I am a firm believer in trying to learn the language of the country I live in (Bahasa here in KL). But, I have to confess that I have become lazy – or alternatively the part of my brain capable of learning new things has been permanently softened. I have sat through two Bahasa Malaysia courses that left me with a handful of cute phrases but nothing that would get me out of trouble. It may have something to do with never revising or the very traditional way of teaching aka a class full of mute adult learners taking notes until their hand is numb.
After admitting defeat and assuming a role an arrogant expat not making enough effort, I saw an ad of a one-day course by Crash Languages. The promise of learning a language in one day was too good not to be checked out!
I have heard about people being able to memorise a crazy amount of information by using special techniques but have never taken it too seriously. Long term expat in Indonesia and Malaysia, Caroline has put a lot of effort into researching such techniques and applying them into learning a language. The result is a one-day crash course in Bahasa Malaysia, that gives you enough vocabulary to get by in everyday situations.
While nobody can’t magically inject a new language into your brain (how come nobody’s invented that?) this comes pretty close.
The first picture is just an example of the word play that she uses, and it seemed to work. Repetition and simple exercises really make the words stick. After lunch, the class was already playing Monopoly in Bahasa Malaysia! Time was spent efficiently and we whizzed through new topics, following a routine that makes you remember what you’ve just learned.
One day: how much Bahasa?
Obviously you can’t learn a language in a day, really. But I learned more in that one day than the two courses I’d taken before – maybe it was thanks to the small group and highly interactive methods that made me actually use my brain rather than scribble words in my notebook. This course is particularly suitable for English speakers since the memory rules are based on English.
While a more traditional classroom setting and a native teacher leaves more room for discussion on culture and customs (which obviously is not in the sphere of a whirlwind crash course), this is a fantastic introduction to anyone getting started on Bahasa Malaysia because it gets you conversing straight away – a great inspiration for further studies!
There are no set course dates yet, but Caroline and her team can be contacted through the website for information on upcoming courses. There are also plans for new languages in the future.