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ASA 2016 Conference Report


John O Adeika and Joseph Lijofi were exhibitors for the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC) at the 59th ASA annual conference, held under the theme of “Imagining Africa at the Center: Bridging Scholarship, Policy, and Representation in African Studies” at Marriott Hotel, in Washington DC between Nov. 17-20, 2005.

In the evening of December 1, the NALRC exhibition booth was set up. And the eye-catching brochures, the Let's Speak an African Language textbooks, the Learners' Reference Grammars, the CD-ROMs, and the flash card CDs of the diverse African Languages; the NALRC bulletin, and other publications of the NALRC were on display. The display attracted all kinds of people, those familiar with the NALRC and others who are not. The exhibitors were handing out brochures and the ULIMI (the NALRC bulletin), answering questions and receiving comments from the visitors, giving brief descriptions, about the NALRC, and selling the NALRC publications.

Featured Language Textbooks and Brochures

Tuvuge Ikinyarwanda (Let’s Speak Kinyarwanda) and An Ka Bamanankan  Fɔ (Let's Speak Bamanankan) in the Let’s Speak Series, Ma Y3nkan Akan Twi (Lets’d Read Akan Twi) in let’s Read Series and J́ Ká Bára Wa S̀r̀ ní Yorùbá (Let’s Communicate in Yoruba) in the Let’s Communicate Series and brochures (Umbundu, Tumbuka, Nama, Nubian, Senufo, etc. are all newly published material resources and were featured during the conference. Other old materials were also show cased too

Booth Visitors and Dissemination

During the conference, the attendees and visitors, mostly African language teachers and scholars, visiting the LRC booths were excited as they listen to the mission and scope of the NALRC work and its achievements. Most visitors picked up the language brochures of their interest; some collected bundles of them to introduce the languages to students at their universities. Many language instructors appreciated the efforts of the NALRC to promote African languages. Although, the exhibitions center was not located in a strategic and terrific traffic area, both John and Joseph went round to meet them at their respective presentation venue to distribute the NALRC brochures and ULIMI to the conference attendees. Some of them came to the booth later to see other African language resource materials and even bought some them at conference discounted rate.

The conference was a huge success in terms of disseminating information about the activities of the NALRC to a wider range of scholars from all areas of African Studies such as African literature, Afro-American literature, and Cultural studies. The conference was also helpful in that the NALRC could directly hear about the needs regarding the studying of African Languages.

Conclusion

The NALRC’s efforts in making language resources available to the language scholars in the United States were highly commended by the visitors. The 60th annual conference is scheduled for Philadephia in 2017.