Academic Course 2

During Academic Course 2 (AC2), each student takes the three courses that are part of their chosen specialisation track.

Students in the Scripture Engagement Track take the following courses:

  • Translating the Bible into Action
  • Trauma Healing & Community Development
  • Orality and Storycrafting

Students in the Literacy Track take the following courses:

  • Introduction to Grammar
  • Phonology
  • Literacy 2

Students in the Linguistic Assessment Track take the following courses:

  • Introduction to Grammar
  • Phonology
  • Language Survey 2

Students in the Translation Track take the following courses:

  • Introduction to Grammar
  • Bible Translation Basics 2
  • Exegesis

Course descriptions and learning objectives for each course are given below.

Introduction to Grammar

The primary goal of this module is to give an introduction to grammatical analysis, to enable students to understand the grammar of their language nd to enable students to benefit from simple linguistic descriptions written by others. These skills will help prepare the students for Bible translation, language assessment, and literacy work.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the module the students will know:
1. Sentence and clause structure
2. Phrase and word structure
3. Basic ideas of morphology
4. Tense, aspect, mood and voice
5. Case, gender, class and number marking


Prerequisite: Phonetics and Introduction to Phonology

Course Description:
The course participants will receive lectures on all major aspects of segmental phonology and tone, and will apply the covered aspects in assignments and (where possible) by examining their own languages.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • describe the process of moving from a phonetic to a phonological understanding of a language’s sounds
  • identify the phonemes of a language
  • describe the most common phonological and morphophonological processes occurring in a language
  • describe the initial steps of the analysis of a tone language, along with the most common tonal processes found in African languages
  • apply phonological insights to orthographic decisions

Bible Translation Basics 2

Prerequisite: Bible Translation Basics 1

Course Description 
The Bible Translation Basics 2 module (BTB-2) builds on the module Bible Translation Basics 1 (BTB-1) and reinforces what was taught in the first course.

Learning Objectives:  
As the result of having gone through this module, students will:

  • have further studied communicative clues in general and in biblical texts and have begun to compare these with communicative clues in their own languages
  • be able to recognize a number of features both in the biblical text and in their own languages and know how to deal with these in translation (genitives, passives, participant reference, reported speech, rhetorical questions, argumentation structure, and poetic effects.
  • know how to deal with names, money and measurements
  • have developed a better understanding of how to work as a translation team 
  • have developed a better understanding of how to work with churches
  •  have gained deeper understanding and appreciation for the importance of biblical background and how this leads to providing relevant contextual information to their target audiences in translation
  • have studied the spirit world in their own (traditional) culture and have started to apply this knowledge to the choices they need to make regarding biblical key terms and tackling conceptual mismatches
  • have gained further competence in how to translate biblical material using two approaches (“easy-to-understand” and “high-meaning resemblance”)
  • be able to evaluate material that provides contextual information
  • be able to fill out communication charts to correctly capture communicated ideas and contextual information of biblical texts in preparation for translation
  • have begun to use Translator’s Workplace + Paratext

Literacy 2

Prerequisite: Literacy 1

Course Description:
This course is offered to those already working in a mother tongue literacy project who have taken iDELTA course set I.

The course participants will take part in a series of “practical workshops” which will address subjects relevant to their programs, such as: materials production, how to plan for and lead a local workshops and assessment of capacity for seeking funding.

Participants should come with a completed materials topics preference survey of 40 mother tongue speakers from three villages. During the course, students will complete a portfolio of documents for program management, materials development and workshop development.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. explain alternative strategies for designing and managing a literacy program
  2. design teacher training procedures for adult literacy programs
  3. develop materials for literacy programs
  4. organize and direct a writers’ workshop
  5. explain the need for post-literacy materials and how to develop these
  6. evaluate the need for external funding in a literacy program
  7. do detailed costing for a literacy project

Language Survey II: Planning and Methods

Prerequisite: Language Survey I

Description of the Module

This module and its prerequisite (offered in AC1) provide the formal training in survey principles and procedures that a person needs to work as a language surveyor. “Language Survey II” builds on “Introduction to Language Survey”, and on students’ experience in planning (and possibly doing) language assessment, to orient them to the practice of planning language surveys and the use of specific tools and methodologies that they will apply during survey fieldwork. This module will equip students to plan a survey project and evaluate a research proposal that will provide an accurate description of the factors, sociolinguistic and otherwise affecting decisions about language development programmes. Students study a variety of survey tools and methods, construct their own examples of these tools, implement them by using them with real people, and start analysing their results. The module is structured on the assumption that the students will receive further training in AC3 to analyse and write up the results, thus completing a survey project. We expect the students to  apply their training by conducting language surveys under an experienced mentor as part of their on-field assignment.

Objectives of the Module

  1. By the end of this module students will be able to:
  2. Relate the requirements of a survey to the methods and sampling techniques that are appropriate for it.
  3. Evaluate the quality and completeness of a survey proposal that is realistic and addresses the research questions appropriate to the language development decision(s) to be made.
  4. Describe appropriate methods for sociolinguistic surveys.
  5. Apply one language survey method from each of the following categories: word lists, intelligibility testing, observation schedules, oral questionnaires, second language proficiency testing and participatory methods.
  6. Present the data and analyze the results obtained with each language survey method applied.
  7. Formulate conclusions from the results obtained with each language survey method applied and give reasons for drawing them.

