Language Challenge 180: Week 20

by Corey

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Welcome to Week 20 !

If you missed the activities these last few weeks, go to the Weekly Activity Page and click on the activities you missed. (Remember: if you aren’t yet signed up, then do so at the link at the top of this page!)

Please keep sharing resources, support and suggestions at the Language Challenge 180 language pages! The more information you can add there, the better!

The Details of Our Habits

Last week we talked about the importance of asking ourselves “why” we are learning a language and/or passing on a language to our children. Understanding intention is important in language learning!

The truth is, understanding our intentions is essential to living a fulfilling life in general. Do we even really take the time to ask why we do the things that we do? Habits are great since we don’t have to second guess everything that we do in our day but what happens when our habits keep us so busy that we aren’t really sure what we are doing anymore?

When I worked at a software company as a QA Engineer a few years ago, one of my fellow coworkers was assigned to learn the majority of my daily tasks so that she could take over my work while I was on vacation in Germany for a month.

I couldn’t believe how hard it was for me to explain the minute details of tasks that I probably could have done with my eyes closed. So much had become habit that I didn’t even notice what I was doing much of the time – like the workings of a well-oiled machine.

The most interesting bit of our interactions was when she asked me why I did this or that task a specific way – or why I did it at all. The more we dug into the answers for her “why” questions, the more I noticed that I did a lot of things that weren’t even necessary. They were busy-work items that were simply wasting my time!

Some of the tasks had been added along the way because they were needed for a specific software release. Yet, we all decided to keep them included in the task list just in case. After a few years, they were no longer necessary and should have been removed.

My co-worker’s “why” questions were powerful and by the end of her training, we had cleaned up many of the tasks on my plate. We kept only the most important and put the rest were on the side to execute only when necessary.

Because We Love It

Last week we focused on the “why” questions and so this week we are going to focus on the result of the “why” question: The love of language learning in its many forms, flavors and movements.

This week we aren’t going to ask so many “why” questions. Instead we are just going to enjoy language for what it is and savor each and every moment of doing what we are doing – be it learning a language for ourselves or passing on a language to our children.

Language learning is an emotional event which can not be taken too lightly. We need to understand that falling in love with languages and language learning can do more for helping our progress than anything else.

Remember that honey catches more flies in the end!

This Week’s Activity:

  • Individuals and/or Parents: Do things this week that make you/your children fall in love with the language that you/your children are learning. Maybe you will listen to music in the language? Or read some favorite books out loud to your children again? Find that movie that you really enjoyed in the target language, snuggle on the sofa and watch it as if it were the first time. Go out to a restaurant which serves food from your target language’s country (and hopefully where many speak the language).Use your target language as much as possible but do it in as many ways as possible that tell your mind and body that this language is the love of your life!

Happy Language Learning!

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