Center for Language Studies


Why Learn Yorùbá?

Yorùbá is a major West African language spoken and taught predominantly in Nigeria and in West African countries like Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Yorùbá is also spoken and taught outside Africa in various countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Moreover, Yorùbá greatly impacts the social, cultural, and religious lives of people in countries in the Americas, such as the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. It is noteworthy that the Òrìṣà tradition, Candomblé, Santeria, and the features of syncretism in countries such as Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago have their roots in Yorùbá religion. Moreover, there is Ọ̀yọ́túnjí African Village, a Cultural center in Seabrook, South Carolina in the United States, whose foundation was based on the Ọ̀yọ́ empire of the Yorùbá people. 

Yorùbá is one of the most researched and one of the most popular African languages. Students in the Yorùbá class at Brown University have the extraordinary opportunity of participating in Study Abroad programs in Nigeria. Students at Brown University have been awarded SPRINT UTRA by Brown University to do research on Yorùbá. Students have also been awarded the Fulbright-Hays Yoruba Group Project Study Abroad in Nigeria. Excellent strategies are used in teaching Yorùbá at Brown. Technology and differentiated teaching methods are used to make the Yorùbá class engaging. Moreover, various aspects of language, for instance, tones, and culture, for instance, clothing are taught to give students an excellent perspective of Yorùbá. Indeed, students visit fun places like museums to view authentic materials in the Yorùbá culture.


Advanced Yorùbá 

Students who have completed YORU0400 and would like to enroll in Advanced Yorùbá can register for LANG 1900: Independent Study in Languages. The course would be tailored to the needs of students. Students will work on their areas of interest with the instructor. In addition, the course will enhance knowledge of various aspects of language and culture. Students will be exposed to materials such as literature, music, and films, and will work on projects in their areas of interest. 

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