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PHILOSOPHY AND SWAHILI PROGRAM

The programme adopted by the SSLC is one which sees culture and language as inseparable. Simple technical competency in the language is not the end goal, but is only one aspect of cross-cultural communication. We are committed to the view that:

True communication involves knowledge of and use of the worldview of the target culture. This entails specialized conceptions, views, and beliefs, which the alien (the missionary) must come to as leaner, gain awareness of, and learn proficiency in the use of, in order to know how to communicate what he believes. For example, one must become a member of the society, become accepted in the society's terms, before reaching the point of being accepted as a change agent (one who brings new ideas, information, or beliefs, such as the Christian faith).

Language is a reflection or expression of the culture in which it is used.This means that general proficiency in the language is the door to insights of thought and logic of the target culture. (And it is true that each culture or subculture has its own logic and system of thought and reasoning, which are based on basic assumptions about life and the world.)

Awareness or knowledge of the target culture and its way of thinking are necessary to full communication. This requires not only simple technical proficiency in the language, but also personal involvement in the target culture to think and reason the way its people do.

INDEPENDENCE AND INVOLVEMENT facilitate language acquisition.

Independence: That is, of special people (teachers) and special tools (books and schools). One should develop the ability to learn from anybody and everybody, both passively, by observation, and actively, by questioning or trial and error. By doing this systematically, one can build a coherent picture of the world and begin to make sense of strange cultural references and strange technical (language) tools. This is the principle that drives our conversation programme, field trips, individual assignments, etc.

Involvement: That is, with the people and culture, basically through speaking the language. This requires personal involvement with the people and, gradually, more immersion in the culture. This will result in one feeling more comfortable in a new cultural setting and with new ways of doing things, saying things, reasoning, and making decisions. Thus, our attempts to schedule learning time outside of class, gradually increasing involvement with the African people, communities, and situations, until the student can do this on his own, at his station, and in his work.

Moving from alien to member of the community is an ongoing process. As such learning must continue, but it is a personal experience and it depends upon each individual.

 
Swahili Programme

Swahili Basic Course

Textbook: The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Basic Swahili Course Series is used as the primary text for dialogues and conversation. We use an oral language approach, speaking from the first day.

Outside Learning Units (OLU): Assigned for every 3-5 units from the FSI material, these OLUs provide an opportunity for students to practice what they are learning outside of the classroom. Both an informal oral report and a written report of each OLU are required.

Interactive Learning: We are currently testing a new method of introducing new vocabulary--a variation on the learning method known as Total Physical Response (TPR). So far, we are pleased with the results.

Language Helper: One hour per day, four days a week, with a language helper is required. This is self-directed and may involve anything of use to the learner, thus giving opportunity to work on other areas of interest, to work on problems in vocabulary, pronunciation, fluency, grammar, or to get additional practice with the dialogue material and subjects presented in FSI.

Culture Sessions: Once a week, in most weeks, there is a session of culture study or local excursions with culture emphasis or study of missions in action in an African culture setting (how the church does what the church does in Eastern Africa).

Language Immersion: For further language practice, we encourage local trips to places away from school where Swahili is the main medium of communication.

Language Development: Part of the course requirements are doing a personal introduction, sharing a testimony, reciting Bible memory verses, and imparting a short exhortation or devotional.

Cross-cultural Communication: Periodic sessions are held on role development, culture as reflected in language, and principles of self-directed learning.

Reinforcement Drills: Dictation, composition, and other like exercises are regular class seat works.

Reading and Translation: These are from Swahili to English, English to Swahili, with concentration during the second half of the course.

Two-week Refresher Course

Diagnostic evaluation (to determine level of proficiency)

Personal directed study plan (to better meet language learning needs)

General grammar review (to develop confidence in speaking and writing)

Emphasis on individualized study, with teachers or language helpers (to encourage language practice)

 
Fees and Reservation

Our basic course is a six-month intensive cross-cultural communication programme consisting of orientation to East African culture, Swahili, and ministry in Africa. Fee for this course for classes beginning in 2013 - 2015 is KHS 140,000.00 for an individual or KHS 280,000.00 for a couple studying together. This includes tuition, books, morning tea and lunch. The fee will be converted to shillings on the first day of class. Please note that travel for local field assignments, orientation trips, any administration costs such as bank charges for clearing cheques and processing fees for Kenya immigration (applications for pupil's pass and dependent's pass) including transportation costs for the same will be extra.

Fees for the first three months only or the last three months only of the Basic Course will be for classes beginning in 2013: KHS 75,000.00 for an individual or KHS 150,000.00 for a couple studying together. A two-month or three-month course will be set up through a special arrangement with the management.

We normally start four courses per year--January, April /May, August and October--for a maximum of eight participants in each class. The primary purpose of the SSLC is to provide for the cross-cultural communication needs of missionaries sent out by mission organizations, para-church groups, NGOs, and individuals.

Confirmations are made as deposits are received. If for some reason, we cancel your slot subsequent to our confirmation, the total deposit will be refunded to you. This, however, is a rare case and it is highly likely that there will be space for you once you are accepted.

A deposit of KHS 4,000.00 per student is required to confirm a place in the course (see below for information about the housing deposit that is also required). The deposit is refundable, minus any bank or other charges, if cancellation is made more than 60 days before the starting date of the course. No refund will be made if cancellation is made less than 60 days before the course begins unless there is someone to take your place. The deposit will be applied to the total fee.

DEPOSITS MADE IN KENYA SHILLINGS: Cheques should be payable to Shade School of Language and Culture. Any refund will be made in shillings.

DEPOSITS MADE IN US DOLLARS: Cheques should be payable to Shade School of Language and Culture. Payments made in US dollars are converted into Kenya shillings and deposited. The accounts receivable account for the student is then credited with that deposit, less any bank charges. Any refund will be made in US dollars, again less any bank or other charges.

 
Application

Please click the link that applies to you:

Application (MSWORD)

Application (PDF)

 Just a word of advice

You should plan to have no missionary responsibilities during the time you are studying Swahili although you will be encouraged to be involved in ministry events that will enhance your learning. You will need your mission's cooperation in this as well as your own strong discipline and willingness to say, "No" occasionally. Learning to live cross-culturally will take concentration and effort but will pay off in long-term benefits in your ministry.

However, if you limit your use and learning of Swahili to these hours, you will have limited success. Determine now that you will make opportunities outside of the scheduled times to use whatever Swahili you can, whenever you can, with whomever you can.