Nyakeh Tuchscherer

Recipient Profile

E-mail: ntuchsc2@nd.edu

Language: Swahili

Location of Study: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Program of Study: The School of Kiswahili and Foreign Languages (SKFL), the State University of Zanzibar

Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, the College of Arts and Letters, and Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Blog URL: http://sites.nd.edu/sla2019/author/ntuchsc2/



A brief personal bio:

I’m from Plainsboro, NJ and have two sisters. My elder sister also attends ND. I am an Anthropology major (’21). I conducted research last summer in the Bioarchaeology of Mediterranean Colonies Project in Sicily with a National Science Foundation (NSF) REU Summer Research Award. I presented my research at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting in March 2019. I am particularly interested in social anthropology in East Africa and I hope to do future ethnographic research in Tanzania. My Anthropology influences at ND have been Professors Blum, Fuentes, and Lederach.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

I am currently taking beginning Swahili with Prof. Vumilia Maturo. Swahili is a lingua franca that will take me all over eastern, central, and even parts of southern Africa, which will help me for future research. The Swahili spoken in Zanzibar is regarded as the “purest” form of the language, and it served as the basis for the establishment of standardized Swahili in both spoken and written forms. In summer ’20, which will be the summer after my junior year, it will be crucial for me to use my language skills in research in Tanzania. The timing is important because in my senior year I will not only be engaged in senior thesis work, I will be sharing that research in applications to Ph.D. programs in Anthropology.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

I will be using the SLA grant to pursue a course of study at the School of Kiswahili and Foreign Languages (SKFL), the State University of Zanzibar. This is a highly respected school that regularly hosts students and faculty from around the world who come to study Swahili. My program will include both classroom learning with other students as well as one-on-one tutoring. I will also have a homestay arranged by SKFL. Apart from my interest in improving my Swahili, I hope to discover the island and its rich heritage. I also look forward to making great friends.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

At the end of the summer my goal is to have all of greetings and leave takings in Swahili mastered, to be able to use about 15-20 verbs, to use numbers, and to be able to transcribe anything I hear into the orthography used for Swahili. My goal is also to develop confidence is getting around on my own, such as asking for directions, buying in the market, and communicating and understanding basic ideas. By the end of the summer I would also like to be able to send email messages in Swahili to friends in Zanzibar that will be understood.