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COURSES

We currently offer courses in the following languages: Akan, Yoruba, ...


AKAN

Course Title

K100: Akan Language for Business and Tourist Communication


Course Summary

This course equips the learner with the basic linguistic and cultural skills required to communicate effectively with business partners, friends, and acquaintances in the Akan language. It is basically a functional language class, which also serves as a prerequisite for K201: Intermediate Akan 1.


Prerequisite

Students signing up for this class must, at least, be interested in Akan language and culture.


Course Description

Business is currently booming in West Africa, with a concentration on Ghana, along the shores of which large deposits of commercial oil were recently discovered. Akan is the most widely spoken language in Ghana (with more than fifty percent of the total population as speakers). It is important, therefore, that business personnel and tourists learn the Akan language to enhance communication and profitable business in the sub-region. This course introduces learners to the spoken language and cultural practices of the Akan people of West Africa. Attention will be focused on culture and communicative skills in the language, though reading will also constitute an integral part of the lessons. The class is primarily designed to assist all learners to make as much progress as possible in the use of the language. Video clips will be shown from time to time, and language lab times will be announced in class. At the end of the course, learners will know the appropriate norms of conversation in Akan (especially regarding business and tourism), and they should be able to engage native speakers in basic conversation involving activities such as greeting, self-introduction, invitation, etc.


Course Goals

K100: Akan Language for Business and Tourist Communication meets three major goals—speaking, listening, and culture goals.


SPEAKING GOALS

i. Learners will use appropriate Akan expressions and gestures to greet, chat with and take leave of instructors and classmates.

ii. Learners will give and follow simple instructions in Akan to participate in classroom activities. Learners will share their likes and dislikes with each other in Akan.

iii. Learners will role-play Akan everyday situations--e.g., entering and leaving a house or office, finding out how one is doing, introducing oneself, and hosting a friend or acquaintance.

iv. Learners will ask and answer questions in Akan on basic topics such as family, job, school, animals, familiar objects, and possessions.

v. Learners will perform stories, skits or plays in Akan for classroom and other important events.


LISTENING GOALS

i. Learners will follow oral directions in Akan related to daily activities.

ii. Learners will understand brief spoken Akan messages on familiar topics, such as personal preferences, family, school, business, tourism, and celebrations.


CULTURE GOALS

i. Learners will use appropriate Akan expressions and gestures for greeting, leave-taking, and common interactions.

ii. Learners will identify social customs that are of interest to either children or adultstraditional dishes, aspects of family life, and special events in Akan culture.

iii. Learners will identify the similarities and differences between school life in their own region and that in Akan culture.

iv. Learners will identify and recognize products and symbols of the Akan peopledishes, clothing, royal paraphernalia, etc.

v. Learners will identify and learn about products and behaviors reflecting the lifestyle of people in Akan communities, household items, appropriate manners, etc.


Proficiency Level

At the end of the semester, learners are expected to reach the Intermediate Low level of the ACTFL (i.e., Level 1 of the ILR scale).


INTERMEDIATE LOW

Speakers at the Intermediate-Low level are able to handle successfully a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks by creating with the language in straightforward social situations. Conversation is restricted to some of the concrete exchanges and predictable topics necessary for survival in the target language culture. These topics relate to basic personal information covering, for example, self and family, some daily activities and personal preferences, as well as to some immediate needs, such as ordering food and making simple purchases. At the Intermediate-Low level, speakers are primarily reactive and struggle to answer direct questions or requests for information, but they are also able to ask a few appropriate questions. Intermediate-Low speakers express personal meaning by combining and recombining into short statements what they know and what they hear from their interlocutors. Their utterances are often filled with hesitancy and inaccuracies as they search for appropriate linguistic forms and vocabulary while attempting to give form to the message. Their speech is characterized by frequent pauses, ineffective reformulations and self-corrections. Their pronunciation, vocabulary and syntax are strongly influenced by their first language but, in spite of frequent misunderstandings that require repetition or rephrasing, Intermediate-Low speakers can generally be understood by sympathetic interlocutors, particularly by those accustomed to dealing with non-natives.


Course Materials

  • Adu-Amankwah, D. (2013). Wo nso ka bi: Akan Basic grammar and practice. LINCOM GmbH. [A-A]
  • Adu-Amankwah, D. (2017). Tie ma mense wo: Basic vocabulary for Asante-Twi learners [TMMW]

Recommended Texts

The following texts are only recommended for the course.

  • Adu-Amankwah, D. (2003). Asante-Twi learners’ reference grammar. Madison, Wisconsin: National African Language Resource Center (NALRC) Press, 2003.
  • Dolphyne, Florence A. (1966). A comprehensive course in Twi (Asante) for the Non-Twi learner. Accra: Ghana Universities Press.
  • Language Guide (Asante-Twi Version). (1987). Accra: Bureau of Ghana Languages.
  • Opoku, Kofi A. (1997). Hearing and keeping: Akan proverbs. Accra: Asempa Publishers.


YORUBA

Course Title

Y101: Elementary Yoruba (1)