Is it possible to learn isiXhosa on my own?
Yes, if you are motivated and prepared to work consistently, you will be able to do so. However, because isiXhosa is a fully-fledged language in its own right, you must accept that there is no quick fix, and that time and effort will be required.
Is it possible to learn isiXhosa in my office or at home?
Yes, once again, if you are motivated and prepared to work consistently using a comprehensive, audio-based language-learning program, you will succeed. It goes without saying however, that fluency will never be attained without the audio component.
People say it is impossible. Is this so?
Ask those people why they say this. Have they tried to learn to speak isiXhosa, and if so, for how long? How motivated were they? Which language-learning program did they follow? With the right mental approach and the right learning package, nothing is impossible.
How long will it take to learn isiXhosa?
This will vary from individual to individual, but because there are so many differences between isiXhosa, an African language, and your own first language, a highly-motivated person, working with a stimulating package, will require a minimum of two years in order to attain a reasonable level of everyday proficiency. Most people however, will take longer.
What are the advantages of studying on-line as opposed to CD / cassette packages?
Both offer the advantage of enabling you to study whenever you want, and to go over difficult sections as often as required. CD / cassettes however, have fixed content. The on-line package is more flexible in that the content can be easily changed as required.
Is there back-up support when I am stuck?
Yes, once you have registered, you will be given an email address to which you can direct questions. How soon they will be answered, will depend on the volume of questions received. However, the speakeasyXhosa team is committed to you achieving success, so rest assured that you will receive a response.
What about face-to-face vs on-line classes?
* Contact classes have their limitations in that you, the learner, are exposed to the target language for a very limited time. From a rough survey, it appears that most beginner courses run for three months with two classes per week, giving you an total exposure of 24 hours to the target language. Some offer even less. Successful language learning depends on the amount of time you spend in contact with the language and the pace of everyday life does not always make this possible. An effective on-line language learning program will bring the language to your home or office, giving you 24/7 exposure if need be.
* Secondly,in contact classes you are not always taught what you want to know. You are therefore in the hands of someone who presents what he intuitively thinks you ought to know.
* Thirdly, taking the number of contact hours into account, adult classes are expensive.
How many words will I need to learn?
Depending on your goal, you will be able to get by on an everyday level with about 3000 words, but obviously the more words you know, the better equipped you will be.
Is it difficult learning the grammar rules of isiXhosa?
An effective language learning program should ideally avoid explaining grammar rules, because that is not what you really want to know. Explanations if given, should be stated as simply as possible. The best way to learn is by looking at the written word whilst at the same time, listening to it. After doing this several times, the clear underlying patterns that identify isiXhosa as an African language will emerge, thereby enabling you to formulate your own rules. Sufficient repetition is therefore your key to success.
What do I need in order to learn isiXhosa?
* You need a language learning program that focuses on how the target language is used in all walks of life and provides you with sufficient learning material that will ultimately enable you to communicate adequately on an everyday level. The program should also offer a support service.
* Secondly, the program should include key situational phrases.
* Thirdly, you will require a good dictionary which should form part of the program. In addition, the support service should be able to supply you with any additional vocabulary you need.
I am reluctant to use my credit card. Is there an alternative method of making payment?
Can you recommend a good text book?
If available, try to get hold of a copy of:
Xhosa in context, by Sydney Z. Zotwana. Vlaeberg Press.
This book is comprehensive, although you may find some of the grammatical explanations somewhat technical, and hence, difficult to follow. The Speakeasy programme is however backed up by e-manuals for every module and should suffice.
Does your program enable me to listen to my own voice?
Yes, assignments are set enabling you to do this.
Can your program be loaded onto our company intranet?
This program will provide you with:
* Written material covering a wide range of everyday communicative situations for you to read and learn
* Videos of this material enabling you to listen whilst reading
* Quizzes with immediate feedback at regular intervals for revision and to check your progress
Currently there is no other program which can compare in terms of scope and learning opportunity.