Program in African Languages

About the Program

The Yale program offers regular courses in three major African languages: Swahili, Yoruba, and Zulu. These are taught at Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels using multimedia materials. The courses are open to undergraduates and graduate students, and the small class size helps foster communicative competence.

  • Beginning courses train students to converse in social settings, and to read and write short texts and dialogues.
  • Intermediate courses emphasize reading and conversational fluency, by means of contemporary materials drawn from print media and literature.
  • Advanced courses focus on extended discourse, and on longer texts from literature, politics and the media.

Directed Independent Language Study

DILS supports students who want to study a less commonly taught African language through self-instruction. The DILS program assists students in obtaining materials and locating a conversation partner, and supervises instruction and examining. For more information, please see

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