"As a graduate student, I had much more frequent contact with my Swahili instructors and classmates than I did in other courses. I enjoyed getting to know others while refining my language skills."
Major(s) and Certificate(s): Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Policy Studies, Minor in African Studies
Graduation Year: 2014
Current Location: Ann Arbor, MI
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?
I am currently an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, where I also lead education sector activities for the university’s Tanzania Partnership Program.
What motivated you to study this/these languages?
I had lived in Tanzania for a few years and had acquired a working knowledge of Swahili, but wanted to become more fluent. I also planned on conducting my dissertation research in Tanzania, which would have necessitated Swahili fluency.
How have these languages enriched your life?
Although I did not wind up doing my dissertation research in Tanzania, knowledge of Swahili has contributed immeasurably to the research I do there and my current work on the Tanzania Partnership Program at Michigan State University.
What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?
I remember enjoying my instructors and the classroom community we built in the small classes. As a graduate student, I had much more frequent contact with my Swahili instructors and classmates than I did in other courses. I enjoyed getting to know others while refining my language skills
How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?
I will be conducting research in Tanzania this summer and plan to continue to use Swahili in my research activities.
What advice do you have for current language students?
Study or do an internship abroad so that you can use your language skills in context. There is no substitute for actually having to use the language you’re learning to get around a country, shop in a market, etc.!
What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?
Pole pole ndiyo mwendo