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Haitian Creole Studies

Haitian Creole at the University of Florida:

Courses in Haitian Creole language and Haitian studies have been offered at the University of Florida for more than two decades. The Haitian Creole program at UF simultaneously offers 3 levels of Haitian Creole thanks to the generous support of a Department of Education grant from UF’s Center for Latin American Studies. Students of Haitian Creole can earn a BA Degree in the FLL Dual-Language Track  while students earning a degree in the single language track (like French, for example) can complete their critical concentration in Haitian Studies or Haitian Creole. Haitian Creole and Haitian Studies courses count toward the completion of degrees in African American Studies, Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Linguistics or Religion. Students also take our courses to complete the language requirement.

Whatever your needs, we welcome students of Haitian Creole and Haitian Studies at all levels. We use a student-centered communicative approach that empowers students to speak, listen, read, and write in Haitian Creole.

Click here for a list of our Spring 2017 Critical Concentration Course Offerings

Haitian Creole language courses at UF:

  • HAI 1130, first semester Haitian Creole for beginners
  • HAI 1131, second semester Haitian Creole for advanced beginners
  • HAI 2200, first semester Haitian Creole for intermediate learners
  • HAI 2201, second semester Haitian Creole for advanced intermediate learners

* Language Placement: Note that UF students who already speak some Haitian Creole are encouraged to take HAI 1131, HAI 2200, or HAI 2201, depending on her or his level. If you already speak some Haitian Creole, you should not enroll in HAI 1130 but send an email to Ben Hebblethwaite for placement.

Haitian Studies courses at UF:

  • HAT 3700, Introduction to Haitian Creole Linguistics
  • HAT 3564, Haitian Culture and Society
  • HAT 3930, Introduction to Haitian Vodou
  • HAT 3503, Ethnic Haitian Literature in English Translation

Independent Studies course at UF:

UF undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to pursue 4000-level or 6000-level independent studies on Haitian Creole (in Haitian Creole) or Haitian Studies (in English translation). Students who wish to pursue an independent study should contact Ben Hebblethwaite with her or his proposal. The proposal should be 250 words plus include a bibliography of three sources.

  • HAT 4911 (Undergraduate Research in Language, Linguistics, Literature, Culture in Some Combination of English, Haitian Creole, or French)
  • HAI 4911 (Undergraduate Research in Language, Linguistics, Literature, Culture in the Target Language, Haitian Creole)

Majoring in Haitian Creole plus one other language:

UF students can now major in Haitian Creole in the new FLL Dual-Language Track major provided that they pair two years of Haitian Creole with two years of any of the languages offered as individual majors, in addition to a critical concentration. Click here to learn more about our Dual Language Track.

Eligible courses:

  • HAI 1130
  • HAI 1131
  • HAI 2200
  • HAI 2201

Other majors and minors:

These Departments or Centers also offer degrees that accept Haitian Creole language and Haitian Studies courses, depending on the course:

  • Latin American studies
  • African American studies
  • Anthropology
  • Religion
  • Linguistics

What is required for the UF language requirement?

CLAS undergrad students are required to successfully complete Haitian Creole HAI 1130 and HAI 1131.

Please note that if you are bilingual or partially bilingual in Haitian Creole, you can also complete your language requirement by completing either HAI 1131 or HAI 2200 or HAI 2201. Bilinguals have all three options for completion of the language requirement. Please contact Ben Hebblethwaite for placement.

Testing out of Haitian Creole:

We strongly discourage students from testing out of Haitian Creole because we want the opportunity to work with UF students and to help them sharpen their skills. If, however, you would rather test out of Haitian Creole, contact Ben Hebblethwaite for information about the paid testing service.

UF in Haiti: Study Abroad 2017

In the Summer of 2017 UF students will have the opportunity to experience a full immersion in the Haitian Creole language and culture through a dynamic study abroad in Cape Haitian, Haiti. This rich experience will focus on beginner and intermediate proficiency in Haitian Creole through interactions inside and outside of the classroom. Students will also learn about community development as they connect with grassroots organizations that are making a sustainable impact in Haiti, such as Projects for Haiti, Inc. This exciting dual-directed program is ideal for students who are interested in Haiti, cultures, service learning or simply making a difference in the world! Please contact Bertrhude Albert for more information.

Haitian Creole and Haitian Studies contacts:
Coordinator: Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Instructors: Jessica Barzen
Alexandra Cenatus
Bertrhude Albert
Who speaks Haitian Creole?

More than 10 million people in Haiti speak the Haitian Creole language. Haitian Creole is also spoken throughout the Caribbean basin and in the United States, Canada and France. After English and Spanish, Haitian Creole is the third most commonly spoken language in Florida. Over 400,000 Haitian Creole speakers live in the Sunshine State, many in major cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa.

The importance of Haitian Creole

The mastery of Haitian Creole language skills is essential for anyone who wants to work in Haiti or the Haitian community. It is the one language that binds all Haitians together. The French language is also important in Haiti and the 5% of the population that speaks it fluently tends to come from the social and economic elite. Nevertheless, 100% of the Haitian population speaks Creole and the proponents of the Creole movement are making major strides to advance the status of the great unifying language of Haitian society, Kreyòl Ayisyen.

In places like Florida, Haiti or New York, employers are looking for individuals with Haitian Creole language skills. University of Florida graduates with Haitian Creole skills stand out for positions in professions like health care, social research, counseling, engineering, administration, construction, education, management, law, interpreting, public service, and business.

The study of Haitian Creole also provides students with direct access to the people of Haiti and the genius of Haitian culture, arts, cuisine, style, history, society, religions, philosophies, and knowledge. Vin aprann kreyòl avèk nou! (Come learn Creole with us!)

Men anpil, chay pa lou!  Many hands make light work!


Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Associate Professor in Haitian Creole, Haitian and Francophonie Studies
363 Dauer Hall
P.O. Box 117405
Gainesville, FL 32611-7405

Phone: (352) 273-3762
Fax: (352) 392-1443
Homepage (CV)

Important Haitian Creole and French-based Creole Links