“After several months in India, I feel like I can manage life much better after learning through OSLS. I can easily buy food, chat with my neighbors, book my own train tickets, get my clothes cleaned, and pay my own rent. Life is so much easier.”
“I am an independent learner and I loved the freedom that OSLS provided me to learn what I wanted.”
“I was so encouraged after attending camp. I could tell the instructors had the knowledge and experience to help me start off on the right foot.”
“OSLS helped me plan out my lessons and the SOPI assessment helped me to check my progress. I was able to see if I had any gaps in my learning and so I could make the necessary changes in my lessons. I know I am learning the Hindi I need!”
“Indian culture can be daunting, but OSLS helped me to learn day by day. The mini-projects in Stage 2 were helpful for me to learn about different cultural and religious events like Diwali and Eid. I enjoy that OSLS doesn’t put you in a fish bowl to observe the culture from afar. In the learning process you are interacting with Indians and taking part in the community. I loved it!”
“Namaste!” Sam greeted his OSLS language consultant with one of the few Hindi words he’d learned since arriving in India the week before. Though he was excited to get started learning Hindi, he felt quite overwhelmed. How would he ever learn to really communicate? Or read? Or write?
On this first day of Stage 1 Camp, Sam’s instructor calmed his fears. “This is a two year program that will move you towards speaking fluent Urdu or Hindi,” said Andrea, “but right now let’s concentrate on Stage 1, these next two to three months. By the end of this time you will be able to survive in India.”
“Survival sounds good,” thought Sam, remembering the frustration he felt in trying to explain to the rickshaw driver how to get to the camp location.
During the four days of Camp, Sam learned certain techniques that he would use later on with a language helper. He practiced them with the native Hindi speaker that Andrea brought to the camp on the last two days. By the end of the Camp for Stage 1, Sam felt like he would actually be able to do learn survival Hindi! He had the OSLS books and other resources, a voice recorder, and lots of enthusiasm.
It took Sam a few days to get settled in his flat. On the recommendation of his OSLS instructor, he bought the basic things that he needed to live, but he left the rest for when he could actually buy them speaking Hindi. He asked around for somebody who would be interested in meeting with him every morning for an hour and a half to help him learn Hindi. After several inquiries he found Surya, a neighbor down the street who could meet with him before going to work.
Surya knew how to speak a little bit of English, but Sam had all the resources he needed to get Surya to tell him the Hindi words he needed without even using English! It was challenging, but quite rewarding as Sam found his listening comprehension growing by the day. Every morning Surya came over to Sam’s flat to work through the OSLS material for that day. After the language session Sam took a couple of hours to listen to his recordings and practice what he had learned. In the later afternoon, when it was cooler, he went outside and started his language route, meeting people along the way that were used to him coming up and saying, “This is what I learned today!”
And at the end of Stage 1 Sam found that he had indeed survived! He could buy things in Hindi, recognize quite a few verbs and several tenses, had a basic knowledge of every day objects and actions, and he could even tell a simple story. He rewarded himself with an English movie with friends (with popcorn and ice cream, of course) and made preparations to go to Stage 2 Camp.