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.