Allow me to introduce Henry Rusasa. Henry is a visiting Fulbright Scholar with the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.
I come from Dar es salaam (from Arabic origin meaning the “coast of peace”). This is the biggest commercial city in Tanzania. I speak Hangaza (a language spoken in Northwest Tanzania), Swahili and English. Apart from Swahili being the language which unites the Nation, Tanzania has more than 120 tribal Languages from about 150 tribes found in the country. Back home I am an English Language teacher for high school. From August, 2017 I got an opportunity to come to United States of America to further my academic and profession knowledge and skills by taking courses and assisting teaching Swahili language at the University of Oregon.
Teaching Swahili to non-native speakers has been a rewarding opportunity. It’s a great feeling to see a dynamic transformation of a student from not being able to speak even one word, to the stage of describing themselves, things, and events in detail in Swahili. This is the ultimate goal of any teacher of a foreign language. These classes give me an opportunity to present my country, and unveil its richness in tourism, natural resources, culture and languages. Students gets to cook and taste East African food, too.
I am taking some classes on language culture and literature. These classes help me to connect language and culture and how to select the appropriate literature to be used in the particular topics. In a class with students from across the world, I learn the diversity of the world and how language classes are taught in their countries based on their backgrounds.
I am looking forward to imparting the knowledge and skills I learn in my classes to my students. I am doing my best to make sure that the people I encounter get to know the Swahili Nation, culture and language.
At the end of summer and beginning of fall, I was hiking the beautiful Oregon hills. I hiked Pisgah Arboretum, Skinner butte, Spencer butte and Fuji mountain. But after the weather changed now I like running, watching movies, reading novels and inspirational books. I also like traveling. I have enjoyed seeing the beauty of Oregon by touring around Eugene, Portland and the Pacific coast.
In the Swahili language program, we have a Swahili circle each Friday at 2PM to 4PM in 255 Straub, where by the students are introduced to the Swahili language and culture. In this program we make cultural things, we play cultural games, eat cultural food, watching Swahili films and listen to music. We test our cultural knowledge and language proficiency by participating in these activities.