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Swahili-L: Using Computer Technology To Promote African Language Literacy

African Studies Association Annual Meeting,


The evolution of Swahili-L, an Internet distribution list service for multi-address mailings written in Swahili, is chronicled and its applications in second language teaching, literacy education, and worldwide communication among Swahili speakers are discussed. Developed by the African studies outreach program at the University of Wisconsin, the network serves 200 subscribers. The report describes the selection of technology, problems with the original service, recruitment of subscribers, and subscriber characteristics. Perceived benefits of the service include reinforcement of language skills, particularly reading and writing, and computer literacy. Subscribers include novice students, advanced students, and native Swahili-speakers. Seen as an economical and efficient method of communication for teachers and students of Swahili, the technology is also recommended for use with other African languages. A 48-item bibliography is included. Appended materials include an outline of the history of Swahili instruction in the United States, undergraduate and graduate Swahili enrollments in U.S. higher education institutions, data on interdisciplinary linkages and language requirements in African studies centers, data on trends in dissertations on African languages, a Swahili instructor directory, characteristics of Swahili positions available in 1992-94, and sample Swahili-L messages. (MSE)


Kuntz, P.S. (1994). Swahili-L: Using Computer Technology To Promote African Language Literacy. Presented at African Studies Association Annual Meeting 1994. Retrieved January 28, 2022 from .

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