Getting Started with Luganda
Step 1: Review
Before beginning self-instructed Luganda study, learners should review what they have already learned. I recommend making use of the Peace Corps’ Luganda Self-Instructing Learner’s Manual, which covers all of the topics introduced to students in beginning level Luganda courses. The manual is great because it is designed for self-instruction and includes useful exercises that will help you review and improve upon your knowledge of each of the included learning topics.
Step 2: Set learning goals
The benefit of self instruction is that you can design an individual study plan to fit your individual interests and goals. You might want to design a a plan that follows the Luganda Self-Instructing Learner’s Manual mentioned above and is designed to meet Intermediate Luganda standards. Or you might choose to learn a set of learning objectives specific to your work, research, or interests. In any case, it is important to plan ahead and decide both your short term and long term learning goals before you begin.
Step 3: Find learning resources
You can find Luganda language learning materials in a variety of places including your university library and online. On this website, you can find a list of useful texts as well as other cultural and online resources to help you get started, but there are many more resources out there. Self instruction not only allows you, but often forces you, to get creative. YouTube has a number of instructional videos, but you can also find Luganda music videos, news programs, cooking shows, cartoons, and radio stations that can also be used as language tools.
Step 4: Find a language partner
Practicing Luganda with a native speaker is key to language learning. Here are some helpful hints for finding a native speaker to mentor you through your learning process. However, there are many other more informal ways to communicate with native speakers on a daily basis. If you have been to Uganda and have friends there, you can communicate through social media and apps like Skype, Whatsapp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger to practice your conversation skills. There are also a number of Facebook groups and blogs that you can join, which will allow you to engage in conversation and cultivate new friendships with Luganda-speakers all over the world. However you choose to practice your conversational skills is up to you, but it is important to incorporate verbal communication with native-speakers into your learning routine.
Step 5: Assessment strategies
Last, try to establish a self-assessment strategy that works best for you. It is important to find ways to measure your progress, and to create opportunities for critical reflection and study plan adjustment over the course of your language learning process. Here is an example self-assessment designed to measure progress at the end of a fifteen week learning period. However, there are many ways to measure and monitor your progress on a daily basis, whether timing your reading speed over several weeks to see if it has improved, to memory and vocabulary games available through websites like Quizlet.
Now you are ready to get started. Good luck!