I am a beginning Yoruba student, and I used the open access textbook Yorùbá Yé Mi in the fall of 2011. The format and language, coupled with the technological aspect of the book, enabled me to learn Yoruba independently, in and out of the classroom. I was able to readily share my experience in the Yoruba course with both Yoruba-speaking and non-Yoruba-speaking friends in other cities and states because of the open web access.
It is wonderful that the textbook is available for free online. It allows the student to have access to course materials even during holidays when one does not feel like traveling home with books. I found it very convenient. I was concerned at first to see a free textbook. It was my first time using free online instructional materials, so it was a surprise to find that it was extremely user friendly and did a great job in gradually pulling the student into the Yoruba language, without the overwhelming effects usually attached to learning a new language.
Later, I was involved in acting and singing in Yoruba videos, which we students uploaded onto Youtube. The experience was a new one, but exciting to be able to work with other students while learning Yoruba. The atmosphere was energetic. It made the language more interesting and fun. I believe the videos are important because it presents a new style of learning that’s not the usual lecture. And because it’s in the form of a song, I felt it made learning Yoruba easier to remember. Being a teacher of Yoruba language is definitely not something I thought I would ever do, but it feels great to be able to pass on what I’ve learned to others.