Xhosa Classes

Xhosa classes with VACorps

We offer optional Xhosa classes to help you discover the language and culture of South Africans who identify as Xhosa. Many VACorps participants work at internships sites where their colleagues and/or clients are Xhosa, and learning the basics of the language is one of the surest ways to endear yourself a Xhosa speaker. Language is the gateway to learning more about a new culture.

“It was incredible to receive such insightful cultural knowledge from both Kholi and Khuselwa during Xhosa. Though their energy, passion, and enthusiasm, they vividly exhibited South African culture during the lessons and in how warmly embraced us. I couldn’t imagine Cape Town without them.”

Corey Nguyen, VACorps program participant August 2019

“I love the classes! My favorite was learning the Xhosa songs and some slang, that was so fun!! I still know the first song 🙂 Kholi’s teaching was engaging and fun!”

Emily Hayhurst, VACorps program participant, February 2019

” As an intern at community organization the n townships, these classes were the best opportunity to learn and improve my Xhosa! The more I learned, the more the people there were impressed by my Xhosa, and I thought I could break down the culture barrier a lot. Also, I deepened my knowledge of South Africa in the context of history, culture, and issues the country faces.”

Rino Yoshida, VACorps program participant July 2019
“The VACorps Xhosa classes are all about the learning experience! Between learning new words and phrases, I felt like I was laughing nonstop. It’s so much easier to learn when you are having FUN! A special thanks to Kholi and Kuselwa for making the experience one of my highlights in South Africa!”
Kieran McKenna, VACorps program participant, June 2019
“Xhosa is a very musical and beautiful language. I loved every second of my classes. I can’t recommend them enough!”
Sophia Caputo, VACorps program participant January 2019

The VACorps Xhosa Classes Schedule:

Lesson 1 – Introduction to Xhosa and Grammar: We will teach you the fundamental basics of the Xhosa language.

Lesson 2 – Putting Sentences together: You will now be feeling more confident and ready to take your Xhosa practice into public!!

Lesson 3 – Using Xhosa at your internship site: During this practical session, we will discuss specific phrases and expressions that will help you win the admiration of your Xhosa colleagues!

Lesson 4- Writing and reading Xhosa: We will practice some basic reading and writing techniques.

Lesson 5 – Review and learning consolidation: We will review the previous lessons so that you are able to demonstrate mastery of our earlier learning.

Lesson 6- Conversation: We will start speaking to each other using full sentences. We will spend most of this class by conversing in Xhosa!

Lesson 7- Conversation Part II: We will spend another class focusing on speaking Xhosa. During this session, we will emphasize conversational expressions that will be helpful at your internship site.

Lesson 8- Taking your Xhosa to the streets: Our final lesson will involve a practical session whereby we meet Xhosa speakers and only speak to them in Xhosa.

Here is an overview of the Xhosa Classes program

  • Eight 1-hour sessions with a VACorps language teacher
  • A fun and friendly learning environment
  • Interactive lessons about Xhosa culture
  • Mastery of all three of the famous Xhosa clicks!
  • Earn the respect of your Xhosa colleagues!
Xhosa Classes


VACorps classes cost $95. These classes are 100% optional but recommended for any participant who interns at a site where Xhosa is spoken at the workplace.
Absolutely! VACorps Xhosa instructors have designed a curriculum that is both fun and engaging— we emphasize practical application and conversation. It would take years to become a fluent Xhosa speaker but that’s not the point! Rather, these classes will serve as a gateway for you to connect in an authentic way with your Xhosa colleagues. You will earn their respect and admiration for attempting to learn a very difficult African language!
The VACorps Xhosa instructors will be devoting significant time and energy to helping you learn their language. We expect participants to take their learning seriously and the course fee will ensure that you feel invested in the experience.
Speak to your program advisor and we schedule a private catch-up session(s) with a VACorps Xhosa instructor if you’ve only missed a few sessions. We can also design a special “crash course” if you need to accelerate your learning or will be staying in South Africa for less than 6 weeks.
Kholi Potwana and Kuselwa Webhu are the VACorps Xhosa instructors. Learn more about them by reading their bios on the Team page of our website.
Yes, this is his mother tongue! See the video we’ve shared on this page.

How do I sign up for these classes?

Send an email to your VACorps Program Advisor to sign up. We offer Xhosa Classes every Monday and Friday and we start a new learning group every second week! Your schedule will be shared with you during your VACorps arrival orientation.