Monday, October 03, 2011

Lessons in Language Learning

With 4 months of intensive Arabic language study under my belt, I've had a chance to recognize some very valuable lessons I've learned along the way. Allow me to share them:

·         Be careful! It’s really easy to start comparing yourselves to others who are catching on faster or moving faster. Don’t compare yourself!!!! Remember that people progress at different rates.

·         Do the best you can with the time and energy you have and be content with that.

·         When you hit a plateau or feel like you’re not really making any progress, remember that your brain is quickly filling with TONS of new information. It needs to make new channels to put all the new information and make sense of it all, so sometimes it gets “backed” up but it will be able to use the new information eventually.

·         Learn to laugh at yourself and not get too bugged with your mistakes.

·         Take every opportunity you can to practice. Try not to speak English as often as you can (with nationals.)

·         Get plenty of sleep. 

·         Learn to NOT take comments people make personally. I am pretty sensitive and I’ve been offended or had my feelings hurt way too many times. I’m trying to practice letting those comments roll off my shoulders and many times I have to pray about it and ask God to change my attitude so it won’t get me down.

It's not easy learning a new language but boy is it worth it! I've learned so much more than a language.


Dad and Mom said...

Oh Bethany and Eli ~ what good advice this is for language-learners!!! It makes perfect sense, yet is hard to believe at times when you ARE DISCOURAGED! Guys, we are so praying for you to remember this as the days and weeks stretch on and the days get hotter and your stress builds. Dad and I love you so!

Gmalone said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all :)

Bethany said...

Hey guys! Bethany-thanks so much for commenting on my blog (I'm the other Bethany F in Sudan). I feel like I know a lot about you from Becky and Jess Carr, but it's cool to connect to your blog. I am studying Moru here, much more informally than your Arabic study, but can really relate to this post! I so easily fall into comparison with my teammates, and I also often feel like I'm making no progress. I'm seeking to trust that each step matters, that each word or piece of grammar is a part of my learning to live here. I'd love to get info on your Arabic schools for some colleagues here. Peace to you, Bethany