Tue. May 28th, 2024

China has taken a step to promote cultural diversity and linguistic exchange by producing its first Yoruba textbook titled ‘Ede Yoruba’.

The textbook is meant for students of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, where Yoruba is now being taught as a foreign language.
Yoruba is one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, a West African country with over 200 million people.
It is also spoken by millions of people in other countries such as Benin, Togo, Ghana, Brazil and Cuba.
The textbook was developed by Goke Alamu, a professor from the Ekiti State University (EKSU) in Nigeria, who was invited to China to teach the language in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he could not travel and started online classes instead. He was assisted by three US professors who had studied Yoruba in the past. They worked together to write the syllabus and the textbook, which was approved by the Chinese government and published by a reputable company. “I am just very happy because this is the first Yoruba textbook in China,” Alamu said in a statement.
“I could have been in China since then but for the lockdown. So, I started online teaching for their students after writing the syllabus and the approval. Later, the university got approval from the government and a publishing company was approved for the publication of the first Yoruba textbook for students.”
Alamu said he would be going to China in September to test-run the book and train more teachers. He said he had two students who were already studying at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, who would take over from him in the future. “I have taught them for 2 years online, but they are now here to feel the culture of us and improve their proficiency,” he said.
The introduction of Yoruba in China is expected to foster mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries and open up new opportunities for trade, tourism and education.

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