1. The language that I would like to study has not previously been offered. Can I still study it?
Yes, of course, pending the availability of an instructor. The African Language Program is happy to accommodate a student-led initiative to offer a new language. Please fill out the online language tutorial interest form to express your interest.
2. Does study of an African Language Program satisfy the undergraduate Foreign Language Requirement?
Yes, study of an African language for one academic year satisifies the undergraduate Foreign Language Requirement.
3. Who is eligible to enroll in an African language tutorial?
Language classes are open to Harvard undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and cross-registration applicants from affiliated programs or universities.
4. How do I list my African language tutorial on my study card?
For Harvard College undergraduates and GSAS students, African Language Tutorials should be listed on Study Cards as AAAS 90r, except in the cases of Gikuyu, Swahili, Twi, and Yoruba, which should be listed with the specific course title. Study Cards must be signed by Professor John Mugane. If Professor Mugane is unavailable to sign the Study Card, Kathleen Cloutier is authorized to sign on his behalf. Both Professor Mugane and Kathleen Cloutier have offices in the Department of AAAS, Barker Center, 12 Quincy Street, 2nd floor.
5. How do I cross-register for my African language tutorial?
All cross-registration eligible students must complete the cross-registration process according to the rules laid out by the home institution and Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
6. Does the African Language Program allow auditing of language tutorials?
Auditing is not allowed under any circumstances. There are no exceptions to this rule.
7. I would like to begin studying an African language in Spring semester. Is this possible?
Yes, it is possible to begin an African language tutorial in Spring semester.
8. What can I expect to learn in an African language tutorial?
African language tutorials are offered in a small group setting and their content will vary according to the wants and needs of students in the tutorial. Ultimately, the decision on content will result from a discussion between the Language Coach and the students.
9. I do not know anyone else who wants to study the language in which I am interested. Can I enroll in an individual tutorial?
Undergraduates are typically required to reach a quota of 2-3 students in order for a tutorial to be guaranteed. Graduate students and faculty may enroll in tutorials individually.
10. What are the course requirements for an African language tutorial?
Undergraduate course requirements vary by tutorial, but generally require the following:
|Class attendance (only three excused absences allowed)||03%|
|Weekly assignments (minimum of 1 per week)||14%|
|Quizzes (written and oral)||10%|
|Midterm Oral Examination||15%|
|Midterm Written Examination||15%|
|Final Oral Examination||15%|
|Final Written Examination||15%|
Graduate student and faculty course requirements are agreed upon by the student, Language Coach, and Professor Mugane.
11. I am a heritage learner (parents/relatives speak the African language and I would like to undertake further study). Can I enroll in an African language tutorial?
Absolutely. Please fill out the online language tutorial interest form and note that you are a heritage learner.
12. What is African Language Theater Night?
African Language Theater Night is a celebration of African languages held each semester. Students, Language Coaches, and the African Studies community gather for an evening of African food, music, dance, and theater. Each African language class performs a skit in its African language.
13. What is the Student Weekly Report?
An integral part of the African Language Program is the Student Weekly Report. Each student enrolled in an African Language Tutorial is required to complete a Student Weekly Report each week. These reports are crucial to the success of the Program and offer you a chance both to track your own progress in your Tutorial and to voice any concerns that you might have about the success of your Tutorial. The reports also make up a portion of your final grade in the African Language Tutorial. The Report is read by the Program's Teaching Fellow(s) and Professor Mugane. Reports are submitted online (see the "Student Weekly Reports" link on the AAAS 90r website).
14. I have some concerns about my progress in the African language tutorial./I have some concerns about the quality of my African language tutorial. Who can I talk to about this?
First, please address your concerns in the Student Weekly Report. Second, please do not hesitate to contact the Program Teaching Fellow(s) and Professor Mugane at any time. We will work with you toward a successful tutorial experience.
15. How can I find out when and where my African language tutorial will hold its first meeting?
Please check the AAAS 90r website regularly at the beginning of the semester. You will also receive an e-mail alerting you to a first meeting time and location.
16. I would like to study an African language but am not sure which one. Can you advise me about this decision?
Yes, we are happy to help you choose a language to study. Please fill out the online language tutorial interest form to express your interest and concerns. In the meantime, we recommend doing some basic Internet research about Africa so that you can best gauge your geographical interest. Also give some thought to your academic interests (public health, education, linguistics, etc.), as this might help in making a decision.
17. I have only studied European languages. Will an African language be too difficult to study?
The most important skill that you can learn in relation to language is the ability to learn a language. The African language tutorials focus on developing your skills as language learners as well as skills in a particular language. As you learn how to learn language, the challenge of language learning will lessen. The majority of our students have no previous experience with African languages and are successful students.