Sinfree Makoni

Sinfree Makoni

Sinfree Makoni

Professor of Applied Linguistics and African Studies
Director, African Studies Program
311 Sparks Building
(814) 863-2431
Sinfree Makoni

Professional Bio


  • Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, The University of Edinburgh, 1989
  • B.A. (hons), University of Ghana, Legon, Accra

Areas of Specialization

  • Discourses of Terrorism outside the United States
  • Theory and Practices of Language Policy and Planning
  • Philosophies of Language
  • Language and Health in Africa

Recent Courses

  • APLNG 491 Theory: Second Language Acquisition
  • APLNG 210 Global English
  • APLNG 597 Language Policy and Planning
  • AFR 150 Africa in Cinema
  • AFR110 Introduction to Contemporary Africa
  • INTEST 493 International Perspectives on Health in Africa
  • BBH 402 African Health and Development

Selected Publications


Makoni, S. B., &  Granger, K. (Eds.). (2015). Politeness in AfricaJournal of Politeness Research.

Makoni, S., & Pennycook, A. (Eds.) (2006). Disinventing and reconstituting languages.Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

De Bot, K., & Makoni, S. (2005). Language and aging in multilingual contexts. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


Makoni, S. B. (2014). Plural formations of literacy and Occam’s razor principleIn K. Juffermans, Y. Mesfun, &  A. Abdelhay (Eds.),  African literaciesIdeologies, scripts, education (pp. 399-365). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Makoni, S. B., & Severo, C. G. (2014). Lusitanization and Bakhtinian perspectives on the role of Portuguese in Angola and East TimorJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development[published online April 2014]
Severo, C. G.,  & Makoni, S. B. (2014). Discourses of language in colonial and postcolonialBrazil. Language and Communication34, 95-104.

Makoni,S. B. (2013). Discourses of terror: The US from the view point of the ‘other’. Applied Linguistics Review4, 23-42.

Makoni, S. B. (2013).  An integrationist perspective on colonial linguisticsJournal of Language Sciences35, 87-96.

Makoni, S. (2011). A critical analysis of the historical and contemporary status of minority languages in Zimbabwe. Current Issues in Language Planning, 12, 437-455.

Makoni, S. (2011). Language and human rights discourses: Lessons from the African experience. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 1-20.

Makoni, S. (2011). Sociolinguistics, colonial and postcolonial: An integrationist perspective.Language Sciences, 33, 680-688.

Makoni, S., & Makoni, B. (2011). The discursive construction of the female body in family planning pamphlets. In V. Ramanathan & P. McPherron (Eds.), Language, bodies, and health  (pp. 193-221). New York: De Gruyter Mouton.

Makoni, S., & Pennycook, A. (2011). From monolingualism to multilingualism and back again. In M. Martin-Jones, A. Blackledge & A. Cleese (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of multilingualism (pp. 439-452). London: Routledge.

Abdelhay, A., Makoni, B., & Makoni, S. (2011). The Naivsha language policy: The language of politics and the politics of language in the Sudan. Language Policy, 10, 1-18.

Makoni, B., Makoni, S., & Pfukwa, C. (2010). Language planning, language ideology, and entextualization: War naming practices. Names: A Journal of Onomastics, 12, 197-208.

Makoni, S., Makoni, B., & Rosenberg, A. (2010). The wordy worlds of popular music in Eastern and Southern Africa: Possible implications for language-in-education-policy. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 9, 1-16.

Makoni, S., & Dube, B. (2009). English and education in Anglophone Africa: Historical and current realities. In M. S. Wong & S. Canagarajah (Eds.), Christian and critical English language educators in dialogue: Pedagogical and ethical dilemmas (pp. 106-120). New York: Routledge.

Makoni, B., Makoni, S., & Nyika, N. (2009). Language planning from below: The case of the Tonga in Zimbabwe. Current Issues in Language Planning, 9, 413-439.

Makoni, S. (2008). Aging in Africa: A critical review. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology,23, 199-209.

Makoni, S., & Makoni, B. (2007). “I Am Starving With No Hope To Survive”: Southern African perspectives on pedagogies of globalization. International Multilingual Research Journal, 1, 105-109.

Ramanathan, V., & Makoni, S. (2007). Bringing the body back: The (mis)languaging of bodies in bio-medical, societal and poststructuralist discourses on diabetes and epilepsy. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 4, 283-306.

Makoni, S., Brutt-Griffler, J., & Mashiri, P.  (2007). The use of 'indigenous' and urban vernaculars in Zimbabwe. Language in Society36, 25-49.

Makoni, B., Makoni, S., & Mashiri, P. (2007). Naming practices and language planning in Zimbabwe. Current Issues in Language Planning, 8, 437-467.

Giles, H., Dailey, R. M., Sarkar, J. M., & Makoni, S. (2007). Intergenerational communication beliefs across the lifespan: Comparative data from India. Communication Reports20, 75-89.

Makoni, S., Dube, B., & Mashiri, P. (2006). Zimbabwe colonial and post-colonial language policy and planning practices. Current Issues in Language Planning, 7, 377-414.

Hajek, C., Barker, V., Giles, H., Makoni, S., Pechunni, L., Louw-Poutgieter, J., Meyer, P. (2006). Communicative dynamics of police-civil encounters: American and African data.Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 35, 161-182.


Black Linguistics: Language, Society and Politics in Africa and the Americas