African American Linguists (AAL)

Promoting World Languages in the African-American Community

About AAL Network Friends

Join the AAL Facebook Network Forum to get Connected!

  • AAL currently has over 80 network friends from 18 states, and 3 countries. They include Alabama, California, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Washington, USA, Madagascar and Canada.
  • The Photo Gallery below highlights African-Americans in world languages throughout the United States and abroad.
  • AAL would love to hear your thoughts on the organization. Don't forget to sign the guestbook!

 

 

Special thanks to Dr. Lee Wilberschied, OH

AAL would like to acknowledge the contributions of Lee Wilberschied to the organization. AAL welcomes ideas and assistance from our network friends. Dr. Wilberschied has been invaluable in helping to increase awareness of the organization, publishing announcements about AAL in the distinguished Foreign Language Annals of ACTFL and helping with research ventures. Dr. Wilberschied is a main contributor of the AAL/Joseph annual scholarship fund.

Thank you so much Dr. Wilberschied! 

 

Founder of AAL

Webmaster/Founder of AAL

Professor

  • Dr. Lee Wilberschied (OH)

  • Professor of Spanish & Teacher Education

  • 2003-2005 Chair of African American Students Special Interest Group of ACTFL

 

Professor & Researcher

 

Professor & Department Chair

  • Dr James Davis (MD)
  • Howard University
  • Department Chair of Modern Languages and Literature.
  • "I am very excited about this endeavor. I have spent much of my research career focusing on African Americans and Second Language Study and Programs. Good luck!!!"

Educator

  • Andranique Ellis (MO)
  • Spanish Teacher
  • Speaks Spanish

Instructor & Publisher

 

 

Educator

  • Euphemia Gayle Lewis (GA)
  • M.HS (Masters in Hispanic Studies)
  • Middle school Spanish teacher 

"I like being part of a small group [AAL] because I feel like we are trail blazers."

Educator

  • Tamara Hughes (NC)
  • Teaches high school Spanish in Winston Salem, NC .
  • M.A.Ed in Spanish education

Missionary

  • Camellia Cuthrell (NC)
  • BA in Spanish & religion from Salem College
  • Studied German 
  • Christian Missionary to Honduras, Mexico & Canada

Student/Office Manager

  • Ashira Murphy (CA)
  • Chaffey College Student
  • Studying Spanish
  • Ashira is the AAL treasurer. She can be reached at [email protected]

  •  

    Professor

     

    Educator

     

    Educator

    Educator

    • Faith K. Chiwawana (MD)
    • M.A. in Spanish from Cleveland State Univeristy
    • Spanish Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    • Speaks Spanish

    Student

    Student & CNA

    • Jahmia Scott (MD)
    • Minoring in Spanish
    • Coppin State University

    Student & Substance Abuse Counselor

    • Lisa Frank (NJ)
    • Majoring in Spanish
    • The College of New Jersey

    Educator

    • Latosha Guy (CA)
    • Teacher
    • National Board Certified in English
    • "I am interested in helping world langauge teachers use all of the established research on teaching English Laguange Learners to help students acquire a world langauge. I am also interested in curriculum reform in teaching African American students."

    Business Owner/Educator

    • Candice Chambers (OH)
    • Speaks Spanish & French
    • Owns a foreign language firm
    • Taught English as a foreign language

     

    Attorney

    Student

    Educator

    Educator

    • Two-Way Spanish Immersion Coordinator and Adjunct Community College Spanish Professor

    • Speaks Spanish & Portuguese; Studying Japanese

     

    Student

    Educator

    • Gyl Mattioli (GA)
    • ESL Instructor
    • Italian (fluent), French (advanced), Spanish (beginner) & Malagasy (beginner)

    Educator

    • Erin Jones (WA)
    • French Immersion Teacher
    • Speaks Dutch, English, French, & Spanish

    Librarian

    • Charity Dell, NJ
    • Speaks Spanish
    • Studied German, Russian, Koine Greek, Hebrew & Italian

     

    Educator/Bilingual Call Agent

    • Shavon Robinson, AL
    • Bilingual Call Agent/Spanish Teacher
    • Speaks Spanish, studying French

    Podiatrist

    Educator

    • Kami Anderson, (GA)
    • Assistant Professor  at Southern Polytechnic State University in Mariettta, GA
    • Speaks Spanish & French

    Educator

     

    Student

    • Taurin Roberts (OH)
    • Speaks Spanish
    • Majoring in Communications and Spanish at Cleveland State University
    • 2006 AAL/Rhoda Joseph Scholarship Recipient

    Educator

    Educator

    • Pete M. Mhunzi (CA)
    • Retired professor of History 
    • Speaks Kiswahili & some Spanish

     

    FROM LANGSTON HUGHES TO HILLARY NG’WENO

    Doctoral Student

    Consultant/Student

    AAL Announcements Committee Chair: Forward announcements pertinent to the AAL vision to Tanya at [email protected]

    • Tanya Hickson (GA)
    • Program Development Consultant
    • Pursuing M.A. in Spanish and Applied Linguistics and Pedagogy at Georgia State University
    • Speaks Spanish, Portuguese & French
    • *******Be More Marketable. Be Bilingual.*******
      Personal Services to Help you Connect with Your World
      Customized Learning Plans & Accurate, Affordable Translations....
      404-321-9426

