Leonard Muaka, Ph.D.
World Languages and Cultures
Hall Patterson 330
(336) 750-8618 (p)
(336) 750-2180 (f)
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Winston-Salem State University where I teach Swahili, applied linguistics and composition courses. I hold a PhD in linguistics and a Certificate in Second language Acquisition and Teacher Education) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I have taught language and literature courses at different universities in Kenya, Mexico and USA. My major research interests include second language acquisition, World Englishes, sociolinguistics of youth language in urban and rural settings, language variation, language and gender, language and identity, politics of language, multilingualism, hybridity and comparative literature. However, my empirical research focuses on the dynamics of language use among youths in Eastern Africa.
I am also the lead author of an Intermediate Swahili textbook entitled, Tusome Kiswahili (Let’s read in Swahili) 2006, National African Language Resource Center Press. I am currently working on a multimedia Elementary Swahili book project.
- Ph.D., Linguistics and a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE), 2009, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- M.A., General Linguistics, 2005, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- M.A., Applied Linguistics, 2002, Ohio University, Athens
- M.A., Swahili Studies, 1994, University of Nairobi
- B.A., (Upper 2nd Class Honors) Kiswahili and Sociology, 1992, University of Nairobi
Research and Projects Interests:
- Second language acquisition and sociolinguistics of youth language in urban and rural settings
- Language Variation
- Language and Gender
- Language and Identity
- Politics of language
- Hybridity and World Englishes
- The impact of globalization on African languages especially in cyber texts
- Courses Taught at WSSU
- Swahili - a Language of Wider Communication
- SWA 1311 Elementary Swahili I
- SWA 1312 Elementary Swahili II
- ENG 1301 Freshman Composition I
- ENG 1302 Freshman Composition II
- APL 5301 Discourse Analysis
- APL 5303 Language and Gender
- LIN 6301 Research Methods in Linguistics
Africa is one of the continents that are endowed with thousands of languages spoken by different people. This scenario is usually referred to as pervasive multilingualism. In other words in many parts of Africa an average speaker can speak at least three languages. How do people manage communication with other people? Although an average person can speak several languages due to the different contexts they find themselves in, there are languages of wider communication that spread across several regions. These languages allow people to interact without impediments.
Swahili is one of those languages of wider communication facilitating communication among millions of people in several countries in east and central Africa. Although English and French are used in official domains in regions where Swahili is spoken, it is still the main language used in both formal and informal domains. There are no official statistics of exactly how many speak the language but it is estimated that at least 100 million people speak Swahili as a second language. In Kenya and Tanzania Swahili serves as the national and co official language. In Uganda it is the official language of the army. In eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo Swahili is one of the main national languages at the provincial level. In general however, Swahili is the identity marker for people in eastern Africa. Finally, while there are regional and social variants of the language, it is still a vital medium of communication because of the mutual intelligibility that exists among these dialects.
Swahili is offered at both elementary and intermediate levels. This allows you as a student to meet all your foreign language requirements by taking all the four (4) sections should you be required by your paradigm. You will also benefit tremendously from the language’s focus on both language and cultural information. Swahili is an important language politically, culturally, historically, economically, academically and socially. Swahili connects several countries in east and central Africa and it is the only African language adopted by the African Union.
Swahili is a cultural vehicle of different ethnolinguistic African groups Swahili remains a major language that has been used to liberate people from different parts of Africa. The informal business sector in east and central Africa depends heavily on the use of Swahili as the language of trade. Swahili can also offer you many job opportunities in different countries all over the word. Swahili has the richest written literature in Sub-Saharan Africa and as the most widely spoken language in the region, it is the best tool for researchers in pursuit of knowledge. No language in Sub-Saharan Africa at the rate that Swahili is used at the interpersonal level for those who speak it in different African countries.
A Full List OF Swahili Courses that are offered at Winston-Salem State University
SWA 1311 - Elementary Swahili I
Credits: 3 hrs Elementary Swahili I is a proficiency-oriented course designed to help students develop language skills in Standard Swahili in all communicative areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Instruction will include use of multimedia material in the language laboratory. No previous knowledge of Swahili is required. (Three periods per week)
SWA 1312 - Elementary Swahili II
Credits: 3 hrs This course is the second part of the introductory course to Standard Swahili. As a continuation of Elementary Swahili I, it introduces more advanced grammar components and cultural information. At the same time, the course emphasizes more fluency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing simple sentences in standard Swahili. (Three periods per week: Prerequisite(s): SWA 1311, assignment by placement examination, or consent of instructor.
SWA 2311 - Intermediate Swahili I
Credits: 3 hrs This course continues training in the Swahili language and cultural awareness skills begun in the Elementary Swahili sequence. The course affords students a survey of more advanced grammar, with emphasis on increasing conversational fluency, compositional skills, study of written texts in Standard Swahili, and discussion of grammatical variations. At the same time, the course emphasizes increased fluency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing short essays in standard Swahili. (Three periods per week. Prerequisite: Elementary Swahili II or consent of instructor.)
SWA 2312 - Intermediate Swahili II
This course is the second part of Intermediate Swahili. It continues training in the Swahili language and cultural awareness skills begun in the Elementary Swahili sequence and Intermediate Swahili I. The course affords students a survey of more advanced grammar, with emphasis on increasing conversational fluency, compositional skills, study of written texts in Standard Swahili, and discussion of grammatical variations. At the same time, the course emphasizes increased fluency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing short essays in standard Swahili. (Three periods per week. Prerequisite: Intermediate Swahili I or consent of instructor.)