So you finally decided to try to learn the language of Kerala- Malayalam. Whether you’re a heritage speaker, you’re in a relationship with a Malayalee, or you’re a fan of Dravidian languages, it can be quite intimidating when you start to learn on your own.
Here are some strategies that helped me study Malayalam:
1. My tutors from @italki and @muthassi.in were essential for setting the foundations and pushing my limits with language. Studying solo can work, but it always helps to have a teacher guide you
2. I am a language teacher and I love understanding the nuts and bolts of a language. Dr. Nairs text on Malayalam grammar really helped contextualize what I was learning.
3. When I wanted to push myself more and had no access to my teachers, I started a studygram with my notes and observations. This is what later became what @eli.kutty is now. Being able take my own notes and organizing them visually helped cement meaning and use
4. I practiced speaking as early as possible to get used to the sounds and the everyday phrases. Getting over my fear of sounding stupid was a great shift in my attitude on language learning
5. As much as I hate hearing my own voice, recording myself has helped me pick up my errors and know where my weaknesses are. It helps me improve faster.
6. Meeting other speakers of Malayalam and other learners keeps me motivated and also brings a positive experience.
7. Life is hectic. Some weeks/months are harder than others. Knowing Malayalam is waiting for me when I’m ready to give it attention took a lot of stress out of my language learning adventure.
Appol Ellaam Paranjathu Pole!