National Institute on Aging

Pomona College Begins Instruction in Swahili

Pomona College, the highly rated liberal arts college in Claremont, California, is offering a new half credit course in the study of Swahili. The Swahili language is used by more than 60 million people and is the official language of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the Comoros Islands, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At Pomona the students enrolled in the Self-Instructional Language Program (SLIP) study on their own according to a set schedule and meet once a week with a language coach to practice conversation.

Maduhu Kazi is one of two language coaches in the Pomona program. He is a native of Tanzania and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in economics at the Claremont Graduate University. While he not a language instructor, Swahili is his native tongue so he is well versed in the course’s content.


Comments (8)

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  1. annette waller says:

    Interested in reviewing or relearning Swahili. I took three quarters of Swahili in 1971 and have not practiced recently. I live in Los Angeles and want to know if I can take this class on line without enrolling at Pomona College. Please reply.

    • Dr. Leonce Rushubirwa says:

      I am currently teaching Kiswahili at University of KwaZulu South Africa. I can teach you Kiswahili language through online. Let me know if this is what interest you. Take Care!

      Best Regards!

      Leonce Rushubirwa

  2. Abdul says:

    It is very interesting that Swahili is taught by someone who is not a Swahili instructor. Is there any other language in the US apart from Swahili whose instructors are just “native speakers”? I doubt that Mr Kazi coming from the mainland Tanzania is really a native speaker of Swahili. I am sure he has his native language and then Swahili. Being from Tanzania does not qualify everyone to be a native speaker.

    • I agree with Abdul. Being a native of any country including Kiswahili does not itself qualify that person to become a teacher of that language. This person needs to go through language pedagogy trainings.

      • Dr. Masumbuko says:

        I know Mr. Kazi. Actually his Swahili is not that good. He is Sukuma from lake Victoria. This is just sad and I am not sure what type of Swahili these students will be learning….

  3. If someone is a native speaker of Kiswahili like Mr. Kazi is, he can participate in helping Kiswahili Students to learn how to pronounce words, phrases and sentences that would enhance their pronunciation skills.

  4. Eli says:

    guys the programme is called SLIP so instead of criticising Mr Kazi you should appreciate n support what he is doing instead of kupiga majungu he is spreading our lovely language kiswahili

    • Ali Raja says:

      Swahili is my second language. I was born and raised in Tanzania currently residing in Southern California. I would be happy to tutor anyone who might be interested and need more info in East African history.

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