Language Acquisition X
* Language Learning reffers to the means a person can develop to make language acquisition possible.
New challenges drive us to think in a different way and make important decisions...
Back in 1991, part of my work as a missionary in Recife, Brazil, was to welcome the newly-arrived foreign missionaries. That’s why I needed to speak at list the basics of English.
I remember receiving 10 foreigners at once. Out of the members of that comittee, I was the only one who didn’t speak any English. The other 17 were bilingual.
I had no idea what language acquisition was, but I did my best to keep eating, since it was at my sight the best I could do at that moment.
As a fish out of water, I was trying to keep up with the flow of conversation, but those 4 hours seemed to last forever! (You’ve heard that before, haven’t you?:-)
During such critical period a great friend of mine invited me to study together. We started right on the next morning – from 5:30 to 6:30 – and kept our daily studies for three months.
Additionaly, I changed the language used in my diary and personal prayers into English and kept listening to an English K7 tape as often as I could. As you can see, since I understand the benefits of language acquisition, I started to breath, eat and drink in English!
Little by little, that feeling of being a stranger in my own country was desappearing, being replaced by my willingness to learn...
“Remember to keep your serenity in your troubled days.” - Horácio
Challenges confront each and every one of us every now and then. How we deal with them usually determines how much we can learn from them.
My father helped us to learn this lesson by the way he struggled to manage his own troubles. He had been a soldier himself, and when my brother joined the military forces, he was really glad. With daddy’s support, my youngest brother decided to develop a military career.
When it was my time to enlist, I wished I could do the same. I didn’t pass through the first selection, due to a slight handicap in my left arm, due to a child accident.
I came home hopeless, weary and feeling down.
A couple of weeks later, our mayor gave a short speech to all of us who couldn’t join the army, saying that we could help our city and country by being good citizens, doing our best in every field.
That was a relief for me.
Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be, if I had joined the Army... Chances are few that I would have become a language teacher, and fewer that you would be reading this story. Such are the turning moments in our lives...
Enough talk. It is your turn again:
With a very little effort you will soon realize that apparent stumbling blocks may become a great step in your ladder to success...
This is not a self-help book, but a self-discovery book. Live consciously, be smart.
Onde há mais luz, mais forte é a sombra. - Goethe
As a way of expressing gratitude for all those who helped me in my language acquisition, I started this Web site, and soon discovered I wanted to dedicate my full time to this project.
My plan of writing for 400 hours without any salary - with 6 mouths to feed - granted me two nicknames: ‘brave man’ and ‘crazy guy’. (The later much more than the former, I confess.)
Aware of the risks, and willing to give it a try, I quit my daily job as a translator. With my family’s support, I started my new career on September 01st, 2006.
I soon discoverd that who wishes to make a dream come true – be it learning a foreign language, driving, swimming, dancing, public speaking or starting a business – must develop the virtue of humility.
Firstly, to recognize your need someone's help. Secondly, to stand the exposurement before some friends, the market and the competitors. Though leaving the confort zone is not an easy task to anyone, at least it becomes easier when you do it surrounded by friends!
That’s why, when beginning a new journey, I advise you to get the support of those whom you love, whose opinions and thoughts make real sense to you.
If your experience is like mine, you will be surprised by how many people are willing to ‘burn the bridges’ along with you, and face the new challenges cheerfully.
If you allow me to repeat it, here are the necessary ingredients for you to succeed:
Believe me, everyone can learn a second language. Everyone.
“Sometimes we need to stop chasing the butterflies, and take our time to care for the roses.”
- Fernando Pessoa
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