To learn a language you have to find the joy in it

What does this actually mean? 

di Joanna Jones

I think that instinctively we all know that this is the case. When I asked my students and friends what they thought about this they all said “yes, of course” and “absolutely”. After interviewing many successful language learners Lýdia Machová discovered that the one thing they all have in common is that they all really enjoy it.

They don’t enjoy it because they enjoy their textbook or have some perverse love of studying lists of words, they have instead found a method or a technique which makes the learning process fun. I would argue that as they start to make progress this is also hugely motivating and encourages them to find other interesting ways to build they language skills. Progress feeds progress.

We all know that learning a new language is usually time consuming, often frustrating and almost never a straight trajectory from mute to native speaker. Finding the joy in the process and in the progress will make it all more pleasant and enjoyable.

If we watch children learning their first and subsequent languages we see that they play with the language. They enjoy nonsense poems and games where they pretend they are different characters and have different voices. They make up words and play with forming sounds, they read the same stories again and again, picking out the words they like the sound of.

So, what can you do to find the joy? Maybe you can find an app with a word game, maybe it’s lyrics training or listening (and singing along) to songs in English, maybe it is finding tourists and making a point of speaking to them or perhaps it’s coming to class and making a new friend.

Whatever you do and find joy in share it, maybe someone else will find the joy and share your progress too.

You can see the whole Talk in the video below:

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Joanna Jones

Responsabile didattica Pisa
“I love teaching and I am passionate about my job so I am very happy to be part of the British School Pisa. I’m orginally from the South of England but after having moved a few times my family and I have settled in Pisa. In my free time I like spending time outdoor with my children and my husband and when we can we pack our cases and take a trip somewhere new.”

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