Academic Course 3

During Academic Course 3 (AC3), each student takes the three courses that are part of their chosen specialisation track.

Students in the Literacy Track take the following courses:

  • Language Development & Language Planning
  • Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education
  • Orthography

Students in the Linguistic Assessment Track take the following courses:

  • Language Development & Language Planning
  • Linguistic Survey 3
  • (third course to be determined)

Students in the Translation Track take the following courses:

  • Language Development & Language Planning
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Translation Practicum

Students in the Scripture Engagement Track take the following courses:

  • Language Development & Language Planning
  • Community Research
  • Modern Media

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

Mother-tongue-based Multilingual Education (MLE)

Prerequisite: Literacy 2
Co-requisite: Orthography

Course Description:
This course is designed as an introduction to the concepts and practice of mother tongue-based multilingual education (MT-based MLE). Topics covered include: Advocacy and Language policy, Learning theories, Curriculum development, Materials development, L1 learning and bridge to L2, Teacher training, Programme planning, and Monitoring and evaluation.

Participants are expected to have completed iDELTA Literacy I and Literacy II courses and to be enrolled in the Orthography course.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Give a short presentation advocating for MLE in the contexts in which they work.
  • Understand the theories of bilingualism, language acquisition and cognition as they apply to MLE programs.
  • Summarize the aspects of curriculum development, materials development and teacher training as they apply to an MLE program in their context.
  • Explain the concept of a “good bridge” from mother tongue to another language.
  • Prepare a first draft of a comprehensive program plan for the timing and coordination of the elements necessary to implement an MLE program.


Course Description:
The overall goal of this course is to equip the learner to facilitate the development of a new or assessment of an existing orthography by the local community using linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and pedagogical principles.

Topics covered include: Reading theory, Smalley’s maxims, Linguistic principles supporting writing systems, Morphophonemic spelling and writing tone, Lexical issues and tone, Sociolinguistic principles, Evaluation and testing.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, participants shall be able to:

  • define and assess different issues that arise in orthography development;
  • describe how linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and pedagogical factors inform orthography design;
  • apply linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and pedagogical principles to the development of an appropriate orthography for a given sound system;
  • facilitate local community participation in the process of orthography development
  • understand the steps necessary to create a first draft of a technical orthography description;
  • create a first draft of a writers’ guide to the use of the orthography in his/her language;
  • facilitate use of the orthography by the local community;
  • understand the importance of formal orthography testing and identify appropriate test methodologies according to aims

Modern Media

Course Description:
This course is taught using a variety of teaching methods such as class and group discussions, reading assignments, video and PowerPoint presentations, listening to audio programs and doing hands-on exercises and audiovisual production projects. It seeks to lay both the theoretical basis for understanding the role of ICTs in development and Scripture Engagement, as well as enable participants to acquire the hands-on skills for audio-visual production that will enable them to put into practice ICTs in creative ways in their various work contexts.   

Learning Objectives:


  • Understanding the place, role and limitations of different ICTs (Information communication technologies) in development and Christian ministry.
  • Getting to know different types of audiovisual productions and their specific use, including the use of entertainment-education.
  • Becoming familiar with different recording equipment and methods.
  • Knowing the importance of community research and participation in local content creation and communication and how it can be achieved.
  • Getting to know the role of community radio and how to facilitate such projects.
  • Discovering biblical principles for using ICTs.


  • Learning how to design, facilitate and record a program using participatory methods.
  • Using different recording equipment and techniques.
  • Using freeware (Audacity, Photo Story and Shotcut) to produce a variety of audiovisual productions such as radio drama, documentaries, debates, educational films, music videos or picture-based videos.
  • Acquiring the right procedure for producing dramatized audio for newly translated Scriptures.
  • Making Android applications for mobile phones in local languages.


  • Overcoming the fear of using technology for development and Scripture Engagement purposes.
  • A growing awareness of the communication needs (access to information and being heard) of communities, paired with a growing desire to make use of locally available ICTs and developing new communication platforms such as community radio to meet such needs.
  • A growing desire to get local communities involved in the use of ICTs in order to address local issues.

Translation Practicum

Prerequisites: Bible Translation Basics 2, Exegesis

Course Description:
This course is an extended practicum in Bible translation. It is intended to provide each student with an opportunity to carry out translation work under guidance. This course calls upon skills learned in other exegetical and translation courses to produce an accurate, clear, natural and appropriate draft translation.

