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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Learning African Languages with Evolving Digital Technologies
Author:Mugane, John M.
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:language instruction
African languages
Swahili language
Education and Oral Traditions
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4187190
Abstract:New digital technologies offer possibilities for innovation in African language instruction. Proceeding from the belief that technology should be nonintrusively present in the classroom, the Stanford Swahili project was begun. The project's main purpose is to develop technologically innovative materials (including rich browsing opportunities) that would be consonant with learning theory, build on student initiative and creativity, and satisfy both pedagogical and exploratory needs. In the Stanford project, the governing principle of articulation is the episode, a special concept that determines both the distribution of content and the dynamics of acquiring it. An episode is a concatenation of interdependent occurrences and developments that may be viewed as distinctive, although it is part of a larger compilation. The project covers the three levels of Swahili offered at the university, years one through three. In addition to a Swahili server, the project has two components: a customized Web browsing environment and multimedia environments. This article describes the Stanford Swahili project, paying attention to the instrumental use of technology and multimedia, the role of the instructor, the selection of applications, and collaborative ventures. Notes, ref.