In the years to come, what will you remember from your English lessons? Hopefully it’s something fun and positive. But if you have some negative memories, even then there’s something that makes language learning come alive – emotions.
In fact, you can’t really learn much without being emotionally involved somehow.
When I first meet a potential student, they usually tell me they need more grammar. If only they had a better grammatical knowledge, everything would be alright, they say.
Don’t get me wrong – grammar has its place and it’s something I do in my classes. But beyond grammar and today’s lesson that you attended, what are you doing all this for?
Is your goal really to get better at grammar?
Aren’t you doing all this because you want to travel around the world and use English to get by wherever you go? Or perhaps you want to set up a business where you’ll have clients who speak English?
Or because you want to understand films from the English-speaking world?
Or perhaps you want to make real and lasting friendships with people who don’t speak your language?
Your English lessons are a great way to get started on the way to achieving these goals. If you’re attending a group class at a private language school, for example, then it means you have 9 other people in your group who you can talk to, get to know, and exchange opinions, ideas and perspectives with. On top of this, there’s your teacher, who may have a whole world of different perspectives and thoughts to your own.
But if you see learning languages as pretty much doing grammar, then you’ll miss out on some of the best things you can get from taking a course.
My dance instructor tells me that zouk is all about the connection, and I’ll add it’s the same for learning a language too.
The lessons you’ll remember are those that gave you an emotional experience, hopefully a positive one. And you’ll remember those times you had a special moment with your classmates or your teacher.
So that’s your homework for this week – to step beyond the grammar, and see if you can find out a little more about the others in your course.
To make a connection.