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ASA 2004 Conference at New Orleans, Louisiana


Adedoyin Adenuga, Venkatesh Janakiraman, Sookyung Park Cho represented the National African Language Resource Center at the 47 th / 34 th annual meeting of African Studies Association and Canadian Association of African Studies held at New Orleans, Louisiana between Nov. 11-14, 2004. The theme of this year's conference is "The Power of Expression: Identity, Language, and Memory in Africa and the Diaspora."

They set up a booth for NALRC on November 10 th afternoon and started displaying on the next day morning.

More than 500 people visited the NALRC booth between Thursday, November 11th and Sunday, November 14 th. The 23 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 Let's Speak Series such as Dardasha, Tosolola Na Lingala, and Tuseme Kiswahili were as popular as the language brochures. An interesting thing was that there were lots of people who were interested in Congo's culture and languages such as Kikongo. For a wide variety of reasons, they would like to learn Kikongo and from the same various reasons, they were also interested in Lingala, which is spoken in Congo as well. When the NALRC thinks about a next project, they could take into account these rising interests in Congo area. In addition, many language instructors appreciated the efforts of the NALRC to promote African languages and they unanimously argued that the newly developed African language poster would be a good tool to attract more students to African language courses. Items displayed at the booth were:

  • Swahili Learners' Reference Grammar
  • Pulaar Learners' Reference Grammar
  • Bamanakan Learners' Reference Grammar
  • Asante-Twi Learners' Reference Grammar
  • Journal of African Language Learning and Teaching (JALLT)
  • The pedagogy of African languages
  • African language program development and administration
  • Je Ka So Yoruba Textbook
  • Je Ka So Yoruba CD-Rom
  • Je Ka Ka Yoruba Textbook
  • Je Ka Ka Yoruba CD-ROM
  • Je Ka Gbo Yoruba CD-ROM
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards (Amharic, Twi, Tigrinya, and Yoruba)
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards (Pulaar, Shona, Wolof, and Zulu)
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards (Bamana, Pulaar, Swahili, Wolof, and Yoruba)
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards (Bamana, Luyia, Swahili, and Xhosa)
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards (Swahili, Yoruba, and Zulu)
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards (Chichewa, Kikuyu, Lingala, and Zulu)
  • Tuseme Kiswahili and its companion CD-ROM (Let's Speak Swahili)
  • Tosolola Na Lingala (Let's Speak Lingala)
  • Dardasha (Let's Speak Egyptian Arabic)
  • ULIMI 2004 Newsletter

23 language brochures: Arabic, Bamana, Chichewa, Hausa, Igbo, Isixhosa, Kikuyu, Krio, Lingala, Malagasy, Mende, Pulaar, Sesotho, Setswana, Shona, Swahili, Temne, Tigrinya, Twi, Wolof, Yoruba, and Zulu

  • NALRC T-shirts
  • Pens of different colors
  • Role Play Cards
  • 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:

  1. Language learning materials: Kikongo and Somali
  2. Dictionaries for African languages
  3. Companion audio materials to Let's Speak Series textbooks (Dardasha and Tosolola Na Lingala)
  4. Multimedia materials for other African languages

Adedoyin, Venkatesh, and Sookyung returned to Madison on Sunday afternoon, November 14, 2004.