I worked with Monda Mwaya to build my Chichewa skills in preparation for a research trip to Malawi. Monda and I met over Skype for several hours a week for over six months. We worked with Peace Corps language manuals, Malawian workbooks, and homework assignments that she designed herself. Monda is a fantastic teacher who guided me skillfully through reading, writing, and speaking exercises.
Her lessons helped me develop a real grasp of Chichewa, from standard grammar and pronunciation to colloquiums and slang. She was flexible, patient, and attentive throughout, and perfect for people who want an introduction to the language or to polish their skills. Monda was also a tremendous asset when I needed translations of Chichewa terms and idioms from colonial-era materials that I had collected for my research.
I cannot recommend Monda highly enough for anyone has an interest in traveling to Malawi!
--- Geoffrey Traugh
Little of my education would have been possible without Monda. When I began my graduate studies at Penn I knew I would need to learn Chichewa, the most commonly spoken language in Malawi. I needed to find a teacher. Through a listserv of Malawians living in the United States I found Monda. Since the first day I met her I knew she was the teacher for me. Her Chichewa was fluent and her knowledge of the country’s history and culture deep. She was also familiar with some of the medical vocabulary I wanted to learn in Chichewa because of her studies in the sciences. Monda agreed to become my teacher.
In early 2013 I began studying Chichewa with Monda on campus for four hours each week. Monda was patient and resourceful. When I could not remember the meaning of a word, she would put it in a sentence in Chichewa and have me try to discern the definition in context. For teaching materials she used Peace Corps language manuals, primary school workbooks from Malawi, Malawian movies and songs. She assigns a variety of exercises, including translating recorded dialogues and writing essays. Today I feel much more comfortable with the language, so much so that Malawians at my field research site are amazed at my abilities. I owe it all to Monda.
Monda has become a sought-after teacher of African languages. She has worked wit a professional documentrian on a film about obstetric fistula in Malawi. Monda was also selected (and given funding) to participate in a workshop on teaching methods in foreign languages. She is currently working on a language manual for English-speaking medical professionals working in Malawian clinical settings. This is a much-needed resource, and I think it will be tremendously popular among the many expatriate doctors and medical students working in Malawi.
Monda is an excellent teacher!
--Luke Messac, MD/PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
We hired Monda Mwaya to do translations for our documentary. She delivered excellent translations on time and following the time code of the picture so that we could precisely match the subjects words to the audio. I recommend Monda for anyone needing translation of Chichewa to English.
-Iain Kennedy, Producer, Writer & Editor for Vertical Ascent