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About Us

Department of Kiswahili and Other African Languages

About the Department

The Department of Kiswahili at Maseno University was established in 1992. Early 2000, the department of African languages was established. These two departments were later on merged in the larger department of Linguistics, Languages and Literature. Through the process of restructuring programs and faculties, in the University, the department of Kiswahili and Other African Languages was created in August 2011. The acronym KOAL was adopted. KOAL runs two disciplines in one; Kiswahili language and linguistics and, Kiswahili literature. The department offers Bachelor of Arts programme with Information Technology (IT) administered to both BA and Education students, and postgraduate programmes in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in language, linguistics and literature in Kiswahili and other African languages. These courses are both taught in Kiswahili. The department caries out research on other African languages and cultures across the region. The department stands out as a centre of excellence in training Kiswahili and other African languages scholars, promoting cultural diversity and advancing external relationships with  partners. By association and membership in professional organizations, national and international networks, KOAL faculty regularly participate in and contribute to the wider community scholarship debates and dialogue, research and pedagogical theory in language, linguistics, literature and cultural studies. Our  program integrate breadth and depth recognizing the role national and international  role of Kiswahili language and literature. KOAL attracts students from diverse geographical and social backgrounds. Internally, KOAL services students from the faculty of education and the department of communication and media technology.



To be a centre of excellence in training Kiswahili and other African languages scholars with quality interpersonal communication, creative, analytical  and presentation skills.



To provide students and scholars with professional and technical skills in linguistics and literary studies in Kiswahili and other African Languages, in preparation for further studies and career opportunities; promoting cultural diversity and advancing external relationships with local communities, African universities and other institutions of higher learning around the world.



To  intellectualize  the social-cultural contexts within which the spoken and written texts function, to interpret their influence on societal relationship and transformation



  1. Provide students with sound theoretical and practical knowledge of Kiswahili competency skills that will make them better users of the language in their careers 

  2. To equip students with translation and interpretation skills and competencies in Kiswahili and other African languages

  3. Enable students master and appreciate linguistic and literary concepts in Kiswahili and related African cultures.

  4. Enable students to appreciate the role of Kiswahili as a National and International Language;

  5. Train and prepare students to undertake research and postgraduate studies in Kiswahili, African Languages and Literature.

  6. Build a strong research team with the aim of revitalizing, documenting and preserving African languages and cultures.


Recognize the power of language to nurture communication and interpersonal trust and respect for mutual understanding and cultural sensitivity.