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African Studies Association 2003 Conference at Boston, Massachucettes


Esther Akomololafe-Fatuyi and Sookyung Park Cho represented the National African Lagnuage Resource Center at the 46th annual meeting of African Studies Association held at Boston, Massachusettes. The theme of this year's conference is "Youthful Africa in the 21st Century."

They set up a booth for NALRC on October 30 morning and started displaying at noon on the same day.

More than 500 people visted the NALRC booth between Thursday, October 30 and Sunday, November 2. The 18 colorful language brochures were the most attractive items to them. Almost every visitor picked up several language brochures, which were designed to advertise each African language throughout the U.S.A. The newly developed vocabulary flash cards were as popular as the language brochures. The vistors were so amazed at the idea that they can hear a native speaker's pronunciation on each word. Another interesting thing was that there were a lot of population who wanted to learn Bamana. Some of them planned to go on a field trip to Mali and some of them were interested in teaching and learning Bamana. On the very first day, three copies of Bamanakan Learners' Reference Grammar were sold out and five copies of vocabulary flash cards containing Bamanakan were sold out as well. Items displayed at the booth were:

1. Swahili Learners' Reference Grammar 
2. Pulaar Learners' Reference Grammar 
3. Bamanakan Learners' Reference Grammar 
4. Asante-Twi Learners' Reference Grammar
5. Journal of African Language Learning and Teaching (JALLT)
6. The pedagogy of African languages 
7. African language program development and administration
8. Je Ka So Yoruba Textbook
9. Je Ka So Yoruba CD-Rom
10. Je Ka Ka Yoruba Textbook
11. Je Ka Ka Yoruba CD-ROM
12. Je Ka Gbo Yoruba CD-ROM
13. Vocabulary Flash Cards (Amharic, Twi, Tigrinya, and Yoruba)
14. Vocabulary Flash Cards (Pulaar, Shona, Wolof, and Zulu)
15. Vocabulary Flash Cards (Bamana, Pulaar, Swahili, Wolof, and Yoruba) 
16. Vocabulary Flash Cards (Bamana, Luyia, Swahili, and Xhosa) 
17. Vocabulary Flash Cards (Swahili, Yoruba, and Zulu) 
18. Tuseme Kiswahili (Let's Speak Swahili) 
19. ULIMI 2003 Newsletter 
20. 18 language brochures:

Araibc, Bamana, Chichewa, Hausa, Igbo, Isixhosa, Lingala, Malagasy, Pulaar, Sesotho, Setswana, Shona, Swahili, Tigrinya, Twi, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu

21. NALRC T-shirts
22. Pens of different colors
23. Role Play Cards 
24. NALRC brochures

The conference was a huge success. Not only African language instructors or coordinators, but also scholars from other areas such as African literature, Afro-American literature, and Cultural studies became eager to know about what NALRC has been doing and will be planning to do. The conference was also helpful in the sense that NALRC could directly hear about people's needs on African language materials. The needs identified at the conference were:

  • Brochures:Afrikaans, Bemba, Doila/Jola, Luganda, and Kikuyu
  • Language learning materials: Bemba, Chichewa, Ga, Luo, Shona, and Somali
  • Poster: Language Map
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards: Mac Version
  • Multimedia materials for other African languages

Esther and Sookyung returned to Madison on Sunday night, November 2, 2003.