About Yvonne Mbanefo & Learn Igbo Now 


Welcome to Learn Igbo Now – Unique and modern Igbo language learning resources for Igbo learners, Igbo Teachers and Igbo culture enthusiasts

An entrepreneur, qualified teacher / trainer, bestselling author, award winning language and culture advocate and busy mum of three dedicated to helping you improve your communication skills and connect with others through Igbo language .

My name is Yvonne Chioma Mbanefo and I live in London,
United Kingdom. My background is in Digital media, IT management, higher education, information design and elearning. I am a fellow of both the Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom and the Royal Society of the Arts . I am also a convener of the Annual International Igbo conference, hosted by SOAS, University of London. I am quadrilingual in English, Igbo, Nigerian Pidgin and French (low). 

I was looking for interesting books and materials for my children to use in learning Igbo language and when I couldn't find any, I decided to create them myself. Most Igbo books I found in Igbo land were designed for people who already know how to speak Igbo, not for those who are learning Igbo as a second or additional language.

I started Learn Igbo Now to create materials and support on how to learn Igbo language, with special emphasis on Igbo as a Second Language (ISL).

My motivation for starting Learn Igbo Now is fueled by the desire that my children and anyone can learn Igbo anywhere they are, with learning materials that they can easily relate to. Somehow LIN then took on a life of its own.

A lot of teachers and textbooks tend to focus on the language itself and provide material for the learners, but forget that there is much to say about how one should go about learning the language in an efficient way. The old way of learning languages steeped in grammar doesn't always make the learner proficient in speaking Igbo. 

 

Even more important, successful language learning and fluency requires a long-term strategy, but most courses and teachers only offer short-term solutions. The whole ethos of Learn Igbo Now (LIN )is to get the learner to be bi-cultural, bi-literate and to get them proficient in Igbo as fast as possible.

 

My learning and teaching materials are all designed using the Comprehensible Input method and mostly employs stories as a tool for learning language. With this I am aiming for a positive language experience which will fuel interest in learning more about the language.

Comprehensible input is a language input method that can be understood by listeners despite them not understanding all the words and structures in it. It is described as one level above that of the learners if it can only just be understood. According to Krashen's theory of language acquisition, giving learners this kind of input helps them acquire language naturally, rather than learn it consciously.

Comprehensible input helps achieve true fluency through reading, writing, speaking and listening in the language.

Most of the materials designed by Learn Igbo now include:

  • Videos

    Videos that encourage comprehension and participation to build confidence in the learner. The videos are based on stories, conversations and monologues.

  • Books and Physical learning aids 

    These include Text books, Storybooks, Workbooks, flash cards, posters and so on

  • Training for Igbo Teachers and parents

    Video training and physical materials to help parents or teachers who deliver Igbo language training.

  • Apparel and Igbo themed gifts

    Apart from books, our Igbotic shop also features Igbocentric materials like T shirts, Mugs, phone covers, canvas. These items incorporate Igbo sayings, slogans and designs since language and culture are so closely intertwined.

My TED Global talk on the use of stories to teach languages

In August 2017, I was invited by TED Conferences to speak at TED Global at Arusha, Tanzania. Enjoy!