Indiana University Bloomington
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Language Instructors


Alwiya OmarAlwiya Omar is Clinical Professor of Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington. She teaches Kiswahili and coordinates the teaching of other African languages in the African Studies program. Her research interests include second language acquisition, cross-cultural pragmatics, web-based language instruction, and study abroad language programs. She directed the Kiswahili Flagship program from 2010 to 2015, and STARTALK summer Kiswahili program for middle and high school students from 2010 to 2016. Dr. Omar received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition from Indiana University. She was President of the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) from 2012 to 2014, and President of African Language Teachers Association (ALTA) from 2004 to 2006. (aomar [AT]


David Adu-AmankwahDavid Adu-Amankwah teaches Twi/Akan. He holds a M. Phil. degree (in linguistics, with Russian) from the University of Ghana and a Ph.D. degree (in folklore, with African languages and linguistics) from Indiana University, Bloomington. He is currently a lecturer of Akan (Twi). David taught at Indiana University from 1994 to 2000 and also from 2003 to 2004 at the University of Florida, Gainesville. David's major interests have been in folklore, language, and culture, and he has worked on the proverb, royal praise poetry, and joke among the Akan of Ghana. (daduaman [AT]

Betty DlaminiBetty Dlamini is a singer, actress and playwright, poet and fiction writer who teaches IsiZulu at Indiana University. She obtained her degrees from the University of London (SOAS), Sussex University (Brighton), University of South (Pretoria-SA) and University of Swaziland. She has done translation and editing work for companies that include Macmillan Publishers (BOLESWA), Reach-Out Publishers (SA), Shuter and Shooter (SA) and Rise Films in collaboration with BBC Channel 4 (London). Her awards include the Sino-Swazi Award (1995), Second Best short story writer for the English Association of South Africa (1997), Dean of Education's Award - UNISWA (1998), The German Award for Young Researchers from BOLESWA countries (2000), The Association of Commonwealth Universities Award (2003) and Macmillan Publisher's Grand prize for the Best SiSwati novel, umsamaliya lolungile (2008). As a scholar, Dr. Dlamini has presented a number of papers at conferences.(bsdlamin [AT]

Amadou Beidi SowAmadou Beidy Sow is a Bamana instructor from Ségou, Mali. Dr. Sow obtained a Master’s degree in Second Language Teaching from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Bamako. After coming to the United States, he earned a Master’s degree in International Studies at Ohio University followed by a Ph.D. in Education (Cultural Studies in Education) with a focus on political leadership. He has published Political Leadership in the Hand of Teachers: The Type of Leadership Teacher Politicians Display on the Political Scene in Mali, VDM Verlag (2010). Dr. Sow has presented at numerous conferences. He has experience teaching Bamanankan, French, English, and Social Studies.

Deogratias K. Tungaraza Deogratias K. Tungaraza is a Kiswahili lecturer. He graduated from the University of East Africa – The University College in Dar-es-Salaam, and later obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Library Science from the University of Wales in Aberystywyth, UK; and a Certificate in Book Publishing and Printing at the Otava Book Publishing Company, Helsinki, Finland. He has held various posts at the University of Dar-es-Salaam and was Founder Director of the Dar-es-Salaam University Press. Prior to coming to Indiana University, he taught Kiswahili at The Ohio State University and at Louisiana State University.

Associate Instructors

Victor Temitope Alabi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Linguistics. He teaches Yoruba for the African Studies Program. He received a Bachelorís degree in English from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, in 2010 and obtained his masterís degree in 2014 at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He has published academic papers as well as poems in national and international outlets. He has also made several presentations and chaired sessions at various conferences in the US. He was Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant 2014-2015 at the Indiana University African Studies Program. He is currently the Faculty and Student liaison officer of Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) as well as the African Studies student representative on the African Studies Program Executive Committee.

Taiwo Oluwaseun Ehineni is a Yoruba instructor and a graduate student in Linguistics. He holds a Master’s degree in English linguistics from the University of Ibadan and a Bachelor’s degree from Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria. He was a Yoruba Fulbright FLTA at Indiana University in 2013-14, where he also volunteered as an instructor in the award-winning IU Bridges: Children, Language, World program at Fairview Elementary School, Bloomington. He has received several awards including a US Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Award (2013); Nigeria National Youth Service Corps Commendation Award (2011); Best Graduating Student, English and Literary Studies Department, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria (2009/10); and Ondo State Merit Scholarship Award (2010, 2008). He has presented papers at numerous conferences, including the African Language Teachers Association (ALTA) conference in Chicago and the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) conference in Washington DC. He has published in the International Journal of Linguistics, among others.

Susan Kavaya is a Swahili instructor and a graduate student at Indiana University. Susan graduated with a Bachelors of Education Degree in English and Literature from The University of Nairobi and later pursued a Master's degree in Literature at the University of Nairobi for a year. Susan was a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Yale University where she taught Swahili in the years 2013-14. She has received many awards including a first class honors degree at the University of Nairobi, The Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Scholarship at the University of Nairobi and the Fulbright FLTA to Yale University. Susan has also taught English and Literature in Kenya, interned at the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) in Kenya, taught Swahili at Yale and presented at the African Languages Teachers Association (ALTA) conference in Chicago. She is currently teaching Swahili at Indiana University and pursuing a Masters in African Studies with a focus on international development in Africa in the areas of Education and Health

Mpolokeng LesetlaMpolokeng Lesetla is an isiZulu instructor. Ms. Lesetla comes from the Eastern Cape of South Africa and speaks isiXhosa and Sesotho in addition to isiZulu. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in IsiZulu from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2011); a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy and Social Development (2003); and a Bachelor of Social Studies from the University of Natal-Durban (2002). She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in African Studies focusing on language planning issues in South Africa. 

Margaret P. MwingiraMargaret P. Mwingira holds a masterís degree in African Studies (2015) and is currently pursuing a master of science in Special Education (MSED). She has extensive experience teaching Kiswahili in regularly scheduled classes and in the summer Kiswahili STARTALK program. Before coming to Indiana University, she obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees at the universities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Stellenbosch, South Africa.  

Foreign Language Teaching Assistants

Ashraf Waziri assists with Swahili instruction. Born on Mafia Island, Tanzania, he received his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Education (major in English language and history) from Tumaini University-Iringa University College in 2013. He taught English and History at Kitomondo secondary school on Mafia Island and served as a Junior Academic Master of the school where he also taught Swahili language and culture to tourists from a number of different countries. Mr. Waziri subsequently worked as the Statistics and Logistics Officer of the Education Department in the Mafia district until he was accepted into the FLTA program.

Yewande Aluko assists with the teaching of Yoruba and with the promotion of African Languages at the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC). She graduated from the Department of English and Literary Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State, Nigeria, and earned her Masterís degree at the University of Ibadan. She then taught English at the University of Ibadan until she came to the United States. Her areas of interest are pragmatics, neurolinguistics and language teaching. Ms. Aluko presented a paper at the December 2016 Fulbright Mid-Year Conference in Washington DC.