Translating the Bible into Action (TBIA)

Course Description:
This course has the assumption that where there are Scriptures in a language that people understand, it is not obvious that people use the Scriptures either correctly or as they should. There are barriers that hinder people from using the Scriptures in a manner that brings transformation.

The course will examine the role of language in Bible use and introduce the participants to wide range practical activities and interventions that can be done to make Scripture come a live in the life of a community or individual.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completing the course, the participant will be able to:

  • Explain what Scripture Engagement is
  • Describe and identify barriers to Scripture Engagement within their community.
  • Know the theological foundations for languages and culture in God’s plan, and the role of mother tongue use in church growth
  • How to help multilingual and multi ethnic churches use scriptures appropriately.
  • Helping those who peach and interpret prepare and present sermons well.
  • Demonstrate how to help people see how the Bible is relevant in daily life.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of helping other people share their faith using Scripture with people of different faiths and experiences.
  • Assist people using their different gifts to share Scriptures
  • Demonstrate the role of literacy in helping people use scriptures
  • How to research their own condition and come up with a plan to implement an effective SE program.

Orality and Storycrafting

Course Description:
All human cultures employ oral discourse (narratives, proverbs, stories, poetry, song) in transmitting behavioral norms. In many cultures where a writing system is comparatively new, orality remains a dominant method of teaching and learning. This course will enable you to use your culture’s oral tradition as a platform for creating a Biblical storying tradition.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completing the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the potential for oral approaches to Bible knowledge in your cultural context
  • Understand the utility of Biblical storying as a tool for evangelism and scripture use.
  • Teach stories creatively in various contexts, especially in a fellowship group, and to do so in a way that builds bridges to your home culture. This will include playing with the story you are presenting, discussing it, and adding fellowship items such as music and prayer.
  • Craft Biblical stories, if possible in your mother tongue, that are anchorable in the Bible.
  • Demonstrate understanding of how the choice of stories used in the class training story set cohere or hang together around a common theme.
  • Facilitate crafting a Biblical story (where you are not the one crafting the story, but helping someone else do it)
  • Test Biblical stories you have crafted for repeatability, that are understood in the way you intended, that fit into a redemptive theme, and that surmount barriers while building bridges from God to your culture.
  • Plan a story set that is comprehensive of Christian doctrine, encompasses both Old and New Testaments, and fits a redemptive theme that corresponds to your culture.
  • Plan a story set around a special theme, such as trauma healing.

Trauma Healing & Community Development

Course Description:
This course is divided into 2 parts; a study on healing the wounds of trauma and a study on community development. 

Learning Outcomes:

A. For Healing the wounds of Trauma:

  • Describe the questions about God that come when there is great suffering.
  • Recognize that wounds of the heart need to be cared for as are physical wounds.
  • Explain the process of grief.
  • Describe various types of trauma and loss.
  • Explain how to help people experience God’s healing of their pain.
  • Demonstrate a recognition of the need for forgiveness and repentance in the healing process.
  • Demonstrate understanding of how we can live as Christians in the midst of ethnic tension.
  • Use the Scriptures in the above contexts.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a Biblical view of the theology of suffering.

B. For Shalom: A Manual for Christian Workers

  • Explain how sin affects people in all contexts and why it is better to fight the spiritual battle as a united group rather than as an individual
  • Describe the biblical support for Christians working together to address practical life issues.
  • Demonstrate a  commitment  to  allowing  the  Holy  Spirit  to  speak  through Scripture to identify areas in which one needs to change, even if this makes us uncomfortable.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to work with one’s community on these issues.


Course Description
This course considers the steps involved in carrying out an exegesis of a passage from a translator’s perspective.  The different aspects of exegesis are studied in detail and then are applied to one passage at the end of the course.  Students are also given an introduction to Translator’s Workplace or Paratext.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the module the student will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and attitudes:


  • recognize that exegesis is fundamental to translation and that it must include the application of knowledge from other disciplines (such as linguistics, biblical studies)
  • recognize and explain the exegetical problems of various kinds in the text (e.g., textual, grammatical, lexical, cultural, situational, relational, authorʼs purpose, logical relations, etc.)
  • recognize alternative interpretations, especially as they appear in major-language translations and realize that there is usually not just one ‘right’ understanding of a difficult text. 
  • explain how exegesis is related to processing meaning in normal human communication (as taught in BTB-1)
  • recognize various OT and NT genres and different literary forms and explain the factors that should be taken into consideration interpreting and translating these
  • know the range of resources (in print or in electronic form) available to translators for the study of Biblical texts
  • recognize the form and function (structure and genre) of larger units of texts (including whole books and letters), and describe their effect on the exegesis of smaller sub-units


  •  ability to outline/summarize a passage
  • show a growing skill in utilizing the range of resources (in print or in electronic form) available for the understanding of biblical texts
  • use exegetical resources to study the meaning of a word or phrase in the original Greek or a Hebrew (without knowledge of these languages)
  • exegete a longer passage using the procedural steps presented
  • evaluate and select the most likely interpretation based on commentary opinion and considerations of relevance and contextual information
  • apply expertise gained in other disciplines studied when considering the meaning of a biblical text


  • enjoy the task of exegesis
  • be convinced of the need for careful and balanced reasoning
  • awareness of his or her own theological and cultural assumptions, and adopt a self-questioning attitude toward his or her own interpretations in light of those assumptions