eastern and Central Africa by more than 50 million people. Swahili is characterized by the typical complex Bantu structure. However, it is particularly easy to pronounce and fast learned.
The Elementary Swahili series is designed to help students acquire communicative competence in Swahili and a basic understanding of its structures. The course presents basic phonological, grammatical, and syntactic patterns of Kiswahili. Through a variety of exercises, students develop communicative functionality in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is put on dialogues and role-plays, individual and group presentations, and the use of audiovisual and web- based resources. Swahili culture and African culture in general are an important component of the course.
At the end of the elementary course series, the students are able to communicate efficiently in everyday life situations, write and present short descriptive notes about elementary pieces of verbal creation (documentaries and video series in Swahili). Taught By: Fidele Mpiranya. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
A Linguistic Introduction to Swahili
LING 28355/38355. Spoken in ten countries of Eastern and Central Africa, Swahili has more speakers than any other language in the Bantu family, a group of more than 400 languages most prevalent in sub-equatorial Africa. Based on Swahili Grammar and Workbook, this course helps the students to master key areas of the Swahili language in a fast yet enjoyable pace. Topics include sound and intonation patterns, noun class agreements, verb moods, and sentence structures. Additionally, this course provides important listening and expressive reading skills. For advanced students, historical interpretations are offered for exceptional patterns observed in Swahili, in relation with other Bantu languages. This is a general introduction course with no specific prerequisites. It allows fulfilling the non-Indo-European language requirement. Taught By Fidele Mpiranya. Winter.
Intermediate Swahili I, II, III
26800-26900-27000/36800-36900-37000. PQ: Elementary Swahili sequence or consent of instructor. Students focus on broadening their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in this course. They learn to use sophisticated sentence structures and expression of complex ideas in Swahili. Advanced readings and essay writing are based on student interests. Taught By: Fidele Mpiranya. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
Advanced Swahili I, II, III
27200-27300-27400/37200-37300-37400. PQ: Intermediate Swahili sequence or consent of instructor. This course is focused on advanced listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, with long textual or audiovisual materials. Exercises in class include discussion about various topics in relation with East African cultures and societies, text rewriting, dialogue production and performance, and essay presentation. Students are assigned advanced readings and essay writing based on their own interests. Taught By: Fidele Mpiranya. Autumn,Winter, Spring.
Advanced Reading in Swahili I, II, III
28375-28376-28377/38375-38376-38377. PQ: Advanced Swahili sequence or consent of instructor. This course emphasizes analysis and discussion about various literary and audiovisual works in Swahili. The presentations in class will cover novels and short stories as well as popular movies. The students also will be assigned short literary works and other authentic texts or audiovisual materials for written homework and in class discussion. In the end, the students will be able to express an informed appreciation in Swahili on original works and formal discourse in Swahili. Taught By: Fidele Mpiranya. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
Linguistic Introduction to Swahili II
LING 28356/38356. PQ: LING 28355/38355. Based on Swahili Grammar and Workbook, this course is a continuation of Linguistic Introduction to Swahili I. It addresses complex issues related to grammatical agreement, verb moods, noun and verb derivation, non-typical adjectives and adverbs, double object constructions, subordinate/coordinated clause constructions, and dialectal variation. Additionally, this course provides important listening and expressive reading skills. For advanced students, historical interpretations are offered for exceptional patterns observed in Swahili, in relation with other Bantu languages. Taught By: Fidele Mpiranya.