Today was a really good day with my language learning class. My brain is quickly retraining itself to learn things through listening, and I was able to remember everything we learned yesterday. I did not feel frustrated or embarrassed today. I actually felt pretty good about my German today. It’s definitely shaky, but I am learning and that is what matters.
We have been doing readings to go along with our class and it has been causing me to rethink how we learn languages. One of our readings says, “Normal language acquisition is a social activity, not an academic activity.” Think about how children learn their native language initially. They do not acquire it by formal schooling, but rather they acquire it through social interactions, listening, repetition, conversations with people, people modeling it for them, etc. I mean think how silly it would be to teach your two year old the usage rules or grammar rules of your language. You would be wasting your time. So why do we often start with that when teaching language to adults? I like the idea of having social interactions form the foundation of your knowledge. Talking with people, building relationships, learning vocabulary on the street…that is useful. Then you throw in the grammar concepts and more vocabulary once you have that foundation. I like this new style of teaching, and I can definitely see the benefits when living abroad.
Much love, B