Indiana University Bloomington
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Language Instructors


Alwiya OmarAlwiya Omar is Clinical Professor of Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington. She teaches Kiswahili and coordinates the teaching of other African languages in the African Studies program. Her research interests include second language acquisition, cross-cultural pragmatics, web-based language instruction, and study abroad language programs. She directed the Kiswahili Flagship program from 2010 to 2015, and STARTALK summer Kiswahili program for middle and high school students from 2010 to 2016. Dr. Omar received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition from Indiana University. She was President of the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) from 2012 to 2014, and President of African Language Teachers Association (ALTA) from 2004 to 2006. (


David Adu-AmankwahDavid Adu-Amankwah holds a Ph.D. degree in Folklore with a minor in African languages and linguistics. His research interests have focused on language, folklore, and culture, with special reference to the Akan ethnic group of Ghana. He is currently a Senior Lecturer, and has taught language and culture courses within Indiana University-Bloomingtonís African Studies Program since 1994. He also taught Akan language and culture at the University of Florida-Gainesville from 2003 to 2004. He has published several journal articles, encyclopedia entries, and books, including Asante-Twi Learnersí Reference Grammar (2003), Wo Nso Ka Bi: Basic Akan Grammar and Practice (2013), Understanding your Writing Test in English: Titbits for School Candidates, (2015), Tie Ma Mense Wo: Basic Vocabulary for Asante-Twi Learners (2016), and Siesie Wo Ho Sie: Elementary Akan (Asante-Twi) Vocabulary (2018). David's Akan Jokelore: Jokes and Joking in an African Community is coming out soon. (

Betty DlaminiDr. Betty Dlamini is a Senior Lecturer of African Studies in the School of Global and International Studies. As a Fellow of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, she is an alumni of the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (PhD-2008); Sussex University (MA-2002); University of South Africa (BA Honors-2001) and University of Swaziland (B,Ed-1998). Her research interest is interdisciplinary, including Southern African Performance Arts and Development, Women and Gender, Comparative Cultures, and IsiZulu. Her conference presentations focus on the teaching of second and foreign languages and cultures. Honors include receiving the Statewide Presidential Award, the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), 2018; the Best SiSwati Novel for Swaziland High Schools, Swaziland Curriculum Unit, 2016; Macmillan SiSwati Novel Grand Prize winner, 2008; translator of the BBC (Channel 4) Documentary, Rough Aunties, a winner of the Sundance World Cinema Jury Prize, 2008; Translator for Amnesty International Information Documents for South Africa, 2008; translator and editor for Macmillan Swaziland (until 2001); recipient of awards including the German Development Fellowship for Young Researchers of BOLESWA Countries, 2000; the University of Swaziland, Dean of Education Award, 1998; Second Best Short Story Award for the English Association of South Africa, 1997; and Sino-Swazi Award of Academic Excellence, 1995. Publications include a language text book, an academic book, journal and encyclopedia articles, an autobiography, a novel and over 30 short stories, all of which have been used in some schools in South Africa and all schools in the Kingdom of Eswatini. She is a mentor of students at Indiana University and other US universities. She is a practitioner of singing, dancing and acting and has performed as a guest artist at numerous events in the United Kingdom and USA. (

Amadou Beidi SowAmadou Beidy Sow is a Bamana instructor from Ségou, Mali. Dr. Sow obtained a Master’s degree in Second Language Teaching from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Bamako. After coming to the United States, he earned a Master’s degree in International Studies at Ohio University followed by a Ph.D. in Education (Cultural Studies in Education) with a focus on political leadership. He has published Political Leadership in the Hand of Teachers: The Type of Leadership Teacher Politicians Display on the Political Scene in Mali, VDM Verlag (2010). Dr. Sow has presented at numerous conferences. He has experience teaching Bamanankan, French, English, and Social Studies. (

Associate Instructors

Victor Temitope Alabi is a Ph. D. student in the Department of Linguistics. He teaches Yoruba for the African Studies Program. He received a Bachelorís degree in English from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, in 2010 and obtained his masterís degree in 2014 at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He has published academic papers as well as poems in national and international outlets. He has also made several presentations and chaired sessions at various conferences in the US. He was Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant 2014-2015 at the Indiana University African Studies Program. He is currently the Faculty and Student liaison officer of Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) as well as the African Studies student representative on the African Studies Program Executive Committee. (

