Haitian-Creole is one of Haiti’s two official languages, along with French. Creole is a language that arose from the mixture of two or more languages. Creoles are typically created when speakers of several mutually unintelligible languages are forced by historical circumstances to discover a new form of spoken communication, which then goes on to become the native language of another generation of speakers. Haitian-Creole is spoken by around eight million people, which accounts for about 80 percent of the entire population, in Haiti.
Hispaniola.org offers a rare opportunity for foreigners for learning Haitian Creole. Hispaniola.org combines language learning, guide exercises and practice of spoken language to make participants able to read, write and speak Creole. Participants are introduced to unknown Creole vocabulary. Within the first week, students become able to construct simple phrases. By the end of the third level, students become capable of understanding most of the spoken as well as written messages and carrying a normal conversation in Creole.
Structure of the course:
Haitian Creole Language Course is divided into three levels, and each level lasts for one week (20 lessons). Four lessons are held daily for five days a week. In the first level, students are introduced to vocabulary and spelling to enable them to understand and write any word. In the second level, they acquire knowledge of grammatical elements, while the third level is dedicated to practicing the four skills viz. speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Many courses are available according to the level of ability of the students. Students, for example, who have no knowledge of the language except a few words, and no comprehension of the spoken language, fall under Principiante level, while those possess very basic communication skills based on simple structures and a very narrow vocabulary, are placed under Elemental level.
The teaching staff is comprised of young, dynamic university graduates who have been individually trained and who are frequently upgraded. Hispaniola has developed its own teaching manual, and uses several innovative interactive resources to make learning Creole easier for student. Upon request, a weekend in Haiti, along with the teacher can be arranged to encourage integration between students and the local people.
Learning Haitian Creole also boosts a student’s understanding of some other languages like English, Spanish and various African languages as its shares a substantial number of words with those languages.