Akin Akinlabi taught at the African Linguistics School (ALS) from July 17–30, 2011, in Benin. Akinlabi co-founded the African Linguistics School with three other Africanist colleagues; Professors Chris Collins and John Singler at NYU, and Professor Enoch Aboh at Universiteit van Amsterdam. In 2007, they decided to do something about the widening gap in the knowledge of theoretical linguistics between African universities and universities in Europe and the US. ALS was the result. It admits about 80 graduate and advanced (final year) undergraduates from all parts of Africa, and a few students from the US and Europe, for an intensive two-week program.
Funding for this year’s ALS came from an NSF grant, the University of Amsterdam, and GLOW. It is completely free to the students. There is no tuition, and food and housing costs are completely covered, as well as transportation within Africa. The ALS instructors are invited volunteers from all over the world, and don’t receive a salary or honorarium. But, like with the students, room and board are provided for the duration of the school.
The first ALS was in 2009 in Ghana. The third is scheduled for 2013 in Nigeria. ALS is held every 2 years to allow time for planning and fund-raising.