Taiwo Oluwaseun Ehineni is a Ph. D. Candidate in the Department of Linguistics. He teaches Yoruba for the African Studies Program. He holds a Master’s degree in English linguistics from the University of Ibadan and a Bachelor’s degree from Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria. He was a Yoruba Fulbright FLTA at Indiana University in 2013-14, where he also volunteered as an instructor in the award-winning IU Bridges: Children, Language, World program at Fairview Elementary School, Bloomington. He has received several awards including a US Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Award (2013); Nigeria National Youth Service Corps Commendation Award (2011); Best Graduating Student, English and Literary Studies Department, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria (2009/10); and Ondo State Merit Scholarship Award (2010, 2008). He has presented papers at numerous conferences, including the African Language Teachers Association (ALTA) conference in Chicago and the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) conference in Washington DC. He has published in the International Journal of Linguistics, among others. (

Susan Kavaya is a Swahili instructor and a graduate of the African Studies Master of Arts at Indiana University. Susan earned a Bachelors of Education Degree in English and Literature from The University of Nairobi and later pursued a Master's degree in Literature at the University of Nairobi for a year. Susan was a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Yale University where she taught Swahili in the years 2013-14. She has received many awards including a first class honors degree at the University of Nairobi, The Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Scholarship at the University of Nairobi and the Fulbright FLTA to Yale University. Susan has also taught English and Literature in Kenya, interned at the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) in Kenya, taught Swahili at Yale and presented at the African Languages Teachers Association (ALTA) conference in Chicago. She is currently teaching Swahili at Indiana University and was recently accepted into the Ph. D. program at the IU School of Public Health. (

Mpolokeng LesetlaMpolokeng Lesetla is a Visiting Scholar and Zulu instructor in the African Studies Program. She is an IUB graduate with a Masterís in African Studies (focused on language planning issues in South Africa, particularly UKZN Zulu Student) and a Masters in TESOL/Applied Linguistics. She earned her Bachelor of Social Science, Postgraduate diploma in Public Policy and Social Development, and B.A. Honors from South Africa, University of Natal, currently known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Academic interests include linguistic, cognitive, social, and educational dimensions of L2 acquisition, all of which interact and help explain universal patterns and constraints on L2 acquisition as well as large individual differences across L2 carriers and users; acquisition of any language beyond the first (e.g.; L2, L3) whether of English or any other target language; and program evaluation and language assessmen; and corrective feedback in the classroom. (

Mpolokeng LesetlaCheikh Tidiane Lo is a Wolof Instructor in the African Studies Program. After completing his Master of Arts in English with honors in Senegal, he was granted the Fulbright Scholarship for Junior Staff Development to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Folklore and a minor in Anthropology at Indiana University-Bloomington. He won several internal and national awards of excellence, the College of Arts and Science Dissertation Award, and has obtained certificates in Islamic studies, language teaching, and hospitality management. He has a strong record of publications in heritage tourism, folklore, and oral tradition, and has presented papers at various professional conferences in the United States and Mexico. (

Richard NyamahangaRichard Nyamahanga is a Swahili instructor and a Ph. D. candidate in Linguistics. A graduate of IU-B with a Masterís in Linguistics, Richard earned his bachelorís degree from Dar es Salaam University in Tanzania. He also holds a Diploma in Education for Secondary School from Morogoro Teachers College and taught English for 4 years at Oysterbay Secondary School. Additional experience at Indiana University includes working as a grader in the African Studies Program (2016-2017); serving as a Graduate Assistant in Field Methods where he worked as a language consultant for Kihehe, his native language (2016-2016); and awarded as a Swahili Fulbright FLTA at Indiana University (2014-2015). (

Foreign Language Teaching Assistants

Ibrahim Odugbemi graduated with a First Class Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in the 2014. He received the Professor Samuel Omo Asein Memorial Prize as the best graduating student in African and Caribbean literature and the University Scholarship on which he studied for an MA in Literature between 2016 and 2017. He taught GES 101 (English Grammar and Usage) and GES 201 (Effective Writing and Communication Skills) at the Centre for General Studies, University of Ibadan for five semesters. He is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Fulbright FLTA (Yoruba) grant. (

Barakaeli Mbise earned his Bachelor's of Arts in Education majoring in History and English from St. Augustine University of Tanzania (Jordan University-Morogoro campus) in 2015. He taught English at Jaffery International School in Arusha, Tanzania, and researched "The History of Teaching and Learning Resources," a case study of Bangata secondary school in Arusha, for his undergraduate degree. In his spare time, he enjoys playing football (soccer), listening to music, and learning more about American culture and language. He is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Fulbright FLTA (Swahili) scholarship. (