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Nkonko Mudipanu Kamwangamalu


  • English
  • College of Arts & Sciences



Dr. Kamwangamalu is Outstanding Professor of English and Linguistics, Distinguished Research Faculty, and past Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at Howard University. He holds an MA and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. His doctoral dissertation, Codemixing Across Languages: Structure, Functions, and Constraints, was directed by the late Professor Braj B. Kachru, the premier scholar and pioneer of the field of World Englishes. Dr. Kamwangamalu has received a Fulbright Award, a Howard University Outstanding Full Professor Award and, more recently, a Howard University Distinguished Faculty Research Award. Prior to joining Howard University in 2003, Dr. Kamwangamalu taught at the National University of Singapore (1989-1992), the University of Swaziland (1992-1994), and the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa (1994-2003), where he was Professor and Director of the Linguistics Program.

He is recognized internationally for his scholarship in the field of sociolinguistics, especially in the areas of codeswitching, multilingualism, language policy and planning, World Englishes, language and identity, and African linguistics. He has published widely on most of these and related topics. His publications include five books Language Policy and Economics: The Language Question in Africa (Palgrave, 2016); The Language Planning Situation in South Africa (Multilingual Matters, 2001); Language planning in Europe: Cyprus, Iceland and Luxembourg (co-ed.)(Routledge, 2013); Language planning in Africa: The Cameroon, Sudan and Zimbabwe (co-ed.)(Routledge, 2013); and Language and Institutions in Africa (co-ed.)(Center for Advanced Studies of African Society, Cape Town, South Africa, 2000) – five guest-edited journal special issues, including one on language and migration for International Journal of the Sociology of Language (2013, co-ed.), and four on language and society in post-apartheid South Africa for the journals Multilingua 17, 2-3 (1998); International Journal of the Sociology of Language 144(2000); World Englishes 21, 2 (2002); and Language Problems and Language Planning 28, 2 (2004) – and over 90 articles/chapters in peer-refereed journals and edited collections. His scholarly work has appeared in Journal of Sociolinguistics, Chicago Linguistic Society, Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Multilingua, The Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Studies in the Linguistics Sciences, TESOL Quarterly, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, World Englishes, Language Problems and Language Planning, Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, to name a few, and in peer-refereed edited volumes published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Blackwell, John Benjamins, and others.

Dr Kamwangamalu is past member of the TOEFL Board; co-editor of the journal Current Issues in Language Planning; past editor-in-chief of Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies; member of the editorial board for World EnglishesAfrican Identities, Language Policy, Language Matters and Studies in Language Policy in South Africa. He has acted as grants reviewer for the Government of the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and as manuscript and/or book proposal reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Multilingual Matters, South Africa’s National Research Foundation, and for a number of peer-refereed journals. He has presented numerous papers at professional meetings in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including invited keynote and plenary addresses at the following conferences: 2nd North-East Regional Consortium of Programs in African Languages (Howard University, February 2018); Illinois 8th Language and Linguistic Society Conference (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, April 2016); English in Business and Commerce: Interactions and Policies (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, March 2014); 16th Conference of the International Associations for World Englishes (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, July 2010); Symposium in Honor of Joshua A. Fishman’s 80th Birthday (University of Pennsylvania, September 2006); 14th World Congress of Applied Linguistics (University of Madison-Wisconsin, July 2005); International Colloquium on Multilingualism and Education (University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, September 2001); The Nigerian Millennium Sociolinguistics Conference (University of Lagos, Nigeria, August 2001); Annual Conference of the Linguistic Society of Southern Africa (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, July 2001); Annual Conference for Language Teachers (University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, September 2000); Conference on Transformation to Multi-Cultural Education in South Africa: Focus on English Language Teaching (Springfield College of Education, Durban, South Africa, August 1995).

Education & Expertise



Ph.D. (1989), M.A. (1985)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois


Linguistics (codeswitching, multilingualism, language and identity, World Englishes, African linguistics, language policy and planning)




Sociolinguistics (codeswitching, language policy and planning, World Englishes, Language and identity, bilingualism/multilingualism), African linguistics



US Army Research Grant, $2,812,365.00, to investigate social meaning in linguistic structures in African Languages, 2011- 2017

Distinguished Research Faculty Award (2008)

Outstanding Full Professor Award (2018)

Fulbright Scholarship (1983-1989)