Are you looking for private online lessons tailored to your needs as a complete beginner, a rusty Peace Corps volunteer, or as heritage learner from the West African diaspora?



Hello! Bonjour!


I’m Coleman Donaldson and I’m a teacher of Bambara with a PhD in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.

I’ve been speaking, teaching and exploring Bambara and related varieties such as Dioula and Malinké since 2009 when I was in the Peace Corps.

I teach in both English and French!

J’enseigne en français et anglais!


Besides lessons, I also produce resources for both beginners and more advanced students looking for authentic materials from the streets of West Africa:


Here’s what my students say...

I spent two years in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso from 2010-2012 and loved learning to speak Jula, but never understood the grammar behind most of the phrases I would use. Coleman helped me have a much deeper understanding of the language and helped me improve my pronunciation.
— Brianna London
[Lessons with Coleman] made all the difference; from conversing with taxi drivers to ordering rice and peanut sauce at a road-side restaurant to greeting my colleagues in the office, Bambara opened doors that never would have opened with just speaking French.
— Colin Gilmartin

Your first trial lesson is free!