BK Interview 7 | EliKutty: Find Your Why


 

I had the great pleasure of speaking with EliKutty (Eliza Keyton) on IG Live. Our talk centered on learning and teaching languages, learning Malayalam, and passing on culture and language to the next generation. Check out this 50 min conversation where we uplift other Malayalam content creators, list resources and tips for learning Malayalam and all languages.

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Here are just a few accounts that EliKutty recommends you check out to #learnmalayalam:⠀

🔔 Learn Malayalam through food with Anjana @thankgodimfat

🔔 Learn Malayalam with @fluentinmalayalam

🔔 Learn Malayalam script with Prajwal @prajwalxavier

🔔Learn Malayalam through movies and music with Thumbi @paattinteparibhasha

 

What an enlightening conversation! Here are some useful points that arose:⠀

 

Highlights and Tips for Language Learners and Teachers:⠀

  1. Approach passing on a heritage language with a teacher’s mindset rather than a parent’s mindset. You will be more patient, less emotional and allow for mistakes - which is all part of the learning process!
  2. Language learning is a process and a journey. It’s important to be vulnerable and show that imperfect speaking is OK. You are more relatable this way. 
  3. Language is fluid. Allow for differences in vocabulary, slang, and phraseology in the next generation as they make language their own. After all, Malayalam is spoken differently whether you are from Thiruvanthapuram or Pallakad, whether you are from a big city or a rural area, your religion, caste or even socioeconomic class. 
  4. Meet your students where they are. If they are living in a primarily English environment, it's OK to teach through English. 
  5. What makes EliKutty’s approach different and successful? By teaching Malayalam from a perspective of a learner and through English, she is relatable and has had greater outreach. For learners, Malayalam as the 1st & only perspective can be difficult to learn from. This method has made Malayalam more accessible. (I’ve certainly found it useful!)
  6. Challenges to overcome
    1. Accessibility - Find and or create more language resources that reach a variety of learners.
    2. Inflexibility - be open minded to teaching in different ways. Everyone learns differently so find a way to differentiate your methods to reach more people. 
    3. Relevance - if it's not relevant to a person’s life, they are less likely to use it. 
  7. Two tips for learning a language:
    1. Find your WHY. Tap into your motivation - why do you want to learn this
    2. Consistency is KEY.  Even 5-10 minutes a day will help you grow and improve your skills. Stick to it.

       

      Recommended Resources:⠀

      🔗 Practice Speaking in Malayalam with iTalki⠀

      🔗 EliKutty’s TED Talk: How Social Media Will Save Us ⠀

      🔗 CNN article on Dying Languages

       

      Interested in more? Don’t forget to check us out at the Lingua Cultura Clubhouse 🔊conference this week - June 24-26.⠀

      Appol ellam paranjathu pole! 😊


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