     

    Student

    • Anthony Duvall (OH)
    • Student at Cleveland State University
    • Majoring in International Relations
    • Speaks German

    President-CEO

    Spanish Lecturer

     

    Reimbursement Coordinator

    • Adrian Meadows (SC)
    • Studying Spanish

    Student

    • Carmen Washington (IN)
    • Student at IUPUI
    • Studying Arabic

    Educator

    • Mildred Smith-Chang (NY)
    • K-12 Spanish Teacher
    • Doctoral  candidate in Spanish and education (State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA).
    • Grant Recipient of the Michael Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program

     

    Clinical MSW

    • Toyia Greene (CA)
    • Clinical MSW
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "As a child I was exposed very early to Spanish and my desire to learn it never went away."

    Graduate Student/Translator

    • Quincy Jenkins (IL)
    • Speaks Spanish & Italian
    • Master's degree candidate at Illinois State University
    • Pursuing master's in Afro-Latino Linguistics

    ESL Teacher in South Korea

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green, South Korea
    • Speaks Spanish, some Korean
    • "With the diverse group of people that live in the US, it is crucial now more than ever that African-Americans pursue second language acquisition or be left behind. I feel like a spokesperson for the benefits of knowing more than one language -- and that's a good feeling."


    ESL Teacher in South Korea

    • Evan Zelezny, South Korea
    • Speaks French, German, Spanish
    • "When one learns a foreign language, and along with it, a foreign culture, one is able to see the world from a different person's point of view.  It follows that one can then see his/her own condition in a more objective light.  I believe this will allow minorities to more easily empower themselves and find ways to change society for the better."

    Pharmacy Technician

    • Debrina Johnson (CA)
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "Many persons of African descent speak multiple languages. It is only fitting that African-Americans promote and learn them as well."

    Professor

    • Dr. Charles L. Meadows (GA)
    • Professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA
    • Professor of Asian Studies and Chinese

     

    Professor/Foreign Language Coordinator

    • Leslie Gutierrez, NC
    • Spanish Professor and FL Coordinator for Johnson C. Smith University
    • "I teach at a HBCU. I head a service language project where my students tutor ESL students at a local high school. They are realizing that to market themselves better in such a global economy, they have to acquire another language."

     

    Interpreter, Translator, Linguist

    • Saran Toure Bangoura (Ottawa, Ontario)
    • Speaks French, Spanish, Mandingo, Susu, Arabic, German
    • "Each language has an implicit and explicit code of traditions, wisdom etc. that when known can empower us to live in harmony with the native speaker."

    Educator

    • Ebony Hicks (VA)
    • Spanish Teacher in Hampton City Public Schools
    • "My long-term goal is to use my education to enlighten Blacks and Africans as it relates to their impact in the global arena using a world language."

    Educator

    • Patricia Taylor Braxton (MI)
    • NYC Board of Education (retired)
    • Speaks Spanish & Portuguese
    • "Languages provide a rich prism from which to observe the world. As Black people, we can communicate on a different level when we can step from behind the "English-only" mentality." 

    Student

    • Kyekyenika Terrell, GA
    • Student at Georgia Perimeter College
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "I would like to be an ambassador for change. By exposing languages to urban children, I can spark the natural curiosity that children have and hopefully they will study other languages and cultures in their futures."
       

    Educator

    • Elliott C. Smith (TX)
    • Speaks Spanish, studied German & Japanese
    • "I always feel like I have to explain why I decided to study Spanish. Often, people think you are Hispanic; otherwise, why
      do you speak Spanish."


    Educator

    • Regina Wright (CA)
    • Studying for MA in International Policy Studies with a specialization in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. Class of 2010
    • Has studied Spanish, French, Portuguese and Latin; "Always strive to be the best at what you do. You can always learn more about a culture and learn more about different languages. Be exposed to everything that you can."

    Educator

    • Lisa M. Thorpe (NC)
    • Spanish Teacher
    • "I am very proud to represent my people and I hope I can inspire and encourage other African-Americans to see the value in learning world languages. It opens up so many possibilities and it expands one's appreciation of the contributions of others around the world, especially others of African descent."

    Student, Training Supervisor

    • Sanya Makinde (PA)
    • Yoruba, Nigerian
    • Speaks Yoruba
    • "By phonetically spelling English and other languages such as French, German, Dutch in accordance with the rules followed in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and all African languages, language acquisition will be smooth and rapid for any learner, comprehension will be plain and pronunciation will not be defective."

    Educator, Student

    • Stefan Chapman (CA)
    • Spanish Teacher & Student
    • "There are many study abroad programs that are not very costly.  Such would include the Don Quixote program, SOAR, Volunteers of America and many more.  Send donation letters to family, friends and businesses to incorparate sponsorship."

    Educator

    • Karen Martin (TX)
    • Instructor at Texas Christian University
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "I was motivated to learn Spanish due to love of the people and the culture, understanding the way the language worked and being fascinated by it."

