Update on Fall 2020 African Language Classes

in Center News
July 17th, 2020

Dear students,

Welcome (back) to BU! We are excited to see you in our language courses this fall. In case it helps with your housing and course scheduling plans, we have an update on the LfA plan for these courses. Please check back here in the coming weeks for further updates.

Hearing the sounds of a language and seeing precisely how speakers’ mouths move is crucial for language study; masks and distancing can garble pronunciation and impede group work, the lifeblood of our language courses. All African language courses will therefore meet on Zoom for the bulk of their regular daily sessions this fall semester. Other African studies courses will be taught with an in-person component in most cases, depending on the instructor and the department; please contact the course’s instructor or home department directly for information for non-language courses.

For registration purposes, BU considers these language courses hybrid (not online). The regular MWF or TR sessions will meet on Zoom, not in the classroom. You may participate in them from your home or dorm room or from any quiet place (but where you are allowed to speak). If your course has a fourth hour, it will be taught remotely, in most cases asynchronously. (“Asynchronous remote” instruction means that day’s class will consist of an hour’s worth of work that you can complete anytime before the next class meeting.)

However, we do hope to see most of you several times in person as well. Some in-person course elements will be scheduled at different points in the semester, and these will be an integral part of the course for those opting for in-person instruction. Those participating remotely will have online alternatives. We will update this message with details in the next few weeks.

We know there are many variables in thinking about this fall. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about the class format, placement, or any other aspect of your language study. You can direct your questions to Dr. Zoli Mali (zolimali@bu.edu), Director of the African Language Program, or Dr. Eric Schmidt (ericjs@bu.edu), Assistant Director of the African Studies Center.

We look forward to seeing you soon!