Do you speak African? Teaching for diversity awareness in an era of globalization


  • John Kambutu University of Wyoming at Casper
  • Lydiah Nganga University of Wyoming at Casper


Globalization, ethnocentrism, cultural responsiveness, international exchanges



Africa is a continent, not a country. Yet, a monolithic misunderstanding of Africa as a country is prevalent especially in the United States (U.S.). Thus, Africans in the diaspora[1] who speak heritage languages other than English are asked frequently if they speak African. This study countered existing misunderstandings through cultural immersion in Kenya, Africa. A comparison of pre and post-visit data showed that participants (n=140) developed critical cultural understanding, and became less ethnocentric.[2] This was an essential transformation especially in the context of contemporary globalization.

[1] Authors use the term Africans in the diaspora to denote all African-born immigrants. In this study, the focus is on the experiences of African immigrants living in the U.S.

[2] Ethnocentrism is the practice of judging negatively unfamiliar culture/s (other people’s cultures) using familiar ones (one’s own culture/s) as the benchmark/s. Ethnocentrism demeans “other” cultures.


Author Biographies

John Kambutu, University of Wyoming at Casper

Kambutu, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Department Head

Education Studies

University of Wyoming-Casper

P.O. Box 50462

Casper, Wyoming 82605

(307) 268-2584 (W)

Lydiah Nganga, University of Wyoming at Casper

Elementary & Early Childhood Education