Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Learn Swahili and Kurundi! Weekly Language Lesson on De Nueva!

So, this is my new fun feature. Or, a way for me to practice.  As some of you know I've started volunteering with the International Rescue Committee  as a home English tutor. Every Saturday I work with a newly settled refugee family on their English in their home. 

The family I have been placed with is super awesome. So far, so good. I was a little worried at first, as it's basically coming up with my own curriculum and lesson plans, though that's basically what I did in many previous positions, so no worries, but this time, with what I was told were two individuals at very different levels. Yay for the joys of multi level classrooms. I've also never really done much one-to-one stuff, as the majority of my ELL experience has been in front of a classroom. However, I went with it as the time commitment was right, and I really felt like I needed to get back in touch with that population that needed the most help. 

So, the family. I'm working primarily with a husband and his wife. Though the mother, who has had never had any schooling ever has started to show some interest in letters, and I'm also hoping I can get through to the sister who has yet to speak a word, even in her native tongue. So, sometimes we have a full kitchen table, sometimes it's just two of us. 

The husband is from Burundi, though spent the majority of his life in refugee camps in Tanzania. The wife is originally from the Congo, also spending a good deal of time in camps in Tanzania, where she met her husband. She can tell me about the exact day they met, which I find incredibly adorable. 

Anyhow, the point of my post, I've told them in exchange for my two hour English lesson, I get to learn a phrase in Swahili and Kurundi each week.  They find this incredibly amusing. I've often found that students gain confidence in speaking English and making mistakes when they see their teacher struggle with the same issues in learning their language. And, mostly I think they just find it incredibly humorous to see a white girl try and speak Kurundi.

Both of my students are fully trilingual in Swahili, French, and Kurundi, the native language of Burundi. Their English isn't bad either, oh the jealously I have of other cultures and their language abilities.... 

Anyhow, so, in order for me to practice, you're going to get a review of the phrases I learn each week! Hurray! Get excited. :-)
(Please keep in mind I know these are not spelled correctly at all, just written out so I know how to pronounce them, so think of it as a verbal lesson. )


Welcome: Caribu (More like Careeeboo)
Thank you: Aksanti
Friend: Rafiki
How are you? : Abaree Alayou
I am good. : Nik umm zuree


Good Morning: Muahkeye
Good Afternoon: Mewriway
Goodbye: Nakahindukira

Thank You: Orakose

See you next time: Tutaonana inguinesiku
How are you? amakuru younomusee
I am good. : Dakomenyay

Enjoy! And learn something new today. 


1hourjust4me said...

I am so excited to see this...I am an african american woman from New york. My name is Kurundi and I always wondered what my name meant and came from. I have not come across anyone else with my name and now I see the are millions of people speaking my name in language....I love this and would love to learn the language.

1hourjust4me said...

How can i learn?

1hourjust4me said...

Sorry but i am so excited...i want to know more about this family, burundi and the full name is Kurundi Kertiti Daniels. I would like to know if there is any significance. I was told it was a african queen in Burundi but i don't know if that is true. Btw I live in Georgia now.