Mambo vipi? and happy Thursday!

When my son was about four years old, about beginning of my spanish journey two years ago, we happened to be just chilling. To entertain him, I started counting in Spanish. Very soon, I started noticing something strange, he would tell me the next number before I said it. I thought it was a fluke at first, but sure enough, he got it every single time, to about 20. Now, if you have been around here long enough, you know J.D has a severe speech disorder called Apraxia of speech. So our focus with him upto that point was just to help him to speak in English, not adding Spanish or Swahili for that matter. So imagine my shock when I realized that our son did indeed understand and could speak some Spanish!!!

Don't you wish we picked up language as easily as children do? I know I do...and frankly it can get frustrating when you keep doing what conventional wisdom tells you to do, but you do not see any results. Truth is, most conventional methods out there teach you to learn a language as though you were: six years old, Immersed and have hours to spend daily on learning the language. Since I suspect that you are not any of those things, here are three keys that, when used together, will get you speaking Swahili faster than you thought possible.

Key 1: Provide patterns for your brain.

In immersive settings, like if you were surrounded by the language all day everyday, your brain has the ability to automatically pickout patterns just by exposure and after awhile, it is able to help you replicate the same in the form of speech. Which is what conventional wisdom tells you to do: learn as many words as you can, listen to content in your target language, etc.

Unfortunately, when you just learn random words, it is NOT sufficient to provide a pattern. Your brain needs a lot more raw data to replicate the immersion setting. So unless you have all day to watch Swahili content on Youtube, this will not work for you. This is why you find that you may have a great amount of vocabulary but you couldn't form a sentence to save your life unless it was memorized. If this is you, it is NOT your fault and you can fix it.

What does this mean for you, as a learner who is doing this in a non-immersive setting? You will need to provide the patterns for your brain manually. You can do this by selecting quality courses that have been structured systematically; that help you learn the fundamentals, then providing the vocabulary to build on the foundation. This way, you will teach your brain what to look for as you progress.

Key 2: Accountability

Seeing that you do require deliberate feeding of patterns to your brain, it would be tragic if you fed your brain the wrong input. Bad habits are quite difficult to break. Thus, accountability in the form of someone looking over your work, providing the necessary feedback goes a long way. Also knowing that someone is coming along with you on the journey makes committing to the process easier. Because truth be told, unless you put in the work, the results will not happen. So get yourself held accountable to make progress.

Key 3: Community

I cannot overstate the importance of this key. Community makes the biggest difference in whether or not you endure in a process. I love taking part in challenges of every kind. Fun fact, I built the LSN app as part of a challenge I entered! The reason I succeeded in doing this, is because every single day I checked in with fellow creators. We talked about our apps, what we were struggling with, what we hoped to achieve with the apps etc. This made the process go so much faster and less painful. For language it is even more important, since this is a much longer project. You need all those things and more. For instance, people to practice your language with, people to have study sessions with etc. Your peers will get you further than if you did this on your own.

PS. At this point I would remiss to point out that, you have or can have all these tools at your fingertips. Now with the 30 day high performance Swahili challenge open, you could reset or start your journey right away. May is a new month, time for new beginnings. A few of you have restarted the challenge and are already invigorated. I say give it your all for 60 days and tell me if it does not make the biggest of difference. Why don't you overcome your doubts/fears and start todayClick here or go to the banner above.

If this helped or spoke to you in any way, feel free to respond. I love hearing from you. Also, tell me what is stopping you from getting to your goal?

I am rooting for you,

Mwalimu Karen

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