STARTALK: Summer Swahili Professional Development

Program July 11 - 29

The 2011 NCOLCTL Swahili STARTALK was held July 11th-29th, 2011. The NALRC co-sponsored this year’s NCOLCTL Swahili STARTALK by meeting the expenses of two participants from Kenya. Twelve Swahili instructors participated in the three-week program. The first week was an online Teacher Training Course,  which covered numerous theoretical concepts. The participants took this portion of the course from their various bases. The remaining two weeks of the training were held at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, WI.

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The Instructors and the participants.

The Instructors, students volunteer, & participants.


Three Master Teachers, Dr. Alwiya S. Omar, Dr. John Kiarie Wa Njogu, and Dr. Antonia Schleicher,

conducted the intensive resident sessions. In the first week of the residential program, various Second Language Acquisition theories and standards were emphasized. The participants also learned the importance of teaching language lessons in context, and how to create effective lesson plans for the different proficiency levels of Swahili classes.

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Maina Mutonya leads the students in song.

Samuel Mukoma tests the students’

knowledge of vocabulary


Volunteer non-Swahili speaking students, recruited mostly from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were brought in during the final week of the training to enable the participants to practically utilize the theoretical skills they had acquired. Each participant designed and prepared several teaching demos that they taught to the volunteer students. After each of their demos, the participants gained valuable feedback from their peers, instructors, and the volunteer students.


An awards ceremony and dinner was held at the Madison Concourse Hotel to wind up the intense three-week program, at which the participants gave reflections about the program. In addition, each participant received a certificate of completion from NCOLCTL.


Flash MEMORIES of the Startalk HERE


The following individuals received certificates for completing Swahili STARTALK

Aaron Rosenburg - El Colegio de Mexico

Belinda Mlingo - International Center for Language Studies

Clara Momanyi - Catholic University of East Africa

Esther Lisanza - University of North Carolina

Geofred Osoro - Kansas State University

Jay Boss Rubin - Union College

Josphat Waruhiu - Portland State University

Joyce Mmari - Columbus University

Judith Mmari - Boston University

Maina Mutonya - El Colegio de Mexico

Samuel Mukoma - University of San Francisco

Susana Nkurlu - University of Georgia, Athens