Enhancing proficiency in African languages: the role of study abroad programs
Njoroge, Martin C.
Nyakundi, Augustus O.
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Research indicates that study abroad programs play a key role in promoting proficiency in foreign languages. The research on which this paper is based sought to investigate the role of study abroad programs in enhancing proficiency in African languages. The study population comprised 15 university students from United States who had traveled to Kenya in 2010 to learn Swahili for one semester. The students were exposed to various domains of the use of Swahili language and were immersed in a number of contexts where they received much input in the language. The analysis of the oral and written tests showed that learners were able to express themselves coherently, precisely and confidently in Swahili. In this the paper, therefore, the crucial role of study abroad programs in enhancing proficiency in African languages is affirmed. The paper concludes that study abroad programs are highly beneficial to learners of foreign languages.