Alwiya Omar

Alwiya Omar

Clinical Professor, Kiswahili, African Studies Program

African Languages Coordinator, African Studies Program

Director, National African Languages Resource Center (NALRC)


  • Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition, Indiana University, 1992

About Alwiya Omar

Alwiya Omar is clinical professor of Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington. She teaches Kiswahili and coordinates the teaching of other African languages in the African Studies Program. Her research interests include second language acquisition, cross-cultural pragmatics, web-based language instruction, and study abroad language programs. She directed the Kiswahili Flagship program from 2010 to 2015, and STARTALK summer Kiswahili program for middle and high school students from 2010 to 2016, and again in 2019. Twice a year, she returns to Zanzibar to teach Linguistics at the state university there. Omar is on the boards of Giving Back to Africa and Kilamanjaro Education Outreach.

Dr. Omar received her Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from Indiana University. She was president of the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) from 2012 to 2014, and president of African Language Teachers Association (ALTA) from 2004 to 2006. In 2018, Dr. Omar was awarded the A. Ronald Walton Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages for service and contributions in fostering less commonly taught language initiatives.