African Language Teaching Resources

The 200 Word Project allows students to listen to first language speakers pronounce 200 common words and practice their pronunciation. Elementary and Intermediate Igbo coming soon!

The African Proverbs Project is nearly complete. It is an intermediate/advanced language learner project meant to introduce students to natural language exposition and a popular cultural form, the proverb. Skits are used to enact the meaning of popular proverbs and their use in natural contexts.

With funding from Project Go-BU, the African Language Program undertook another intermediate/advanced level instructional materials project for Hausa. The Nigerien Artisanry Project aims to develop advanced Hausa video-based curricular materials focused on the topic of traditional artisanry in the Republic of Niger.

These recordings are used as part of the isiZulu curriculum for first and second year students and are meant to develop listening skills.  More here.

The African Language Program at Boston University is the first in the United States to recognize the very old tradition of writing some African languages in modified Arabic scripts, generally referred to as Ajami. Both the Latin-based script and Ajami script are now taught in two regularly offered language courses (Wolof and Hausa). Students taking these courses will not only develop oral proficiency, they will be among the first American students and scholars to develop formal literacy skills in Ajami, a new unchartered terrain of human knowledge with various implications for the fields of African history, anthropology, business, law, medicine, culture, and religion, among others.

The first Wolof Ajami Workbook ever published: In fall 2010, the Boston University African Language Program developed the first Wolof Ajami workbook ever designed to teach an Ajami writing system to learners in the United States. The Wolof Workbook is the first dual-script introductory courseware of its kind to be produced. The goal is to equip the first generation of American students and people working in professional fields with the skills necessary to engage in meaningful ways millions of Wolof speakers in their own language, writing systems, and cultures. Currently, there is no other project or institution in the United States dealing with the shortcoming in available Ajami curricula. To purchase this book, contact Sandi McCann at The book sells for $15 and shipping by US Postal Service anywhere in the United States costs $5. If you are outside the United States, please provide your details to determine your shipping costs.

The first Hausa Ajami Workbook ever published: In Spring 2014, the African Language Program will publish the first-ever workbook for teaching second-langauge learners to write Hausa using Ajami. Stay tuned for more information.

African Ajami Library:  Follow this link to access the digital African Ajami Library through OpenBU.