Find below ten advanced level Kiswahili lessons, each linked to a Kiswahili proverb. For each proverb, there is a video containing an improvised skit intended to reflect the meaning of the proverb. Along with the video is a word-for-word transcription of the skit, a glossary for difficult words or phrases, and a set of exercises aimed at determining a student’s comprehension of the skit.
Each lesson addresses the four language skills based upon ACTFL guidelines (speaking, writing, listening and reading) while also capturing key cultural and social realities of language use in its native context. In addition, each skit reflects the varieties of the language spoken in urban and rural areas, and between the elderly, adults and children. Unlike top-down models of language instruction, the African Proverbs Project uses a bottom-up approach designed to equip advanced learners with the ability to shift between several dialects. Moreover, the Proverbs Project provides learners with the necessary cultural and kinesic competencies to converse fluently and see the world through the eyes of native-speakers.
Proverbs are an essential learning tool for students of African languages. In the African Proverbs Project, the Boston University African Studies Center has collected short performances by African theater troupes in their local languages. These languages include Wolof from Senegal, Hausa from Niger, Amharic from Ethiopia, Xhosa and Zulu from South Africa and Swahili from Tanzania. Each improvisation focuses on one of ten common proverbs, performed in an authentic cultural and social context. These videos are designed for advanced students of the languages and are an invaluable tool for developing language proficiency and cultural competence. Enjoy!
This book was created from a series of lessons and skit transcripts posted by Boston University African Studies Center. Be sure to check out the skits on Youtube viewable here