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Growing Participator Approach 

Learn language and culture in a way that is effective and fun

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How does GPA approach language learning?

It's not a language to be learned but a life to be lived!


The Growing Participator Approach positions learners to reach

     langua-cultural fluency


meaning they are a full participator with many deep relationships in another langua-culture. 

GPA Descriptors





Contact us for a free trial class or consultation with a certified language learning encourager

What will you do in GPA?

You will follow the Six Phases of GPA in your language progression beginning with connecting to the Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi or Telugu world through a relationship with your Nurturer and launching to a never-ending phase of participation and growing through deep relationships and regular engagement in the language and culture. The phases and resources in between provide the necessary encouragement and challenges to support you in this journey.

Launch India provides each of the Phases described below both in person and online.

Phase 2 : Story Building

(150 hrs)

Let your personality emerge within your relationship with locals as you begin communicating your own ideas by building stories through wordless picture books.

Phase 4 : Deep Life Sharing

(500 hrs)

Develop deep friendships with locals and expand your language exposure through listening to their life stories and sharing your own. Begin regular record for feedback activities so your Nurturer can help you fix common errors in your own speech.

Phase 6 : Self-Sustaining Growth in Community

(Lifestyle Growing Participation)

Continue your language and cultural growth through the everyday relational interactions of work, play, and life.

Phase 1 : Here and Now

(100 hrs)

Start the journey of connecting to your nurturer and begin understanding the tangible "here-and-now" words of people in North India by engaging in structured play activities.

Phase 3 : Shared Stories

(250 hrs)

Using shared stories as a bridge to understanding, dive deeper into language, host culture, and your budding relationship with your nurturers.

Phase 5 : Native to Native

(500 hrs)

Widen your understanding through study of native-to-native discourse, expanding your comprehension and ability to use the colloquial language like the locals.

Ready to start your language sessions? Get started below.

Ready to start your Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu or Marathi Journey? Sign up today!


In Person Class

For language Phases 1-5 you can join your Nurturer face-to-face in Delhi and continue your language learning journey. Schedule your class today! 


Online Class

You can join your Nurturer over Zoom for any phase, from anywhere in the world, anytime between 9am IST-6pm IST for our normal rates and in our overtime block (6pm-10pm IST) for an additional 18%. Schedule your class today! 

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Phase 1

You don't have to wait to arrive in India or be here in Delhi in person to start learning Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Hindi or Urdu. Using our unique Miro-Zoom system, you can begin your language journey whenever and wherever. Sign up now!


Kids Camp

Help your kids learn to love their new home. Through interactive games and activities, our Nurturer will guide them through playful, language sessions. 

