HOW TO LEARN LOCAL LANGUAGES AND IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH
Once you get more settled into Ghana life, you might be interested in learning one of the local languages. There are over 250 languages and dialects spoken in Ghana – but the most widely spoken and understood is Twi, a dialect of the Akan language.
Both the Goethe Institute in Cantonments and Alliance Française d’Accra in Airport Residential offer Twi classes; visit their websites for more details.
You can also find yourself a private tutor – check out one of the expat groups on Facebook such as Accra Expat or Ghana International Expats. Another option is to learn online with the help of one of the many YouTube channels that offer crash courses in basic Twi. Once you know a few words and phrases, practice with those around you: your helper, the lady at the grocery store, the taxi or Uber driver, or the vendor at your local fruit stall.
It’ll come in surprisingly handy and you might even score you a few points with the locals, who will appreciate your efforts!
But no need to speak Twi to engage in conversation. The official language is English and almost everyone in Ghana speaks it.
If you need to learn or improve your English, you can find English lessons at Alliance Française d’Accra: https://afaccra.org/english-courses/
You can also have a look to the free learning materials offered by The British Council in Ghana. You will find a list of useful apps and websites developed by the British Council by following those links:
The language café Accra also organise meetups and trips to encourage practicing the language as well as discovering the country. They do not offer language lessons but organise the get togethers and practice sessions if you are interested.
No time to attend lessons or go through all those websites?
Listening to English podcasts while jogging or commuting can be a great way to improve your language skills. Podcast is a great tool to increase your understanding of native English speakers, to expand your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation.
Here is a list of some podcasts that might interest you:
“6 Minutes English”, “6 Minutes Grammar” and “The English we speak” from the BBC
In “6 Minutes English” and “The English we speak”, each episode is oriented to everyday vocabulary with a dialogue between two people. In addition to audio, you can also find the transcripts, vocabulary to help you get the most of it.
Learning English from Voice of America: those audio programs are narrated in English spoken at a slower speed than normal and cater to different interests from global news to science documentary or from pop culture in the United States to US history or American English idioms: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/
Business English Pod: each episode is focused on a particular workplace English skill (presentation, meeting, negotiating, telephoning… ) and language function (clarifying, questioning, disagreeing…): https://www.businessenglishpod.com/
When you get more confident with your English, just browse through your podcast app or on internet to find podcasts that will entertain you, may you want to hear episodes about history, lifestyle, personal development or culture.