IT students create Hausa and Fulfude language app02/09/2015
An exciting mix of tech and language by students in Nigeria has resulted in a new app to help people learn the Hausa and Fulfude languages.
Dr Margee Ensign of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), in Yola, spoke to an audience earlier this week and explained how the language app came about.
“We have a programme called Student Empowerment through Language, Literacy and Arithmetic (STELLA) where all our students are teaching vulnerable people how to read.
“Our Computer Science students have written apps for teaching Hausa and Fulfulde because people want to learn in their mother tongues.
“We are training vulnerable children on eight weeks free ICT access to know how to access technology; we hope to bring fibre optics to Yola so that the whole community has access to technology.”
Ensign, speaking at the Conference on Technology-Assisted Learning in Nigerian Higher Education, also explained how the school had embraced the internet which resulted in a visit from Google. Google apparently visited AUN because it noticed its presence on the worldwide usage map as they used Google technology.
“We are using e-books everywhere; every student and staff uses computer – a laptop or ipad. So, we have access to world knowledge; our jobs as faculty members and teachers are train people on how to access technology and how to evaluate it.”
Not only is it good to see Africans innovating, but also innovating with languages. As we have said time and time again on this blog, this is only good news for Africa’s languages, in this instance Hausa and Fulfude, both highly important languages in the Nigerian language maze. The more they are brought up to date, the more they are allowed to be used, the more they invested, can only mean good things.
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