If you have been thinking of learning a language but keep putting it off, join me as we overcome our fears ! Week by week, I will share my experiences as I join a class, find suitable resources and start to learn. It doesn’t matter which language you’ve decided to learn or improve, the process is the same, so let’s start our adventure.
Now, you would think that as a language teacher, the idea of learning a new language would fill me with excitement! Think again! I’ve been wanting to learn Spanish for the last five years, but I’ve never really managed to get going.
I have at least three good reasons to learn;
- Family – We have family in Spain that we visit at least once a year.
- Business – My business teaches Spanish and I feel a twit saying “Actually, I only speak French…”!
- School work – I want to be able to help my daughter as she does her Spanish GCSE.
So what am I worried about?
- Failure! What if I can’t remember the vocabulary or understand the grammar?
- Time! How can I can schedule in the 2 hours a week I tell my students they need to learn French?
- Confusion! What if I get my French and Spanish muddled up?
- I’m going to set myself an achievable goal. Instead of worrying about becoming fluent, I want to be able to order a meal and a drink, pay for it and ask for directions from a stranger next time I go to Spain.
- I can carve out time to go to a class. I have a real giggle when I’m teaching so I will probably enjoy it as a learner too. I know that if I have to report on my progress to you, I’ll also manage to do a bit extra during the week.
- I speak Dutch and never mix up French and Dutch, so why should I mix up French and Spanish? And if I do, does it matter? So long as someone understands me…
So there you go. Perhaps you share some of my fears about learning, or have your own, like speaking in front of a class and getting it wrong, a bad experience at school, saying something rude in the language by accident and everyone laughing! Perhaps if you join me, you might feel braver. Do tell me about your fears and what you’re going to do to get over them. But let’s do it and let’s start now!
Challenge: Go through your bookshelves and find any resources that you may have picked up over the years to help you learn your chosen language then find a box, a basket or a shelf for them. It took me five minutes to do mine – here is the photo! I’ve included different coloured post-its, a dictionary, my computer (the best resource there is) and some books I’ve picked up but never opened…