Frequently asked questions about GPA

Image by Matt Walsh
  • What are the origins of GPA?
    The Growing Participator Approach was developed by Dr. Greg Thompson (Ph.D. linguistics), along with his wife, Angela, based on applying the latest research on how people actually learn languages well, and a Biblical paradigm of cross-cultural relationship to their own experience learning a variety of different languages in different contexts. Check out the GPA webpage for more details: Growing Participator Approach.
  • What is a Nurturer?
    A Nurturer is your guide into the amazing world of South Asia, its culture and language. A key concept in GPA is that the learner enters humbly into their new langua-cultural world like a child in need of someone to help raise them up in that new world. So your Nurturer will guide you along in your journey, and often they will be some of your closest, initial relationships in India. You can start to get to know every Nurturer a little better on our Team page. Technically, Nurturers are referred to as Mentors for learners in Phases 4 and 5 as by that time, you will have grown up significantly within your new langua-culture.
  • In GPA will I learn how to read and write?
    You will learn the letters of Hindi Script towards the end of Phase 1, will be oriented to our Hindi Script workshop and resources in Phase 2, and encouraged and supported to continue to develop your reading and writing skills as you progress thruogh the program. While developing deep understanding of Hindi Urdu is foundational in GPA before speaking before reading and before writing, we still encourage learners to grow in their reading and writing skills as it can help with pronunciation and later in Phase 6 with self-sustained language growth.
  • How does someone learn grammar with GPA?
    It is a common misconception that students do not learn grammar using the GPA approach. Research shows that the number one way to grow in using correct speech is MASSIVE COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT. This means you have heard tons of speech said correctly over and over again by locals that you were able to understand. This is why the skills of listening and understanding are foundational in GPA. From Phase 1, you are hearing phrases in complete sentences with correct sentence structure. As you keep listening and begin speaking more in Phases 2-3, your Nurturer is constantly correcting your speech to increase your exposure to correct sentence structures. In Phases 4-5, participators are highly encouraged to regularly use the Record for Feedback activity where the Nurturer recasts every sentence a GP makes into how a native would have said it. Even if a sentence may be grammatically correct, it might not be the way locals speak. In addition to these general GPA approaches to grammar throughout the regular program, Launch India has also developed Grammar Workshops which are provided to all students starting from Phase 2B. These workshops cover the 5 overarching topics of 1) Nouns, pronouns, & adjectives, 2) Verbs, 3) Sentence Structure, 4) Colloquialisms, 5) Numbers, Dates, and More. These workshops are designed to be fun activities to give focused exposure to specific grammar constructs and then to allow the Nurturer to support the GP in creating several example sentences using the construct. We encourage GPs to take time each day in their regular language sessions to work through a few of these activities. The workshops can also be done as an intensive. To understand and be understood is key to communication. While understanding can be reached without proper grammar, confidence increases as we sense we are speaking like the locals do. So let's approach learning grammar in a way that is effective and fun!
  • What is the main goal of the GPA?
    The ultimate goal of the Growing Participator approach is to allow you, the growing participator, to become a full participator with many deep relationships in another languaculture; that is, achieve languacultural fluency. The most direct way to achieve language cultural fluency is by first getting to the point where you will grow naturally through your normal, everyday participation in the host world. This is called “self-sustained growth.” Thus, the direct goal of the Growing Participator methodology is to get you to self-sustained growth.
  • How long before I start speaking using the GPA approach?
    In meeting 9 of Phase 1, you will say "yes" and "no" in Hindi. In meeting 16 of Phase 1, you will review all the words and phrases you have learned up to that point by expressing your own ideas with your Nurturer's help. From then on, you will speak daily in every class from Phase 1B- Phase 6.
  • What is the Iceberg Principle in GPA?
    This represents a key concept in GPA in regards to the attitude that language is a skill you improve in using over simply information that we aquire. As such, the learning process is kind of like an iceberg where the things we feel we really "know" well in the sense that we can rattle off those phrases or words easily- those are just the top of our iceberg. Those words and phrases do not accurately represent all the words and phrases that we may be able to understand in context or recognize even out of context. Just because you cannot recall a word well enough to say it does not mean that you aren't learning that word. Using this approach and philosophy, learners with GPA find they are able to learn massive amounts of vocabulary in a short amount of time by exposure to tons of speech over and over again until the words that were once barely recognizable naturally rise their way to the top of the iceberg and GPs find themselves easily able to use them to express their own ideas. Practically, this means that it is very normal to need to ask about the meaning of a word multiple times as you encounter that word in different contexts. Asking to clarify the meaning of a word multiple times does not mean you are a bad langauge learner. In fact, it is quite the opposite! It shows you have the attitude of humility that makes a successful language learner. Hearing a word once and being able to immediately use it in our own speech is very unusual and rare. Launch India Nurturers and staff are therefore ready to support and encourage you in this journey!
  • What is the main attitude of an effective participator in the GPA?
    Ultimately, an attitude of humility is key to being an effective participator using GPA. Learning language and culture is hard work. It is humbling. It is challenging. And it takes time. Those who are willing to keep trying even when it feels discouraging and difficult will eventually find they are able to experience the joys that come from those struggles- relationships with locals in their langua-cultural world! It is worth it! So please stick with it, and reach out whenever you need help! The Launch India staff and certified language learning encouragers love doing whatever we can to help you reach your goals!
  • Do I have to make my own lesson plans?
    Phase 1 has a set plan and curriculum. Phases 2-5 have guides, resources, and activities appropriate for learners in those levels that we will share with you as you approach the end of each Phase. GPA is designed to be a student-led approach where the GP directs the sessions using these activities and resources. Our Nurturers, however, are also trained in GPA and able to help you plan your language sessions if that is useful. Our Launch India certified language learning encouragers would also be happy to consult with you to come up with a schedule and plan to help you meet your specific goals and needs.
  • Does GPA work for children and families?
    Absolutely! GPA was originally designed to create a way for Moms who are homeschooling their children to be able to engage well in the language and culture of a new people. Phase 1 especially is well suited for whole families to do together! We also have separate Kids Classes available both in-person and online that teach the same words as everyone else learns in Phase 1 but in an even more playful way.
  • Does GPA work best in groups or alone?
    Either one is great! We encourage learners to consider joining a group session if possible as GPs often report classes are more fun and enjoyable with others. But individual language sessions have also proven highly effective with the added benefit of increased flexibility in scheduling and pacing. About half our clients at Launch India participate in group language sessions and the other half participate individually. We are happy to customize your experience to fit your needs.
  • How effective is GPA online as compared to in-person?
    Launch India moved our program online in March 2020 due to COVID, and the response from GPs has been incredibly positive! Some learners even here in Delhi where we offer our in-person classes still prefer online due to the flexibility it provides. Phase 1 which is the most hands-on of all the phases has received the most positive response from GPs who have loved the program we use as it allows just as much interaction with objects just in a virtual setting. Of course, a key component to GPA is that you grow in your lifestyle participation in the new langua-cultural world as you participate in focused language sessions. So we provide students with recommendations for how to engage with South Asians while not in India to encourage that kind of lifestyle growth in addition to the online sessions. All that being said, most GPs who are given the opportunity to take in-person language sessions here in Delhi find that to be the best way as you really get to connect with your Nurturer in different ways as you drink chai, survive the Delhi heat, and go out and explore together. So we would love to accommodate you here in-person in Delhi even if just for a short period of time to experience in-person classes if you are able. We have housing available here for short or long-term stays.
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Did we not answer all your questions? Shoot us an email!

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