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Recent Student Feedback – Silwood Feb 2009

“The course was different than what I expected. The course was informal enough to make you comfortable and not to let you feel embarrassed to try and speak Xhosa in front of other people. It was wonderful to meet such a lot of people that also want to learn to speak Xhosa and use the language with people in their own environment. Craig, thank you for the experience and the opportunity you gave me to start with a new language that will grow daily for me.”
Petrie le Roux

“With Xhosa, the mountain we need to climb is massive. As you so correctly said, you cannot carry us, we must walk ! Its very difficult to learn a language from scratch as an adult as you well know. We can only motivate ourselves. It will be years before the fruit off the Xhosa tree tastes really good. But even now we can experience the reward of of taking our first steps over that bridge of uBuntu. Your course brings like minded, conscious people together and that in itself is great. So thank you Titshala, Siyathanda ukuthetha isiXhosa, Siyazama !!” (We love to talk Xhosa. We’ll keep trying) – Stephen Praetorius

“I think the classes went really well. It was also really nice to meet you. These classes are great for people who are learning Xhosa as a second or third language with specific focus on functional and conversational use. I really enjoyed the experience of trying out all the new phrases I learnt with people I met and the response you get for trying to speak their language is really affirming!” – Carly Abramovitz

“I think your approach to teach beginners the basics of a new language is very effective. Most other courses start off by trying to teach the boring difficult stuff first. Most of the students then get confused and despondent. Your approach, as far as I understand it, is to get students first to construct simple sentences and to teach them the bare basic grammar to do so. I think it is an excellent way, because the understanding of the language grows with the understanding of the grammar. Doing it your way the student has a sense of achievement instead of a feeling that the task of learning the language is too difficult and too much effort” – Giel du Toit

“There are many barriers that separate people. They vary from believes to personality to race to… Language is the most important barrier in the sense that it has a lot to teach us about the other barriers and is the easiest most powerful tool to overcome these barriers and build bridges between people.I work with teenage Xhosa boys in the Pollsmoor prison and Craig’s course has equipped me to cross the barriers between me and these boys in a more powerful way. Speaking a little Xhosa allows me to help them build a bridge between them and a brighter future in the community” -Francois Esterhuizen

“I think the course was most enjoyable and just the right balance for the strugglers and time challenged people like me as well as the more diligent/language-boff students.
I really liked the fun way you presented the course with a great love and respect for the Xhosa people, their culture and language. Having previously been moderately conversant in easy fanigalo/chilapalapa, Xhosa was a totally closed book to me. Your course quickly unlocked the main elements and was very practical in getting me going in simple conversation. I feel I have a great skeleton to continue building on. Another thing I liked was your care and encouragement for each and every student, which I think, helped everyone to make good progress.
Craig you are definitely an articulator of the new and wonderful cross cultural South African experience that combines the best of all our history and people – I feel the awesome vibe in this country is just going to keep growing – who knows where it is going to take us? – Kevin Creasey

“Having been immersed in the Xhosa culture through my work, I thought it would be quite easy to pick up the language as I went along. I was mistaken there, I really needed someone to put me on the right track, teach me the basics and the way the language fits together. I feel that the beginner’s course has done just that, it gives you enough grammar and vocab to string a whole lot of sentences together and to start making up sentences. I liked the way that we were taught useful escape phrases so that you can, at least, start a conversation and bow out when it all gets too much! I will certainly continue practicing and hopefully, in time, become more fluent. Thank you to Craig, who taught us in a very clear and methodical manner, which was easy to follow.” – Marion Gready

“The course was great because not only did we learn the basics of the Xhosa languages but we also learned about the culture. It deepened my understanding of the Xhosa people on many levels. The course is structured so that we learn the basics quickly and efficiently. We get a comprehensive learning experience through lecture and practice in class, the CDs, the manual, and the homework assignments.” – Joanna Cicchon

“What I appreciated (although I dreaded it) was you forcing us to speak in front of the whole class, if you hadn’t I wouldn’t have the confidence to speak to strangers.” Sieggy Cooke

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