     

    Student

    • Corie Coleman (CA)
    • Student at Saint Bernard
    • Speaks Spanish
    • " Learn to live outside of the box. We are not the only people in the world. We need diversity."

    Paralegal

    • Tessa Smith
    • Paralegal with New York Law Dept.
    • Speaks Spanish, American Sign Language
    • " Finding a haven of support is one of the most important aspects of challenging academic and professional norms."

    Educator

    • Dr M. Monique McMillian-Robinson (NC)
    • Assistant Professor
    • Speaks Spanish, some French

    Educator

    • Osmond A. Duffis-Sjogren, (FL)
    • Senior Professor of English & ESL at Broward College
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "I am a Black Hispanic. Black people come in all shades and in all languages. We must make African Americans aware that there are people who look just like them but have a different culture and language."

    Student

    • Ashira Armour (OK)
    • High School student
    • studies mandarin chinese
    • "I would tell African-Americans not to be intimidated by Chinese because we can do whatever we set our minds to. Also not to let the norms of society scare them away from it either. Right now, I'm volunteering as a tutor for elementary students in the study of Mandarin Chinese."

    Student

    • Caroline Bradley (SC)
    • Student at Columbia College
    • Speaks French
    • "As an African American, I feel it is important for me to become involved in the field of world languages because it hasn't been dominated by African Americans in the past.  I feel great that I have this opportunity."

    Educator

    • Tommy G. Erwin (TX)
    • Professor of Spanish at Texas Southern University
    • "I promote languages amongst African-Americans by making the community aware of the importance that world languages have in preparing our students to compete in the global marketplace."

    Educator

    • Aurora Fiengo-Varn (MS)
    • Assistant Professor of Spanish at Mississippi Valley State University
    • "I teach at an HBCU. At my campus, I see many students enjoying learning a second language. They are motivated. If our school had the means, students would take more foreign languages. I advise all of my African-American students to further expand their language knowledge. To encourage them, I teach hard in the classroom and provide them with any opportunity available to expose them to the culture."

    Educator

    • Demetria L. May (GA)
    • ELL teacher in Alabama
    • Speaks Spanish and some French
    • "I feel alone sometimes in my community because I live in a small area.  I wish others would understand how your world can change with knowing another language."

    Educator

    • Joia Stark (DE)
    • Speaks Spanish, French, and Korean
    • Teaches English in South Korea
    • "Because I've branched outside of traditional languages and studied Korean and Chinese, I think I can demonstrate to them [African American children] that we're just as capable of learning as others. It's about restoring some confidence in our youth." 

     

    Educator

    • Sarah Carrig (NC)
    • Lecturer at NCA&T State University
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "[To encourage African American students to learn a world language] I would also direct them to the AAL website so that they could learn of African Americans, historical and contemporary, who recognize(d) the importance of language learning, and so that they could discover the myriad of benefits that other African Americans have derived from study of other languages and cultures."

    Campus Minister

    • Achlaï Ernest Wallace (NC)
    • Native of Montreal, Canada (Haitian Canadian descent)
    • Campus Minister at Salem College, NC
    • Speaks French, Haitian Creole
    • "I would encourage African Americans to take a course, take a leap, and risk joining a conversation group."

    Student

    • Ramona Wilson, OH
    • Student at Cleveland State University
    • Speaks Spanish; some Japanese, French, Arabic
    • "I believe in the importance of 2nd language learning. World language profiency was an elective in elementary school and I loved learning.  Every chance I got I learned more.  It widened my world view, introduced me to new friends I wouldn't otherwise meet, and allows me to think outside of the box of English."

    Educator

    • Kimberly Trezise (PA)
    • Teacher in the West Chester area school district
    • Speaks Spanish
    • "Our children have the opportunity to be taught first hand the Spanish language.  They are the ones living in the neighborhoods, eating at the tables of our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters, yet they are not encouraged to take ,not just Spanish, but any language."

    Educator/Publisher

    • Farryn Valderramos (FL)
    • High School Spanish Teacher
    • Speaks Spanish

    Student

    • Michael McGee (CA)
    • Student at Chaffey College
    • Speaks Spanish

    Educator

    • Rachel M. Anderson (DE)
    • High School Spanish Teacher
    • Speaks Spanish & French

    Educator

    • Angela Gordon (PA)
    • Spanish Teacher
    • Speaks Spanish

    Student

    • Christina Golson (TN)
    • Student at University of TN at Chattanooga
    • Speaks Spansih

    Educator

    • Lundon Sims (NC)
    • High School Spanish Teacher
    • Speaks Spanish

    Student

    • Lindsey Jones (MO)
    • Student at Washington University
    • Speaks Spanish & Mandarin

    Student

    • Lakia Queen
    • Student at University of CA at Santa Cruz
    • Speaks Italian

    Student

    • Anika Gray (D.C.)
    • Student at Howard University
    • Speaks Spanish

    Graduate Student

    • Uju Anya (NH)
    • PhD Candidate at Dartmouth College
    • Speaks Portuguese

     

    • P.M. Azinga
    • Honolulu, HI
    • More information to come!

     

    • Jasmine Brown (MD)
    • More information to come!

    Members Area