on 11 May 2011
This is the best Swahili course I have come across so far and I have seen and owned a few! It consists of a book and two sets of CDs: one to listen to whilst following a text in the book, and another one to be listened to "on the go". Great idea, especially when driving: I've had language courses CDs when, during my driving, suddenly it said " and now open the book on page 15"! So at last, somebody gave it a little thought! The course itself seems to be well designed and the grammar explained in a very simple and orderly way, quite easy to follow. Whenever there seems to be a gap in information, it explains why (usually because is too difficult at the particular stage), and covers the subject later, not leaving a student to guess or frantically trying to find the answer somewhere else in the book. The exercises are good and not too difficult to do although, even as a beginner, and I don't want to look big headed, I found 2 mistakes in the answers given. Each chapter covers quite a lot but all topics within a chapter are quite logically connected. It is easy to split the chapters into smaller portions and learn without feeling tired or overloaded with information. The CDs are good too, leave enough time gaps for the students' answers and give the correct answer at the end. The dialogues are read may be a little bit too fast but nothing too difficult if you spend time studying the text first. What is missing on a CD though (hence four stars), is the reading by the teachers of the section G in the book, called "Reading" and there is no way of checking whether you are doing this correctly. Another thing, I personally could happily do without, is the jolly exclamation "GOOD JOB!" at the end of each practice session.
Overall it is a good course and so far I haven't been bored or disappointed with it and I am sure it will help to understand Swahili and communicate in it.
on 28 June 2014
I have been 'playing' at learning Swahili for 5 years and this is the first course that I have come across which takes you through it in a systematic way. I particularly like the two sets of cd's, one for learning the lessons and the others to play in the car and elsewhere to reinforce and test the learning. It comes with a good text book, with sensible suggestions like the use of flash cards for learning vocabulary, but it still takes time and effort to learn a language no matter how good the language course.
on 13 March 2016
This is a helpful course and good value for the quantity of audio you get along with it. I felt very confident after chapter 1, but then realised each new chapter was a bit of a quantum leap in level. This is in some ways because it is my first experience of a language from the Bantu group and the grammar is very different from any European languages I have learnt. I have also noticed that there are a few minor errors in the exercises or answers for the exercises. I do not think I could learn Swahili simply from using this course but it is a very helpful tool amongst the different ones I have accumulated. I am also using "Teach Yourself Swahili" by Joan Russell and some grammar explanations in that seem more helpful for me as well as having had some on line lessons.
This book ensures it includes some listening, reading and writing for each chapter. Worth buying if you aspire to be able to reach more than simply pre-learnt tourist phrases.