CLAS: Center for Latin American Studies

News and Highlights


April 6, 2012

With the Fall semester fast approaching, the amount of courses being offered may be overwhelming. The Center for Latin American studies, in partnership with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures now offers Haitian Creole, a less commonly taught language that is increasingly important in South Florida and beyond. The initiative to fill this critical gap in Haitian Creole language came as a result of increased funding, provided by a Title VI grant, which named CLAS, in partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Canter at FIU, a National Resource Center for the study of Latin America and the Caribbean.  Haitian Creole instruction represents a closer connection to the Caribbean region and the Haitian community in South Florida.

Led by Professor Cherol Marcelin, the courses offered this coming Fall include: HAI 101 (Elementary Haitian Creole), HAI 201 (Intermediate Haitian Creole) and HAI 625 (Haitian Creole for Graduate Research), which cover a wide range of proficiency levels. The offering of these courses is in line with the growing interest in the language as the Haitian population continues to grow in South Florida and as aid and relief remain a necessity in the region. For students with the ambitious goal of making a difference in the community or in the world, learning Haitian Creole represents a step in furthering this aim.

“The Haitian Creole language program (at UM) educates future leaders and agents of public service to communicate effectively and respectfully with Haitians while making an effort to understand the many intricacies of their culture and the complexities of their history. The course(s) differ from other language offerings in that (they) emphasize the use of language not only to communicate but to create large-scale and long-lasting change towards Haiti’s reconstruction.” – Jill Ulrich, UM Alumnus

To read Jill Ulrich’s complete article, “The Importance of Teaching Haitian Creole at UM,” click here