Today we reviewed the things we’ve learned so far in German, and then learned how to order drinks. We learned this because it is a practical way to have initial conversations with people of a target language. The expressions that we have learned so far would allow us to interact with people in a basic way, and that is the goal. Language learning is a social activity so it is important to instantly begin learning common phrases that can be used in social settings. I think the way that we have been learning in class is really useful. We have only spent 20 minutes a day for 3 days currently, and I have learned quite a bit for such a short amount of time. I definitely know far more than I would if I had taken a class for only 20 minutes each day. I would already be able to engage in a basic conversation with someone in German! That doesn’t mean that schooling is bad, because formal lessons in grammar are important. But it just means that grammar should not be the main focus initially. Getting out, learning the language, and making relationships with native speakers should be the focus initially.
Charles H. Kraft says, “Indeed, if we do no more than engage in the process of language learning we will have communicated more of the essentials of the Gospel than if we devote ourselves to any other task I can think of.” In language learning we have the opportunity to humble ourselves, build relationships, build trust, be vulnerable with people, show that we care about people, be willing to do life with people, etc.
Much love, B