Language Study


African Language Resources at UC Berkeley 

The Center for African Studies, in partnership with the Department of African American Studies and the Berkeley Language Center, works to support the African language learning needs of students and faculty. The program is guided by a leadership team consisting of representatives from the Department, the Center for African Studies, the Berkeley Language Center and the College of Letters and Science.

UC Berkeley is currently offering Chichewa and Kiswahili I, II and III. These language courses are listed in African American Studies. Arabic is available through the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Courses in these languages will be available to all Berkeley students and, through concurrent enrollment via UC Extension, to members of the larger community. We offer a weekly Kiswahili Table. Please contact us for futher information. And visit the Swahili Language Program online.

Over the years, we have offered other languages, including Afrikaans, Amharic, Bamana, Lingala, Malagasy, Shona, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu. Currently we are unable to offer other languages, but are always, we encourage Berkeley faculty, staff and students to indicate your ability to speak or interest in learning African languages by completing this online survey (one has to be logged into a browser with a UC Berkeley CalNet ID to access the survey.)

Through our Understanding Sudan and Understanding the Horn project curriculum projects, we developed material on Sudanese Arabic, Amharic, Oromo, Somali, Swahili and Tigrinya.

Summer Language Institutes and Programs

The Center is offering a Summer African Language Study Grant for UC Berkeley graduate students. (deadline 12 February 2018; one has to be logged into a browser with a UC Berkeley CalNet ID to access the application form.)

African Studies Centers nationwide collaborate to offer a range of summer language study opportunities. A list for summer 2018 will be available here: (As of 29 November 2017, there are four entries. Visit again in the future as more universities submit their summer program offerings.) Options from past summers are listed in the links that follow:

The Association of African Studies Programs, the African Language Teaching Association and two universities share the task of administering competitive US Department of Education Title VI Fulbright Group Project Abroad Advanced Overseas Intensive Language Projects. In 2018, the University of Pennsylvania is administering a Zulu language GPA program. while Howard University is offering a GPA program in Nigeria for Advanced Yoruba.

Other African Language Resources