The translation project is a tutor-guided course which requires the student to work independently on exegesis and drafting, facilitated by the tutor. The tutor will set passages to be translated from different New or Old Testament genre. 

Learning Objectives:
Building on the translation and exegesis courses that have already been taught, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an ability to do good exegetical groundwork as a prerequisite for Bible translation.
  2. a recognition of cultural problems in translation.
  3. an ability to translate according to the grammatical and discourse structure of the receptor language.
  4. the application of particular translation strategies to a passage to produce a translation that is appropriate for the audience or translation product chosen.
  5. an ability to produce draft materials in a form suitable for consultant checking.
  6. the effective use of exegetical and translation resource materials including appropriate software


Prerequisite:     Introduction to Grammar

Course Description:
This module builds on Introduction to Grammar and applies analytical techniques to units of language larger than clauses. The analytical approach is basically structural and taken from the work of Longacre and Levinsohn. Students chart texts, describe typical features of different types of prominence and cohesion, analyze discourse segmented into hierarchical units, and indicate evidence for foregrounding and backgrounding (or mainline and supportive information). The techniques are applied to the student’s own and other (mostly African) languages. The major emphasis is on narrative discourses, but later in the course procedural and hortatory or expository texts are also studied.

Learning objectives:
The students will work on their own language (and other African languages). At the end of the module the students will:

  • Recognize and illustrate the difference between foreground and background information within narratives
  • Identify the different participants and discover their tracking system including pronouns and demonstratives
  • List and give examples of the different ways of combining clauses in narratives 
  • Explain highlighting, demonstrating the functions of ideophones, interjections and reported speech

The students will be able to:

  • Present texts in charted form
  • Segment a text into all its discourse units (paragraphs, episodes, conclusion etc.) according to linguistic features
  • Describe the use of tense/aspect/mood in relationship to foreground and background information in narratives
  • Identify and describe the use of connectives in different genres
  • Describe the use of development markers within a text
  • Have a write-up of all the findings they made

The students will appreciate

  • The usefulness of discourse analysis for doing translation

Community Research

Course Description
The purpose of the Scripture Engagement Research module is to introduce students to how to design and carry out research within the community to explore SE needs, cultural issues, materials distribution and use, implementation, monitoring of programs, and impact in their community.

Students should be able to collect, analyse and interpret data in order to use the information to come up with appropriate strategies.

The course will be taught using story based, participatory methods for engaging the students, learning methods that help the students make their own discoveries and group discussions alongside with lectures and student presentations

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of the course, the students should be able to:

  • Describe what research is and why it is important for their ministry.
  • Describe different methods for collecting, organizing and documenting information.
  • Appreciate and use library and internet resources efficiently for their research.
  • Conduct small scale research projects.
  • Carefully design a research project that is relevant to their context and write a detailed research proposal.
  • Describe and apply the best skills for presenting information clearly, logically, correctly and coherently.
  • Research a topic of their choice; organize, analyse and share the newly discovered information with other stakeholders.
  • Grow in their skills using good English grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Demonstrate writing skills by applying them to examination, setting goals and maintaining motivation.

Language Survey III: Analysis and Writing

Prerequisite: Language Survey II

Course Description

This module and its prerequisites (offered in AC1 and AC2) provide the formal training in language assessment that a person needs to work as a language assessment specialist.  Building on students’ previous coursework and experience in language assessment, “Language Survey III” prepares them to analyse, summarise, present, and synthesise research data in order to draw conclusions that can be presented to stakeholders in language development. 

Students will work with real survey data as part of the learning process and are encouraged to bring data from fieldwork conducted in their context. Instruction will emphasise good academic writing skills. This module will further equip students to provide peer feedback on survey reports and evaluate research projects that will provide an accurate description of the sociolinguistic and other factors that affect decisions about language development programmes. Students will also learn how to monitor and evaluate the Language Assessment process and language programmes.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. explain how to analyse the results of research tools including the following: word lists, observation schedules, questionnaires, and participatory methods. 
  2. organise information in ways helpful to analysis.
  3. use data summary methods appropriate to the data.
  4. apply appropriate data analysis procedures.
  5. synthesise evidence to draw conclusions.
  6. present the research conclusions of a language survey project, along with the reasons for drawing them, in a manner appropriate to the audience of the report.
  7. write and edit a language survey report. 
  8. evaluate the quality and completeness of a survey report from another research context. 
  9. monitor and evaluate the research process, and learn the importance of ongoing assessment.