“Could you please take the coins off of the table and leave them on my skateboard?”
“You decorated eight floats and designed six new stamps for the post office. They added towels from Liberia to one of the stamps.”
“I hoped to accompany you to the platform but my turtle needed a new hair dryer. I don’t even know why he has a hair dryer. The tiger and the monkey have hair but the turtle, like my snake, appears to not need hair for the gigantic journey of life.”
If you were studying for my Spanish II Final Exam on the first hot days of June in a classroom that did not yet have air conditioning, I can guarantee that you were reviewing your vocabulary using sentences like these. If you weren’t lucky enough to be in those classes, I hope your high school global language teacher had similar ways of keeping you laughing, learning and motivated the whole year long. And if you have terrible memories of your past experiences learning a language, I hope you can just bear with me to the end.
As you begin to make your summer travel plans, you may start to wonder if you’ve got the language skills you’ll need at your destination. If you’re considering implementing customized language classes for your employees, you may be wondering if they’ll just look like the endless charts and memorization that left you unable to truly communicate. When we think about learning, our previous experience looms heavily over our future plans. It’s important to remember the great difference between learning in a K-12 or even a university setting and the learning that takes place in a communicative language class for adults. Back in school, your teachers were there to keep you behaved and interested in a standardized curriculum focusing often on grammatical accuracy over fluency. This led to classes that bounced back and forth from obscure verb conjugations to piñata swings that got a little close to your classmate’s eye right before the ceiling tile came down. Your average language class in a traditional educational setting is quite a different experience than a true, communicative language class for adults.
This is because, as adults, we bring our motivation for deep and meaningful learning to the table. We truly want to know how to speak to someone, and that desire makes all the difference. When our talented YLC language teachers meet students who have a reason for learning, true, purposeful learning can take place. So if you’re debating about whether or not you or your employees can be successful in one of our language classes, be sure you veto that voice in your head that says you can’t or they can’t. No matter what your language-learning experiences have been to date, the caring, talented instructors at YLC can make your personal and professional language-learning goals come true!
If you’re ready to move forward with that New Year’s Resolution to finally get fluent in a language, or if your company’s goals are to create more meaningful communication in your organization, reach out to our Director of Language Education today!